Rihanna’s influence? Drake launches classy strip club The Ballet in Houston
Drake is taking his business know-how to the strip club. The One Dance rapper has announced plans to open adult establishment The Ballet in Houston, Texas, in 2017 and promises visitors an “unforgettable” experience.
The Canadian rapper opened a pop-up version of The Ballet strip club on 5 September at Houston’s Toyota Center which gave fans a preview of what to expect next year. Promoting his new venture, Drake said at the pop-up launch: “There’s a culture out there of dancing and it’s not about no strip-club s**t.
“It’s about these amazing women that we’ve got in one spot, the music that we’ve got, and the Houston culture that we got. I just wanna let you know that I’m going to bring it to you in the most honest and genuine way possible.”
Later on Instagram he added: “Tonight is a different take on how it should be done in Houston. Treat yourself don’t cheat yourself. Where the women are on a pedestal and the surroundings are unforgettable. The Ballet pop up tonight for HAW. Grand opening early 2017. #HelloWorld.” Drake had previously teased the strip club as a “new dance experience” and insisted the venue is “here to stay”.
The opening took place during Drake’s annual Houston Appreciation Weekend, which involved the rapper hosting a series of charity events in the city.
Drake is known to have a strong love for Houston and has referenced the city in his music multiple times. In addition to a 2009 track titled Houstonatlantavegas, Drake raps on the song Too Much: “Like H-Town in the summertime, I keep it 100/ Met a lot of girls in my times there/ Word to Paul Wall, not one fronted.” He also says on No New Friends: “H-Town my second home like I’m James Harden.”
Perhaps Drake was inspired to open The Ballet by his rumoured girlfriend Rihanna. The Work songstress has made no secret of her love of strip clubs and was reported to have spent $15,000 (£11,200) at Houston’s V Live in May 2016. RiRi also paid homage to the venues in the music video for her 2013 single Pour It Up, which features a bevy of dancers twerking and climbing poles.
Drake has also frequented strip clubs and told Canadian celebrity interviewer Nardwuar in May: “The most money I’ve ever thrown in the strip club, I don’t know man, I think one weekend, they gave me money, but the thing was, it was money to throw, and I think it was like $50-something-thousand or something like that.”
The Grammy-winning rapper is currently performing on his Summer Sixteen Tour across North America, which resumes at the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona on 6 September.