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Photographer Claims Drake Bullied Him for Taking Pictures

Justin Sullivan, Getty Images
Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

The Toronto Star, Canada’s largest daily newspaper, published a story on Wednesday (April 6) in which a local amateur photographer recounted a story involving Drake and some less than exemplary behavior. As Matt Small tells the Star, he was taking sunset photos at Toronto’s Polson Pier Monday (April 4) when a helicopter carrying Drake and others landed nearby. Small then began taking pictures of the action unfolding in front of him when a man present with Drake asked who he was.

“I’m nobody,” he said, noting that the he wasn’t even using the type of lens a member of the paparazzi might. Small then turned back to his previous subject, with Drake reportedly dissatisfied with such a response, then charging the fence between he and Small and scaling it. “He was in my face, saying, ‘You need to delete those pictures out of respect,’ ” Small said. “I said, ‘You’re not respecting me right now man, you’re in my face harassing me.’ ”

Small refused to delete any of his photos, despite Drake’s instance that he do so. Feeling unsettled, Small attempted to back away from the fence, only then realizing that a friend of Drake’s was standing behind him. Small yelled when the friend tried to grab his camera, alerting Michael Massie, a nearby photographer.

“I went up with my phone up, 911 dialed but not calling it yet,” Massie said. “I said, ‘Whatever’s going on, someone tell me, otherwise I’m calling the police right now.’ And the first person who comes up to me is Drake. And Drake says, ‘Your buddy has to give us his memory card and delete his pictures.’ I said, ‘I don’t even know him.’ He goes, ‘You’ve gotta get rid of your pictures, too.’”

From there, it seems the situation resolved itself, with Drake pulling away in a black Cadillac Escalade and Small feeling thoroughly shaken by his encounter with his city’s anointed ambassador.

Read the story in full over at the Toronto Star. Drake’s camp had no comment when XXL reached out.

So, this will sound insane, but shooting at the pier tonight was upsetting for me as a photographer. I was shooting next to 3 others, when the helicopter in this photo swooped over and landed right next to the end of the pier. We all tried to shoot it, because, helicopters are cool, I guess. Once, it landed I returned to focus on the sunset but one of the other 3, who I had not met before, walked over towards the chopper and took more photos. I saw people come out of the chopper, one even hopping the fence to go up to the photographer. I watched closely, nervous for him, as two men started touching his camera. He yelled "Help! Call the police!" I took out my phone and walked over yelling I would call the police if nobody explained what was happening. This is when I realize one of the men around the photographer was Drake ( @champagnepapi ) They stopped touching his camera and Drake asked me who I was and argued with me that no one could take pictures of him and his friends. I told him my name and that he wasn't allowed to touch him or his camera and he is allowed to be shooting on public property. A short argument continued until they left for their limo, and walking away, I kid you not, Drake looked back and pointed at me and said "I'm gonna find you Michael!" (I assume he meant if I post photos of him, though I took none) The other shooter seemed shaken and left nervous, if he's reading this and wants to contact me, I encourage him to. As for Drake, I'm sure being photographed gets exhausting but you can't try to take peoples' cameras or touch them. If this message gets to you, there's no need to "find me", I've done nothing wrong. I hope you realize you can't do things like that. #hypetoronto #weownthenight_to #visualizetoronto #torontoclicks #blogTO #ig_great_shots_canada #pocket_canada #canadaday #canadasworld #loves_canada #citybestpics #urbanromantix #moodygrams #agameoftones #way2ill #createcommune #thecanadiancollective #oh_canada_ #ic_thecity #globalcapture #superhubs_power #icu_canada #waycoolshots #loves_cityscapes #citybestviews #splendid_shots #heatercentral #urbanandstreet #streetmagazine #cityscapes_bl

A photo posted by Michael Massie (@timesmikethese) on

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