Like the biblical Samson, Drake's power comes from his beard.
At least you'd think that was the case, based on the Internet's reaction to the rapper's clean-shaven face, which reportedly made its debut on Instagram this morning. The same performer who got away with doofy, meme-inspiring dance moves in the music video for his song "Hotline Bling" now seems to have lost his universal appeal.
The photo, along with the caption, "Only for you @nbcsnl," was posted and then promptly taken off Drake's Instagram account in the wee hours of the morning, according to Mashable, but it lives on in apparent screenshots. A representative for Drake did not reply to a request for comment.
The ephemeral photo left a scar on fans' psyches. Behold:
The caption fueled rumors that Drake shaved his beard for his upcoming hosting gig on Saturday Night Live. That makes sense. If it's a typical stint on SNL, Drake will have to play a range of different characters while wearing wigs, makeup and even facial prosthetics. A beard would get in the way of all that.
Plus, how can you change characters in 30 seconds flat when you have an iconic, persona-defining beard? You can't. Drake's beard is like the top of Bernie Sanders' head. You could make a logo out of its silhouette.
And remember, Internet, that beards grow back.
For now, though, fans' only hope is that SNL gets Drake to wear a fake beard and play himself.