This story was published on November 8, 2022 and updated on February 17, 2023
The saga of Drake, 21 Savage, and Vogue has come to a rather anticlimactic close. The rappers have "voluntarily ceased" the marketing campaign for their new album, Her Loss, that used a fake Vogue cover to promote the project.
Some context: Drake and 21 Savage reallllllyyyyyy wanted to be on the cover of Vogue magazine to tie in with the album's November 4 release date. Nothing wrong with that, I suppose, except for the fact that the magazine apparently didn't feel the same way.
Not to be deterred, Drake and 21 Savage cooked up their own issue of Vogue. They didn't bother to change the actual cover layout, though, aside from slapping their mugs in place of Jennifer Lawrence. Dare to compare the real and fake October 2022 issues below.
Even the quotes are identical, though 21 Savage probably also believes that "You have to be political." Go off and all that.
Drake and 21 Savage's doctored covers never officially made it to newsstands, but they were distributed across several cities and accompanied by a series of wheatpaste posters as promotion for Her Loss.
Dream 'til ya make it real, boys.
Or not! On November 8, Vogue publisher Conde Nast / Advance Magazine Publishers Inc filed suit against Drake and 21 Savage over the "counterfeit" magazine cover, according to a court filing, which asserts that the Her Loss promo campaign relied "entirely" on illicit Vogue branding.
The dynamic duo didn't exactly make an effort to hint that the cover was a ruse. "Thanks @voguemagazine and Anna Wintour for the love and support on this historic moment," they captioned a now-deleted Instagram post unveiling the doctored image.
"All of this is false," Conde Nast said in its legal complaint. “Defendants’ flippant disregard for Conde Nast’s rights have left it with no choice but to commence this action.”
No one really thought about it at the time, I suppose, but Drake and 21 Savage posted the image of their fake Vogue cover in early October. Their timing should've immediately revealed the charade, since the real Jennifer Lawrence issue with identical quotes and stories was published a month prior (Vogue publishes its magazines one month early, so October releases in September, November in October, etc.).
According to Conde Nast, the publisher attempted to "resolve this matter amicably" with reps for Drake and 21 Savage but, without any further recompense, it sought a minimum of $4 million in damages (triple the album and magazine profits), additional punitive damages, and immediate caesura of the trademark infringement.
Though they didn't concede liability or wrongdoing, Drake and 21 Savage have dodged payment by agreeing to a preliminary injunction against resuming their marketing campaign, according to a report published on November 18.
It's bizarre that two of the most famous rappers in the biz would go to all the trouble to fake some magazine cover to promote an album that'd presumably succeed (or fail) regardless of the co-sign but there you have it. Maybe they should've tried House & Garden or World of Interiors instead.
Then again, all of the undue press has only drawn more headlines for Her Loss.