Drake copies the iconic photo – which was ridiculed by experts

Drake copies the iconic photo – which was ridiculed by experts

Rapper Drake and J. Cole recreate Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo’s iconic image in their latest music video for “First Person Shooter.”

The photo of the football stars is among the most liked photos on Instagram ever, with a total of more than 75 million. Likes. But the image was also praised for its imitation of a chess situation from a match between Magnus Carlsen and Hikaru Nakamura in 2017.

Can Drake and J. Cole impress chess experts in the same way?

Icon: Messi and Ronaldo in a Louis Vuitton ad.

Photo: Annie Leibovitz/Louis Vuitton

Error on error on error

The answer is no. Because as the people behind the photo of Messi and Ronaldo have done extensive research, it doesn’t look like Drake and co. They have equally good knowledge of chess.

When NRK asked two experts to examine the situation, it didn’t take long before a number of errors were pointed out:

  • The board is 90 degrees the wrong way.
  • The King and Queen of White will exchange places.
  • White gets more pieces during the game.

In addition, many illegal moves are made, making the entire session completely unrealistic. In other words, the biggest rapper in the world needs to sharpen his game.


Expert: Sheila Barth Stanford.

Photo: Ron Stoltz Bertenussen/NTB scanpix

– It’s an incredibly cool clip that shows the nerve at chess. But they arranged the board and pieces incorrectly. White’s position is hopelessly lost, but then you miraculously get more farmers and officers in the video. “It’s never happened to me in my matches,” says chess coach Sheila Barth-Stanford with a twinkle in her eye.


Like Messi and Ronaldo, Drake and J. Cole are betting on a duel between the greatest players of all time.

Drake is the most played artist of all time on Spotify and boasts a long list of great songs. J. Cole is often referred to as one of the best rappers in the world and has won a number of awards.

However, they are unlikely to receive any medals or praise for their chess playing any time soon.

Odin Plycra Via

Expert: Odin Blecra Via.

Photo: NRK

– It’s common that when people who know nothing about chess make movies or music videos, it becomes very “showy” and “embarrassing” for chess fans, says Odin Blekra Via, who runs the podcast “Sjakksnakk” with Askilde Bryne.

Go viral

The chess sequence between the two rappers ends with Cole crushing Drake’s white king. This is despite the fact that the king is not checkmate in this position. It is not usual to overthrow the king at checkmate either.

-The clip ends with the White King being crushed and correctly shows that the Black Queen has put the White King under control. But in reality, the game is not over yet, says Barth Stanford.

– This would probably be great for anyone who doesn’t know the rules of chess with such dramatic effect, says Blecra Via.

The rapper’s photo is going viral on social media, just as the photo of the football legends did. Online, there are many chess fans who praise Drake’s use of chess in the video, but even among them he receives criticism for the game.

“There is nothing logical on the chessboard,” wrote chess historian Olympio De Lopi Xformerly Twitter.

-Drake and J. Cole make sure to get all chess players excited when they see the board turned sideways. But it’s very nice to see this, writes Chessable team leader Geert van der Velde.

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Najuma Ojukwu

Najuma Ojukwu

"Infuriatingly humble internet trailblazer. Twitter buff. Beer nerd. Bacon scholar. Coffee practitioner."

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