drake hells angels

Drake takes heat for wearing Hells Angels hoodie

Police are shaking their heads this week at Toronto-born rapper and Degrassi High alumnus Aubrey 'Drake' Graham for showing what they believe to be support for a violent criminal organization.

Staff Sgt. Lindsey Houghton of B.C.'s provincial anti-gang agency told the Vancouver Sun that he is extremely disappointed by a recent photo of the recording artist wearing clothes from Toronto's Route 81 — a retail store that sells Hell's Angels merchandise.

The photo he refers to was posted to Instagram by American musician Travis Scott on August 21, but was later regrammed by Route 81 with that caption "SYL 81 stay R.A.W."

"This is a walking billboard for the Hells Angels and this is exactly what the Hells Angels want," said Houghton in an article published Friday.

"They want individuals like him to wear their paraphernalia and propaganda to portray a positive image, to counteract and provide a counter-message to messages and reporting from the media and police and, quite frankly, from the victims who they've impacted."

Houghton explained that Drake's hoodie contains several well-known references to the Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club, most notably the number 81, which is said stands for the letters "H" and "A."

His anti-gang Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit is concerned about the message Drake might be sending to his massive fan base by wearing "the branding of an international criminal organization whose members have been convicted of drug trafficking and extremely violent offences."

Toronto police spokesman Mark Pugash said that it would be inappropriate for TPS to comment on the photo, as Drake does not appear to be breaking any laws by wearing the support gear.

Drake himself has not publicly commented on the matter, but Houghton said he would welcome a discussion if the artist were to call him

"While it may seem innocuous and not very connected if someone drops $20 or $30 on a hat or T-shirt or sticker, in aggregate we’re talking about a lot of money," said the officer, noting that money generated by the sale of support gear is used to help its members fight murder and other crime charges.

"It's a global brand and it most likely generates a significant amount of money."

Lead photo by

Travis Scott


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