Drake’s New Strip Club and His Love and Fear of Working Women

Drake’s New Strip Club and His Love and Fear of Working Women
Drake wants to open a new club, one that will put dancing women on pedestals but isn’t ‘about no strip club s**t.’ He loves strippers. The term isn’t an insult. So why won’t he use it?
Amy Zimmerman
AMY ZIMMERMAN

09.08.16 5:30 PM ET
Drake has spent his entire career putting women who dance on pedestals on pedestals. Asking if the erstwhile Aubrey Graham likes strippers is like asking if Lil’ Wayne likes lean, or if Kanye likes outfitting women in neutral-toned, skintight athleisure sets. If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, Drake’s 17-track paean to women, Canada, and more women, shouts out at least 12 different, fully-fleshed ladies—all of whom exist for the express purpose of sleeping with, taking care of, and/or texting Drake.
On “Legend,” he raps, “Got a girl, she from the South / Used to work, used to dance in Texas, now she clean the house.” It only takes a passing knowledge of Drake’s music—the kind you get from going to the club once, going to your local bodega once a week, or just leaving your house—to realize that this lyric encapsulates Drake’s ideal woman. Much like a Bachelor franchise contestant, Drake doesn’t see unemployment as a deal breaker. In fact, he prefers a former stripper to a working girl. Drake wants all of the sex appeal with none of that “actually supporting yourself and making a living” nonsense. Drake wants to literally separate you from your entire family and transplant you to his mansion so you can entertain him and clean his house, like a refugee sex Roomba.
On “Energy,” Drake cites a different exotic dancer—his “ex-girl, who’s the stripper version of me.” On “Company,” Aubrey asks a new stripper to come visit him after her shift is over; by the middle of the song, he’s contemplating a proposal to yet another woman. There’s Courtney from Hooters on Peachtree, Porsche from Treasures, Maliah and Chyna. Drake’s love of women is rivaled only by his penchant for citing proper nouns.

Drake is also obsessed with saving women, buying them things, and footing their tuition bills. Given his fetish for raising up fallen women, it was only a matter of time before he opened the world’s most chivalrous strip club.
Over Labor Day weekend, the rapper announced his latest business venture, a Houston club called The Ballet. On Monday, Drake teased his definitely-not-a-strip club strip club in an Instagram post, captioned, “Treat yourself don’t cheat yourself. Where the women are on a pedestal and the surroundings are unforgettable…Grand opening early 2017.” During a pop-up event surrounding the mysterious announcement, he told the crowd, “There’s a culture out there of dancing. And it’s not about no strip club shit. It’s really about these amazing women that we got in one spot. This music that we got. This Houston culture that we got.” As Drake denigrated “strip club shit,” half-naked women performed on stage and dollars bills rained down from above.

Clearly, Drake is trying to create an R-rated home base for men like Drake—dudes who claim to put women on pedestals, but low-key don’t want them working on one. Drake, who has supported and dated strippers for years, seems to think that calling a woman a stripper is an insult—which, in and of itself, is pretty insulting.
Of course, the greatest irony of Drake’s ill-informed savior complex is that he’s not really the baller he thinks he is. Basically, Drake has relationship dysmorphia—he sees himself as an alpha male, but consistently plays the role of stay-at-home hubby. In common parlance, Drake has become shorthand for a sensitive dude who will build a home for himself in your friend zone. Drake likes to act like he’s out touring the world with an ex-stripper in his compound and Nicki Minaj in his passenger seat. In actuality, he’s cheering for Serena Williams from the sidelines and scrolling through his camera roll looking for old pictures of him and Rihanna. When his girl goes to the club to have some fun with her friends, he stays up all night in the studio rapping about how she did him dirty. He essentially spent seven years waiting for Rihanna to take him seriously. So when you think about it, Drake is actually Drake’s ideal girlfriend.
But if you only have four minutes and 27 seconds to really understand Drake’s approach to the fairer sex, look no further than “Hotline Bling.” In addition to being the Drake-iest music video that Drake has ever Draked—that turtleneck! those over-confident Bar Mitzvah boy dance moves!—“Hotline Bling” fully outlines Drake’s problem with women. The track deep dives into Drake’s specific definition of a “good girl”: a woman who spends her entire day waiting to talk to Drake on the phone. Unfortunately, Drake’s good girl has gone bad, exhibiting such untoward behavior as going out with her friends, dressing up for the club, and running out of pages in her passport.

