Drake and 21 Savage hit with a lawsuit for fake Vogue cover

Condé Nast files lawsuit against rappers after the duo mocks up a fake October Vogue cover for their album promotion.

Drake and 21 Savage’s latest collaboration, “Her Loss,” may end up being their loss. Vogue publisher Condé Nast has filed a lawsuit against the duo for producing a fake Vogue cover during their recent album promotion. 

Drake 21 Savage Her Loss Vogue Lawsuit theGrio.com
Street poster of Drake and 21 Savage’s faux Vogue Cover seen in Los Angeles. (Photo: Courtesy of Maiysha Kai)

During the week of its release, the rappers behind the collaborative studio album gained a lot of attention for their unconventional promotion tactics. The pair embarked on an entirely imagined press cycle releasing images and snippets of faux appearances on NPR’s “Tiny Desk,” the “Howard Stern Show,” “Saturday Night Live,” and the October cover of Vogue. Most of the featured media outlets found the parodies humorous, like Stern, who said Drake did a “good job,” and NPR, which used the stunt as an opportunity to invite the duo for a real “Tiny Desk” show. 

However, Vogue was not as amused by the rappers’ fake magazine issue. On Tuesday, the legacy publication filed a lawsuit against both rappers and Drake’s PR firm, Hiltzik Strategies. Per Vulture, Condé Nast’s legal team claims the realistic magazine cover “and its subsequent promotion through posters and the distribution of edited issues devalued Vogue by confusing readers.” The legal filing also states the parody “damaged the goodwill and reputation” of the publication’s brand. 

When the “Certified Lover Boy” artist originally released the image in a now-deleted post on Instagram, fans and media outlets assumed its legitimacy as he referenced Vogue’s incumbent editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour. But the rappers’ satire went far beyond social media as fans spotted street posters of the cover and even printed copies of the fake magazine —which allegedly even contained a photoshopped image of Drake and Wintour, another violation listed in the lawsuit. 

Within the $4 million lawsuit, Condé Nast emphasizes that Wintour did not endorse the use of her name and image for the album’s promotion and claims that Drake, 21 Savage, and their PR teams acted with “flippant disregard for Condé Nast’s rights.”

However, Condé Nast’s lawyers are not the only ones who have taken issue with the artists since the release of “Her Loss.” Presumably referencing Megan Thee Stallion and her ongoing assault case against Tory Lanez, Drake also received significant backlash for the lyrics “This b—h lie ’bout getting shots but she still a stallion,” which appear on the album’s ninth track, “Circo Loco.” Soon after its release, Megan addressed the speculated diss on Twitter, which sparked social media discourse about gun violence and misogyny in hip-hop. 

While the Toronto rapper has not responded to Megan directly, her attorney, Alex Spiro, spoke to TMZ about the situation. 

“Despite the irrefutable evidence that Megan was a victim of gun violence, the ignorant continue to support her attacker,” said Spiro. “I know many folks across the industry, but those people are going to look very silly when the facts fully come out.” 

Ultimately, Condé Nast requests that the rappers dismantle and destroy all copies and versions of the fake issue. 

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