Back in 2017, ace emcees Andy Mineo and Wordsplayed collaborated for Magic & Bird, an excellent hip hop album that showcased their unique talents, wit and creative zest. The whole thing was tied together by a very funny, vintage basketball-inspired photoshoot. Wordplayed even bit from Lebron James’ infamous 2003 draft day photo. Here’s the cover.
Here’s that Lebron photo for reference. Just look at him.
That was 2017. This is now. Drake is back with a new single “Laugh Now Cry Later” featuring Lil Durk. Check out the art here.
Hmmm. At first glance, it comes across as a little weird but not necessarily a blatant ripoff, right? But when you isolate Drake and Wordsplayed …well. It does start to look a little more suspicious.
Now, sure, both Drake and Wordsplayed are allowed to be Lebron fans and shout him out in their respective careers. But even so, the self-aware vibe of the whole thing comes across as awfully coincidental. It’s hard to blame anyone for at least wondering if someone on Drizzy’s creative team had Magic & Bird on a mood board. At least, Wordsplayed himself seemed to think as much, although he took it all in stride with his usual wit, congratulating Drizzy on “listening to what I’ve been telling you all for YEARS!”
“PIGGYBACK INNOVATION is the way to the TOP!” Wordplayed said. “Why pay for R&D when you can just enjoy ROI! Driz gets it!! WHY DON’T YOU?!”
Seriously, Wordsplayed is a top tier follow on Instagram. Well worth your attention.
Coincidence? Plagiarism? Or just innocent inspo? Hard to say for sure, but it’s definitely noticeable. If nothing else, it’s a good excuse to listen to Magic & Bird, which you can do below, via Spotify.
Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article did not note that the photo was a tribute to Lebron James’ draft day photo. It has been edited to reflect that.