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For a rapper who’s made a career out of being your sensitive, emotive, imaginary boyfriend, Drake sounds like he would be a horrible partner. His Phyllis Schlafly-style gender roles—seriously, Drake, your girl can’t go on a plane without you?—as well as his need to monitor and control his girlfriends’ behavior are serious red flags. He even has the audacity to accuse his bad girlfriend of not being true to herself, because Drake can’t fathom why someone would actually want a hobby or two outside of being his sex buddy.
While Drake is out living the life, Drake’s girls aren’t allowed to have one. But it’s important to note that the rapper’s particularly egregious everyday sexism isn’t all that uncommon. We all know an IRL Drake; he’s the self-proclaimed feminist who doesn’t understand why you can’t be his girlfriend, his mom, and his cleaning lady. He expects you to like all of his Instagram photos, and wants you to make your account private. He loves going through your text messages, but gets all defensive when you ask who “RiRi” is and why she’s always blowing up his phone.
Drake’s particular brand of misogyny might be less alienating than his peers’ but it’s far more insidious. Unfortunately, we’ve become all but inured to blatant, gendered slurs in popular music. Most women can bump a track about bitches giving blowjobs and more or less block out the message to appreciate the music. It’s not a good feeling, but it’s also not a new one. Drake, on the other hand, is a fresh disappointment. Drake swears that he loves women. Most importantly, he loves women who don’t get enough mainstream adoration, specifically black women. But for all of Drake’s efforts to act as a woman-worshipping hip-hop corrective, his double-edged praise consistently falls short. Drake doesn’t put women on a pedestal so much as he pushes them back into a box.
Drake will praise you for being a working woman every chance he gets, but on the third date, he’ll ask you to quit your job and move into his Toronto compound. This hypocrisy is most overt when it comes to stripping, a field that’s apparently full of women whom Drake both loves exactly as they are and wants to change in every way. He simultaneously wants to fund entire strip clubs with never-ending singles, and take all of their best dancers out of commission.
On “Energy,” he raps, “I got strippers in my life, but they virgins to me.” This is the crux of Drake’s problem: He thinks that he’s saving women by believing that all of them—even the ones who gyrate for a living—have the potential to be born-again virgins. He doesn’t seem to realize that in 2016, virginity isn’t synonymous with virtue, and some women might actually prefer working over being Drake’s stay-at-home wifey. Like countless men before him, Aubrey Graham is dead-set on rescuing women who don’t need saving.
And Drake doesn’t just sing about strippers—he puts his money where his mouth is. Dancers have regaled the internet with stories of Drake spending $15,000 to keep a club open after-hours, or bringing $50,000 to a Charlotte strip joint. And according to one Atlanta strip club DJ, the affection is mutual: “The girls in love club loooove Drake.”
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But Drake’s history with strippers, much like his history with Degrassi, Rihanna, and facial hair, is complicated. In 2014, the rapper made a casual hookup faux pas when he allegedly ditched one stripper, Jhonni Blaze, for another alum of the same club, V Live. Blaze later claimed that after she called Drake out, he sent members of his entourage over to V Live to threaten her about going to the press. She proceeded to file a police report against Drake citing threats and harassment; and publicly outed their affair through a series of text screenshots.
After years of haunting strip clubs with a stack of singles and a misogynistic savior complex, Drake has finally ended up with the kind of woman who terrifies him. Rihanna parties harder than Drake, unabashedly owns her sexuality, and doesn’t even seem to like him that much. RiRi even puts Drake’s stripper obsession to shame. Hopefully, the love (ambivalence?) of a lady who has consistently championed women and refused to be characterized as a victim will convince Drake to hang up his White Knight’s cape once and for all. Because aside from Drake’s sexist scruples, his strip club sounds pretty lit.

