Drake loves Houston. He mentions it probably a few times per album, which is saying something because the rapper, singer and walking TV drama routinely makes sure everyone knows he's from the "6," a.k.a. Toronto. The Bayou City is so dope in Drake’s eyes that during his annual Houston Appreciation Weekend earlier this month, he announced plans for a nightclub titled “The Ballet.” As a colossally rich person, it's not bizarre for him to want to open a club. In fact, it's pretty normal for celebrities to do this kind of stuff; just take a look at the numerous athletes who own bars, pubs and restaurants. The mere act of Aubrey Graham putting money up for a strip club is, honestly, poetic.
“There’s a culture out there of dancing. And it’s not about no strip-club shit,” Drake explained from a DJ booth last Monday. “It’s really about these amazing women that we got in one spot. This music that we got. This Houston culture that we got.”
While most of these celebrities hand off the important aspects such as ambience, and the actual construction of said clubs, to proven professionals, Drake probably isn't that guy. With the emotional roller coaster the musician often finds himself strapped in, he's likely to have waffling opinions on the "The Ballet's" look and feel similar to that of a sporadically angry bride before her wedding day. The color has to be perfect. The lighting must be warm and inviting. There absolutely has to be a "Criers' Corner" so folks in the joint have a spot to express their many woes. Though the nightclub won't be officially open until some time next year, we're pretty sure these six (what other arbitrary number would we pick?) areas, items, banners and other Drake-related themes will definitely take up space in his newest endeavor.
FRAMED JERSEYS FROM ALL OF DRAKE'S BANDWAGON TEAMS
Memorabilia is key to the ambience of a celebrity-owned club; the space objectively needs to feel associated to its owner in every way. For athletes it’s game balls and signed jerseys; for singers it’s platinum records and microphones; and for actors it’s director’s chairs and tinted set photos. Drake has fallen into all three of these categories at some point — he’s a rapper and an honorary Raptor, and was slightly annoying as Jimmy Brooks in Degrassi. Drake is also famous for being the biggest bandwagon fan in all of sports. He’s donned Kentucky jerseys, Texas A&M jerseys, Astros jerseys, Blue Jays jerseys, Raptors jerseys, Notre Dame jerseys, etc. Drake should frame all of these moments in fandom so his patrons can be as confused as he is in a wave of true authenticity.
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A JOSH GAD HOLOGRAM
Whenever Drake gets clowned in social situations, someone moves his hat or someone freezes him on a passing “hello,” the superstar turns to one person to brighten up his day: Josh Gad. The star of classics such as The Wedding Ringer, Pixels and Jobs, Gad is the go-to comedian for The Ballet’s proprietor. While Aubrey can call on Gad to personally make him feel better, fans of his strip club will have to settle for a mere hologram of the comedic genius that is Josh Gad.
RIHANNA DEEP CUTS JUKEBOX
Even if you're a pop-culture neophyte, you probably know that Drake loves Rihanna. While this isn't weird, or a truth he should be ashamed of, a strip club is probably a weird place to opine your feelings about a mostly unrequited romance. While the Rihanna adornment may not be on the walls in the form of posters, we think it'll be there in some manner. Because dancers need music to groove to, and DJs at these locales are often stale, spinning the same monotonous twerk music on repeat, perhaps it’ll be in the sound department. Being the connoisseur of all things Rihanna that he is, Drake will swerve these boring tunes by allowing his patrons to freely pick songs from the epic performer’s first three albums: Music of the Sun, A Girl Like Me and Good Girl Gone Bad. Why only the first three? Not sure, but “SOS” is probably a dope strip-club song.
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Throughout his über-successful career, Drake has always been in tune with his emotions. You can feel them in the music, and they are honestly what makes him so authentic and noteworthy. These heartwrenching stories and pleas for love will forever be intertwined with his SNL skits and rapper call-outs. He’ll never be afraid to go to a sensitive plane of existence, and when he’s in The Ballet, we mean literally.
MAPLE SYRUP HAND SOAP
Strip clubs need to be clean, and their patrons do as well; there’s no denying these statements. While Drake promises to adhere to the “Houston culture,” he also has to stay true to his roots embedded deep beneath the asphalt of Toronto, Canada. We’re not saying the place needs to be decked out in Raptors, Maple Leafs and Blue Jays gear (we covered this), but there must be a Canadian connection present. Though most maple syrup products aren’t from T-Dot, there’s nothing that screams CANADA!!! like the sticky product. Instead of the traditional stuff you put on your pancakes, Drake’s going to keep it clean with specialized hand soap, making late-night diner runs even more cravable.
MEEK MILL'S DEATH CERTIFICATE
Has any rapper ever settled beef as decisively as Drake when he took on Meek Mill in a battle as competitive as a late-1980s Mike Tyson fight? Twitter blew up with countless memes indicating that Meek Mill was, in fact, dead. Though it’s uncommon to award a person’s death certificate to his executioner, Drake undoubtedly has Meek Mill’s. Unlike a real death certificate, which looks like every other standard government-issued piece of paper, Drake’s proof of lyrical evisceration is superimposed like those checks you can win at a Rockets game if you hit a half-court shot. The giant banner is hovering over the dancers, just as “Back to Back” hangs over Mill’s career.