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What's in a beard? Everything appealing about Drake, apparently

Alleged Instagram picture of a clean-shaven Drake inspires sadness and anger on the Internet.

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.