How to do Vegas in your 50s, 60s, & 70s

The Bellagio fountain show, center, can be seen in a view from the 550 foot-tall High Roller observation wheel, the tallest in the world, Wednesday, April 9, 2014. The wheel is the centerpiece of the $550 million Linq project, a retail, dining and entertainment district by Caesars Entertainment Corp.This is for all you cool cats who bummed smokes from your Old Man’s slug bug. For all you foxy mamas who remember going steady with that dreamy upperclassman who liked to cruise down the main drag. You may have grown up a long time ago, but baby you’re a fine wine, and you just keep getting better with age. Here’s the skinny on what it’s like to do Vegas in your 50s, 60s, and 70s.

The Bellagio fountain show, center, can be seen in a view from the 550 foot-tall High Roller observation wheel, the tallest in the world, Wednesday, April 9, 2014. The wheel is the centerpiece of the $550 million Linq project, a retail, dining and entertainment district by Caesars Entertainment Corp.
The amazing view from the High Roller. Photo courtesy of the Las Vegas Sun.

Your Objective

Photo courtesy of the Venetian.In your 50s: To feel like the young and vibrant person you are. You recently got your AARP card in the mail and it felt like a kick in the gut… until you realized how many crazy awesome discounts you were about to get. Cha-ching. Now you’re taking all the money you’ve saved to Vegas because it’s the perfect place to get into just the right amount of trouble without anyone recognizing you’re a respectable member of society.

In your 60s: To put yourself in the most hilarious and questionable scenarios that will make your kids cringe. You don’t take yourself too seriously and feel sorry for people who do. Life is tough, and nobody gets out alive — so it’s time to kick back and laugh it up. First things first, post a selfie with that go-go dancer on the bar and tell her you’ve still got your hot pants stashed in the garage.

In your 70s: To see how Vegas will still blow your mind after all these years, as conveniently as possible. People don’t know the meaning of the good old days like you do. You’ve seen Vegas change a hundred times and yet you just keep coming back for more. You’ve seen old hotels get torn down or spruced up, and you’ve been to shows with history’s most legendary performers. Now, it’s all about finding the sweet spot in everything you do.

Photo courtesy of the Venetian.
Spacious digs courtesy of the Venetian. Photo courtesy of the Venetian.

Where to Sleep

In your 50s: You want to be close to the action, but far enough away that you can escape if you need a break. Atmosphere is important to you and you can appreciate a little extra attention to detail. Bonus points if the place has nice amenities thrown in. Give yourself a little extra elbow room by spreading out in one of spacious and well-appointed rooms at the Venetian or MGM Grand.

In your 60s: You’re over that fancy schmancy stage in your life. You have no use for a bidet and you have no idea why the hell you need a remote to open the curtains that are five feet from your bed. You’re not worried about dress codes, because you only brought flip flops. You’ll fit right in downtown at the Golden Nugget, Main Street Station and the California Hotel.

In your 70s: It’s all about convenience for you these days, so finding a hotel with lots to do in one place is key. If you’ve stayed in the Flamingo before, it may be fun for you to see how it’s changed over the years. Then again, your patience probably ain’t what it used to be, so you may fight the urge to clothesline a running child. Hotels like the Wynn and Bellagio are relatively small properties with great food, shopping and entertainment options right on property. But if you’re looking for the ultimate retreat, Vdara is a quiet and classy place for some R&R.

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In Vegas, we sell the steak and the sizzle.

Where to Eat

In your 50s: There are plenty of places to be part of the hip dining scene in Vegas. But let’s do it in style, shall we? You can get a good meal from lots of restaurants, but you want a unique experience that will only intensify your Vegas experience. You’ll be amazed by the intense Strip views at Rivea in the Delano, the street-side tables on the patio of Morel’s inside the Palazzo and the super swanky dining and shopping experience at Beauty & Essex at The Cosmopolitan.

In your 60s: You’re not about a fussy lifestyle and you’d rather have good food without the stuffy atmosphere. This town is known for its extreme buffets and there’s a good chance you’ll eat at two or eight while you’re here. If you want to spend as little cash as possible, the Main Street Station’s Garden Court Buffet starts at $7.99 for breakfast and $14.99 for the Prime Rib and Scampi Special. And if buffets aren’t your thing, you’ll enjoy the comfort food revolution happening in Downtown Las Vegas.

