Is there a more talented conspicuous consumer on the planet than Drake? He’s got his haute-baroque palace in Toronto, his streetwear plane, collections both of freaky watches and earmarked-for-wifey Birkins. The video for “Laugh Now Cry Later,” a single from his just-announced next album Certified Lover Boy, only furthers our impression of Drake, Elite Shopper. Shot after-hours at the deserted Nike campus in Beaverton, Oregon, the video is something of a teenage fantasy: didn’t you dream of basically living inside one of those insane ‘90s Nike ads, too?
In its welter of recent-history sports references (and current-history Nike stars), the clip sits squarely at the intersection of a few of our favorite things: sports, fashion, celebrity, elite (and sometimes unintentionally funny) personal branding. So let’s take a stroll through the video and see what we might learn.
Nike World Headquarters
Where the magic happens, so to speak. The secluded-but-massive campus just outside Portland is home to the planet’s biggest sports company. But in recent years, the Swoosh—not content to merely dominate the sports world—has made significant inroads into the fashion industry, turning designers like Virgil Abloh and Kim Jones into hyped-up collaborators. Drake’s connection runs a little deeper: he has released a couple of his own Jordans, was briefly seen flirting with Adidas in 2018, and appeared on Travis Scott’s “Sicko Mode” later that year long enough to explain that it was “checks over stripes.” And then in February of this year, he showed up at Nike’s Olympic uniform unveiling—and weapons-grade celebrity hang—suggesting he was firmly back in Nike’s camp. (In case there were any doubts, Drake manages to talk some fun trash Kanye's way: “This isn't a closeable Gap,” goes the relevant bit.)
Meet My Pals KD and OBJ
There is Drake, Platinum-Selling Recording Artist, and then there is Drake, Sports Friend. “Laugh Now Cry Later” is certainly nice work by the former, but it’s absolute ninja-level stuff from the latter. Drizzy’s willingness to root for basically every team (and especially his beloved Toronto Raptors) is by now the stuff of legend. In 2016, he dropped Kevin Durant’s name in a song—and asked Odell Beckham, Jr. to house-sit for him. Now, both appear in his new video: KD to yam on him, and OBJ to send him deep on a pass route that lets Drizzy recreate OBJ’s most famous catch (and also get crushed by Marshawn Lynch, another bud). Sports Friend Drake remains undefeated.
Chrome Hearts Jersey
Last week, GQ noted that Drake owns a pretty wild Rolex customized with a bracelet from the Bravo-meets-biker-gang jewelers at Chrome Hearts. It would appear as if his love for the cult-y rocktimist brand goes further: he dukes it out with Durant in Chrome Hearts-branded basketball jersey (and what appear to be vintage Kobes). My eBay skills can’t turn one up—but perhaps you’re interested in a Lil Uzi Vert-blessed “Fuck You” tank top?
The Nike Company Store
Drake takes his companion on a shopping spree at a closed-down Nike Company Store—the mythical on-campus outpost available only to Nike employees, guests, and visitors where everything’s on significant discount. From personal experience: it might look like Drake bought too much stuff, but it’s literally impossible to leave with anything less than that.
The Draft Suit
Along with Lil Durk, Drake poses for photos in an oversized, cream-colored suit (and marbled-gray backdrop) that looks oddly familiar. The circa-2003 LeBron joke reminds us how far the King has come, fashion-wise—and also, maybe, that the Big Draft Suits comeback is overdue.
The Wet Boxer
VO2 Maxed Out
Drake spends a portion of the video in Nike’s elite sports-science lab. He’s hooked up to the kind of breathing apparatus that measures various cardiovascular outputs—and doubles as a kind of success symbol. If you rock one of these on video, you are decidedly an elite athlete. Whether you’re more of a runner, a Lance Armstrong, or a 50 Cent is up to you.
Towards the end, the music cuts to reveal Drake, teary-eyed and alone, wearing a pretty sick heart-quilted pink Nike bomber jacket. The fruits of a possible future collab? Something exclusive Drake hasn't even teased yet? Whatever the case, it's a safe guess that Certified Lover Boy will bring an answer.
Originally Appeared on GQ