Drake showed off a flashy new look this weekend, with both of his ears pierced. The rapper appears in new photos with diamond studs in both ears, sporting his usual athleisure clothing and a perfectly shaped beard. According to a report by TMZ, the piercings were just done this weekend. Drake unveiled his new pierced ears on Friday, and reportedly decided he wanted to get the piercings done after he wore magnetic earrings on a recent video shoot. He told his entourage that some women there had complimented the look, and he decided to get it done for real.
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Drake's team sought out the best person for the job in the Atlanta, Georgia area. They ended up finding Otniel Pichardo, the owner of Atlanta Ink, who made a house call to Drake's hotel room in Buckhead.
Pichardo accompanied his shop's best piercer, Christian, along with his business partner CJ, as they went up to Drake's room. They say the rapper asked for both ear lobes pierced with no numbing gel and no gun. Instead, Christian went after it with a simple needle. Drake reportedly complained that the right ear hurt worse than the left, but overall took the procedure like a champ. His entourage already had his first set of earrings picked out — a pair of diamond studs that were 3 carats each, and valued at about $70,000 in total.
Christian got the honor of posting a photo of his handiwork on social media, while Drake went out to unveil his new look at a gig later that same night. He wore them to an event in Jackson, Mississippi, which was sponsored by his record label October's Very Own.
Posts about the piercings were met with comments or jokes about Drake's recent entanglements with underage girls, for which he is still under fire. The rapper was condemned for texting teenage Stranger Things actress Millie Bobby Brown earlier this year, and earlier this month, he was called out again when 17-year-old pop singer Billie Eilish admitted he texts her too. While both girls said that the rapper is friendly and helpful to them, a growing groundswell of culture critics argue that this behavior is too creepy to be worth whatever benefit it might have for the girls.
"Technically, Drake hasn't done anything wrong. Technically," wrote Clarkisha Kent for Wear Your Voice Magazine. "But technicality and legality do not automatically equal morality... Do we continue to ignore the grooming of these young stars because Drake is attractive and 'popular'? Or do we wait until he finally decides to go full R. Kelly and we all look like d-heads for trying to remain neutral based on a technicality?"
So far, Drake has not responded to the backlash.