In your 70s: Remember when you paid less attention to things like your blood pressure and cholesterol? Well, you’re a lot wiser these days and know that fueling your body with good food is important. You know what else is important? Service. You’ve put in your time and earned the right to be taken care of by sincere and knowledgeable staff. You’ll have the most dietary-friendly options at the buffets and the hotel cafes. But if you want a classic Vegas experience, try Piero’s, a Sin City staple with ties to some of our most infamous mobsters. Songstress Pia Zadora still stops in from time to time to entertain the diners.

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Grand Bazaar Shop light show. Photo courtesy of Alonzo Wright.

What to Do

In your 50s: This is what you’ve been waiting for – a reason to drag those acid-wash jeans out of the black hole in your closet. If you can sing every last lyric of “Smokin in the Boys Room,” you’re going to love rocking out to Rock of Ages. Fancy a round of golf? We’ve got you covered (just don’t forget to change out of those Z Cavaricci’s). The truth is, Vegas is your oyster and you can see all the attractions or go on all the tours you’d like.

In your 60s: You grew up with musical trail blazers like Elton John, Lionel Richie, Rod Stewart and America’s sweetheart, Olivia Newton-John. Well guess what? They’ve all got residencies in Vegas. Looking for something to do in the daytime? You can take a tour of Wayne Newton’s home or check out the Bellagio Conservatory. Madame Tussauds is a great place to get weird with your favorite celebrity wax figures. Your grandkids are going to regret the day they taught you how to post pictures on Facebook.

In your 70s: Throw caution to the wind and put a $20 in that slot machine. Don’t worry, nobody else knows what the different lines and combos mean either. But you won’t have any trouble recognizing when you’ve won. Early to bed, early to rise… thankfully, there are quite a few afternoon shows for you to choose from. But if you’re a night owl, you can relieve the glory days – when music was so good it would reach right into your chest and wrap itself around your heart. You’ll love Human Nature, Million Dollar Quartet and The Rat Pack is Back.

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If you’re gonna do it, do it right. Photo courtesy of the Foundation Room.

Where to Party

In your 50s: You don’t have the patience to wait in line at a nightclub, but you’d enjoy a bartender who could really shake up a mean cocktail or two. You’ll love the Alibi Ultra Lounge, the Mandarin Bar and the Skyfall Lounge. And hell, if you do decide to step foot in a club (especially after you realize that Tiesto is bringing down the house at 47 years young), check out Hyde at the Bellagio or Foundation Room at Mandalay Bay.

In your 60s: You don’t mind blowing the dust off those dancing shoes if the spirit moves you, and there’s one place in town where everybody fits in. The Fremont Street Experience is home to the ultimate block party, with three concert stages and live entertainment nightly. Your fellow partygoers will be functioning at various levels of sobriety, so this is some of the best people watching you’ll do in Vegas – or anywhere for that matter. Now, get out there and show us how it’s done with your smooth electric slide.

In your 70s: A nice atmosphere makes all the difference, and it’s even better if it’s close to your hotel room. You want to enjoy yourself without putting in a whole lot of effort to do so. How about a nice piano lounge where you can sit in a plush chair and watch Vegas whiz by while you relax and float away with the melody? You could spend hours listening to the pianos at Petrossian Bar in the Bellagio or Napoleon’s Lounge at Paris, or relax on the patio by the fire pits at Vice Versa inside the Vdara. Want to sing karaoke in one Vegas’ oldest dive bars? Make sure to check out Dino’s.

Check out more things to do in Vegas.

EDC Week Las Vegas Parties To Warm Your Party Spirit

Going to EDC, not going to EDC, never heard of EDC, obsessed with EDC – these are some big party weeks in Vegas. The EDM crowds are buzzing in this town and Las Vegas always delivers. We’re gonna keep this intro short and sweet for you. Here’s a list of some of the best parties going down as we roll through EDC 2016.
BTW: All parties are 21+ unless otherwise noted. Sorry, kiddos.
BTW2: Check out our Nightclubs Page for all the info on all the clubs to have all the fun.

RL Grime looking RL fine at XS. Photo courtesy of XS.

