Celebrity memes are the workhorses of the Internet. As Us magazine noted a few years ago, “one bad or funny photo of a star can launch a thousand different memes.” For example, 2013 was undoubtedly the year of Miley Cyrus memes, with images of her twerking on famous paintings making the rounds, as well as memes where the faces of other celebrities were superimposed on photos of her swinging around on a wrecking ball.
But perhaps no celebrity has proven as reliably meme-worthy as rapper Drake. He’s been featured lint-rolling his pants while watching a professional basketball game, superimposed on the face of E.T., and much, much more.
Buzzfeed declared him “the most meme-able rapper on the planet.”
And with the release of his new album, an entirely new crop of memes has emerged, mostly featuring a miniature Drake perched in unusual places, such as on his own shoulder or sitting next to Rihanna. Drake memes are so ubiquitous that Marie Claire magazine wondered if Drake had finally reached “peak meme.”
Even The Today Show made fun of him recently, asking viewers to play a game where they tried to discern whether a phrase was a Drake song lyric or a Hallmark card:
This weekend, on Saturday Night Live, Drake fought back. In a pitch-perfect parody (although, regrettably, not a pitch-perfect singing voice), Drake made light of his meme-ability, singing, “I just wanna scream that I’m more than a meme” and lamenting that everything he does ends up turning into a joke.
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Celebrities often try to diffuse mockery by appropriating it; only time will tell if Drake’s efforts succeed. (Although, judging by the memes spawned by his performance Saturday night, probably not).
As for what fuels our fascination with memes, ours is not to reason why. It’s to accept that 2016 might end up becoming the year of weirdest memes ever—and not just the ones involving Drake. Skeptical? Then spend the next few moments pondering the deeper significance of dat boi, the unicycling frog taking over the meme-world as you read this…
Don’t say you weren’t warned.