It’s been a big few weeks for Aubrey Drake Graham. His long-awaited sixth studio album Certified Lover Boy finally dropped, and a whopping nine songs from the album are currently sitting in the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. To celebrate the accomplishment, the British artist Damien Hirst—who created the album’s much-meme’d (as intended) cover artwork featuring twelve pregnant-woman emojis—gave Drake a pair of custom-painted Air Force 1s. Naturally, they both posted the moment on Instagram.
In photos taken at the artist’s studio in London, Drake appears visibly delighted, grinning down at the shoes, which are coated with abstract swipes of green, orange, and pink paint. On one sole, Hirst painted the words “For Drake ♥ Damien”; and on the other, “Big ♥ Brother!”
The Forces probably aren’t Drake’s first Hirst: In 2017, he gave a quick video tour of the temporary Toronto spot he was occupying before construction was completed on his mansion, and you can spot a print of the artist’s famous 2007 sculpture For the Love of God, which comprised a human skull coated with 8,601 diamonds. Drizzy’s long had a taste for blue-chip art, as evidenced by the “Toosie Slide” video from 18 months ago, which was shot inside the mansion and showcased a couple Kaws figurine sculptures and a Warhol Mao, as well as the original Nothing Was The Same album artwork painted by Kadir Nelson.
As seems to be true of everything in the Certified Lover Boy era, there is a possibly-unrelated but nonetheless-intriguing Kanye West component to this story: shortly before Drake revealed his Hirst-made artwork back in August, shady British tabloid the Sun claimed that Kanye purchased a Hirst sculpture, titled The Incomplete Truth, for $1.37 million. On Instagram, Ye posted and then deleted a photo of the work—featuring a dove suspended mid-flight in a case of formaldehyde, evocative of much of the Donda imagery up to that point—prompting fans to wonder if the piece would serve as Donda’s cover art. (As we know now, Kanye opted instead for a simple black square.)
All cover art aside, it does seem like Drake is having something of an art moment. He’s been sharing a lot of Certified Lover Boy-related visuals to his grid lately, including an illustration by Italian comic book writer Milo Manara and a piece that Drake’s in-house artist Theo Skudra made in collaboration with, naturally, Virgil Abloh. What else might Hirst paint for Drake? Our money’s on one of Drake’s many Birkins, à la the George Condo-painted bag that Kanye gifted to Kim.