RL Grime looking RL fine at XS. Photo courtesy of XS.

Monday, June 13
Jewel: GTA at 10 p.m.
Marque: Dash Berlin at 10 p.m.
XS: RL Grime at 10 p.m.

Krewella killing it at Omnia. Photo courtesy of Omnia.

Krewella killing it at Omnia. Photo courtesy of Omnia.

Wednesday, June 15
Marquee Dayclub: Markus Schulz at 11 a.m.
Hakkasasn: Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike at 10 p.m.
Light: Laidback Luke at 10:30 p.m.
Omnia: Krewella at 10 p.m.
Surrender: Skrillex and Marshmello at 10 p.m.

Representing for Above & Beyond at Wet Republic. Photo courtesy of Wet Republic.

Representing for Above & Beyond at Wet Republic. Photo courtesy of Wet Republic.

Thursday, June 16
Citrus Pool at Downtown Grand: Basscon pool party at 12 p.m. (18+)
Daylight Beach Club: Bassjackers at 11 a.m.
Encore Beach Club: Flosstradamus at 12 p.m.
Foxtail Pool Club: Borgore, Getter and Kayzo at 10:30 a.m. (18+)
Liquid Pool: 3LAU at 11 a.m.
Marquee Dayclub: Jauz at 11 a.m.
Rehab Beach Club: Bassrush pool party at 11 a.m.
Tao Beach: Thomas Jack at 11 a.m.
Wet Republic: Above & Beyond at 11 a.m.
Rumor Boutique Hotel: Wide Awake Ft. Harvard Bass, Craig Williams at 2 p.m.
The Foundry at SLS: Borgore, Louis the Child at 7 p.m. (18+)
The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel: Bassrush Massive at 8 p.m. (18+)
Tao Nightclub: Dreamstate Presents John O’Callaghan, Jordan Suckley, Markus Schulz, Paul Oakenfold and Standerwick at 8 p.m.
The Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas: Alison Wonderland at 9 p.m. (18+)
Encore Beach Club: EBC at Night ft. Major Lazer at 10:30 p.m.
Drai’s Nightclub: Party Favor at 10 p.m.
Hakkasan: Hardwell at 10 p.m.
Intrigue at Wynn: Marshmello at 10 p.m.
Jewel: Oliver Heldens at 10 p.m.
Light Nightclub: Claude VonStroke at 10:30 p.m.
Marquee Nightclub: Galantis, Loco Dice at 10 p.m.
Omnia: Nicky Romero at 10 p.m.

Dlux edition at Tao Nightclub. Photo courtesy of Tao.

Dlux edition at Tao Nightclub. Photo courtesy of Tao.

Friday, June 17
Daylight Beach Club: Morgan Page at 11 a.m.
Drai’s Beach Club: Bassjackers and MAKJ at 11 a.m.
Encore Beach Club: Alesso at 12 p.m.
Marquee Dayclub: Cash Cash at 11 a.m.
Tao Beach: Blasterjaxx at 11 a.m.
Wet Republic: Afrojack at 11 a.m.
Encore Beach Club: EBC at Night ft. NGHTMRE at 10:30 p.m.
Drai’s Nightclub: Nelly at 10 p.m.
Hakkasan: Axwell and Ingrosso 10 p.m.
Jewel: Steve Aoki at 10 p.m.
Light Nightclub: Morgan Page at 10:30 p.m.
Marquee Nightclub: Andrew Rayel at 10 p.m.
Omnia: Armin van Buuren at 10 p.m.
Tao Nightclub: Eric Dlux at 10 p.m.
XS: Zedd at 10 p.m.

Laidback Luke looking lively at Light. Photo courtesy of Light Nightclub.

Laidback Luke looking lively at Light. Photo courtesy of Light Nightclub.

