I. love. the. Anaconda. video. but the writeups I’ve been seeing keep referring to Drake as a co-star, which I think misses a big part of the point.
The reason this video rules is because Drake is an extra. Drake is a prop. Drake is a bro in the comfy-casual clothes that he rolled up to the set in, who has no lines or purpose other than the be ground upon, and whose face is obscured by shadows most of the time.
This is not a continuation of the Drake/Nicki/Rih media narrative. This is a dank-as-fuck feminist power play. This is, “Drake is whatever to me.” And this is a man who, if he isn’t at the top of his game, is close to it. A huge celebrity. And here is Nicki looking fucking amazing, tormenting him into a boner, then swatting his hand away and walking out of frame.
Your anaconda don’t want none unless she got buns, hun? Maybe she doesn’t want your anaconda. Maybe she’ll do whatever the fuck she wants with her buns, and it doesn’t matter what you think or feel.
Yes, Drake is totally a prop in the Anaconda video. But his presence is important. This is Drake being confronted with a powerful, in-control version of female sexuality and wondering if he’s totally comfortable with it, wondering whether or not he wants it because he’s also wondering if he’s even capable of getting it.
Nicki didn’t want that character to be a random dude. She wanted him to be someone people could look at and recognize immediately that someone they considered powerful was in awe of Nicki Minaj and the control she had over the situation. Nicki wanted people to recognize that she was dominating someone important. And I honestly think the reason Drake is in this video, the reason it’s one of Nicki’s closest and oldest friends agreeing to play this part is because not a lot of other top-of-their-game rappers would be comfortable expressing that kind of discomfort and uncertainty that conveys, mostly, a sense of being overwhelmed, and makes it pretty clear that Drake is the one who’s out of control in a sexual situation. Not Nicki.