Drake, Taylor Swift Collaboration: Apple Music tries to normalize their crossover in ad



Drake, Taylor Swift Collaboration: Apple Music tries to normalize their crossover in ad
Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

No coming pop cultural event seems more poised to be a harbinger of the Biblical apocalypse than Taylor Swift's upcoming collaboration with Toronto rap heartthrob Drake.

According to sources, the physical embodiment of all things white feminism and her counterpart, hip-hop pettiness incarnate, have been working together in the studio on tracks for a new "edgier" urban Taylor Swift album. It's disastrous news for fans who wanted to see Drake regain his street cred in ways besides insulting his rivals' mental health, or hear Swift lean into the lovable, feminist power anthems of her past. But it's a huge win for Apple Music: Two of their day one supporting artists will be coming together for a fusion that will likely make past melodic hip-hop, such as "One Dance" or "Trap Queen," seem yodels from a distant past. 

The platform is already trying to get the world used to seeing the two names together. Sunday during the American Music Awards they ran an ad featuring Drake singing along to Swift's "Bad Blood" while lifting. This is what pop's New World Order sounds and looks like:

The ad starts off showing Drake listening to his own music — something that shouldn't surprise anybody — while lifting with a partner. When he leaves though, Drake switches to his pop playlist and starts rocking out to "Bad Blood," notably not the more popular remix version featuring a verse from his rival Kendrick Lamar. He lip syncs some words and eventually gets so caught up in the music, he pushes himself way too far and nearly drops his barbell on his chest.

It's essentially a redux of Taylor Swift's previous Apple Music ad, in which she falls off her treadmill bopping to Drake and Future's "Jumpman." See? Their collaboration makes sense, the ad seems to say. They're both lovable goons who want hip-hop and pop to get along and play nice. 

That's exactly the message the platform tabulating the artists' soon-to-be soaring stream counts would likely want you to think.


It glosses over many of the outstanding questions about this collaboration that the music itself will have to answer. Is this the moment hip-hop, the musical movement focused on integrity, justice and partying one's way toward revolution, finally dies and becomes pop — like Neo becoming Agent Smith in The Matrix Revolutions? Is this when Drake realizes that the Degrassi days were the best of his life and pop is his true calling? Maybe it will finally reveal Drake and Taylor Swift to be what they really are: bottom-line feeders and empire builders over artists.

Enjoy your last few months of sanity left to you, in which you don't have a Drake and Taylor Swift song running through your head. Because when their music comes, know there will be no escaping it.

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Tom Barnes

Tom Barnes is a senior staff writer at Mic focused on music, activism and the intersection between the two. He's based in New York and can be reached at tom@mic.com.

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