Saturday, June 18
Daylight Beach Club: Laidback Luke at 11 a.m.
Drai’s Beach Club: Zeds Dead, Adventure Club, Mija at 11 a.m.
Encore Beach Club: Kaskade at 12 p.m.
Foxtail Pool Club: Borgore at 10:30 a.m.
Liquid: Oliver Heldens at 11 a.m.
Marquee Dayclub: Dash Berlin at 11 a.m.
Rehab Las Vegas at Hard Rock: Knife Party at 11 a.m.
Tao Beach: Eric Prydz at 11 a.m.
Encore Beach Club: EBC at Night ft. Yellow Claw at 10:30 p.m. (connected to Surrender Nightclub)
Drai’s Nightclub: Travis Scott at 10 p.m.
Hakkasan: Calvin Harris at 10 p.m.
Jewel: Dada Life at 10 p.m.
Light Nightclub: Laidback Luke at 10:30 p.m.
Marquee Nightclub: Vice at 10 p.m.
Omnia: Martin Garrix at 10 p.m.
Tao Nightclub: Jerzy at 10 p.m.
Wet Republic: Tiesto at 11 a.m.
XS: Kaskade 10 p.m.
Drai’s After Hours: Nicole Moudaber at 1 a.m.

Giving it up for The Chainsmokers at Hakkasan. Photo courtesy of Hakkasan.

Giving it up for The Chainsmokers at Hakkasan. Photo courtesy of Hakkasan.

Sunday, June 19
Daylight Beach Club: Disclosure at 12 p.m.
Drai’s Beach Club: Quintino at 11 a.m.
Encore Beach Club: DJ Snake at 12 p.m.
Liquid Pool: Borgeous at 11 a.m.
Marquee Dayclub: Carnage at 11 a.m.
Rehab at Hard Rock: Flux Pavilion at 11 a.m.
Tao Beach: Duke Dumont at 11 a.m.
Wet Republic: Martin Garrix, Pierce Fulton at 11 a.m.
Hakkasan: The Chainsmokers at 10 p.m.
XS: Sunday Nightswim ft. Alesso
Drai’s After Hours: Chris Garcia & Friends at 1 a.m.

Summer Is Coming In Las Vegas

We get it. It’s 1,000 degrees here (OK, maybe drop that last zero) and the only way to survive is jumping into a cool and refreshing Vegas pool. We have some of the best pools in the country. Scratch that. Try the entire world. The amenities are way awesome. What do we have to do to prove that to you? Kick back, read on and before you get here, don’t forget to bring your designer shades.

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Squad goals, milkshake edition. Meet Girl Scout Cookie, Peanut Butter and Frappucino. Lookin’ good, guys. Photo courtesy of Mandarin Oriental.

Mandarin Oriental

Pool attendants will delight you with refreshing treats throughout the day, including frozen fruit and yummy mini-smoothies. Rent out a cabana and you’ll enjoy perks like Evian Mist, a 48-inch flat-screen TV and a PlayStation 3 (game on, gamers!). And remember the days of chasing the ice cream truck, only to leave you either exhausted or in the dust? Well, here the ice cream comes to you. The pool’s ice cream cart comes with cherry, watermelon, lemon lime or bubble gum popsicles, sorbet, gelato and different varieties of ice cream. Our only question is, how do we get the cart to stay by us the entire time?

What we love: The nearby pool café has an amazing summertime cocktail menu. We’re in love with the honeydew spritzer, which includes Midori liqueur, John D. Taylor’s Velvet Falernum liqueur (flavors of lime, vanilla, ginger and clove), Sauvignon Blanc, honeydew aloe juice, soda water and Champagne. For a delicious non-alcoholic drink, the Girl Scout cookie shake has crushed mint oreos and chocolate ice cream. And if you’re going out for the evening, you’ll need the energy: The Frappuccino milkshake, made with espresso mousse, house-made vanilla gelato and Hershey’s chocolate syrup, is pure heaven.

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Give your best downward facing dog pose at Palazzo every Sunday. You’ll be rewarded with inner peace and a mimosa. Hotel courtesy photo.

Palazzo

Namaste all the way at Azure, Palazzo’s hotel pool. Every Sunday, you can practice yoga on the pool deck. The 50-minute yoga class includes breathing techinques and stress relief through alignment in basic postures like standing, kneeling and seated positions. The class is available every Sunday at 10 a.m., but you have to sign up by 9:45 a.m.

What we love: This is open to everyone, not just hotel guests. (Namast-heeey!) And for $20, a yoga class and a mimosa by the pool is a steal.