Drake Just Invested In This Popular Fried Chicken Chain

Drake, the rapper perhaps best known for "Hotline Bling," has purchased a minority stake in the Los Angeles-based chain Dave's Hot Chicken.

According to a statement shared with Restaurant Business, Drake explained that "after meeting the founders and hearing their story, I jumped at the opportunity to invest." That story begins with a 2017 pop-up in a parking lot in Los Angeles. As of writing, Dave's Hot Chicken has founded its first permanent location, expanded to more stores along the West Coast and beyond, and has filled out more than 500 licensing agreements. It also helped that the food Drake tried was "amazing."

However, this is not just another isolated instance of a rapper signing up with a franchise. Like McDonald's, Dave's Hot Chicken seems to be following a long-term celebrity strategy. Bloomberg notes that the chain also boasts the actor Samuel L. Jackson and the Boston Red Sox chairman Tim Werner as investors.

The company's obvious idea is to get Drake — well — invested enough to use his fame to push the company to new heights. When you then realize that "Certified Lover Boy," Drake's recently released album, broke Spotify's record for single-day streams, you realize that Dave's Hot Chicken has managed — well — a coup (Billboard). This feeling is only cemented when you realize that Drake held the previous record for most single-day streams on Spotify with his previous album "Scorpion."

Drake is his own food business empire

Celebrities invest in or launch food businesses all the time. Look at Mariah Carey. She has branded both an Irish cream and a virtual restaurant. But the sheer number of food businesses Drake seems to have jammed bills into is something else.

Restaurant Business, for example, notes that Drake has also invested in Daring Foods, which makes plant-based chicken. Then, he has also funded the opening of Pick 6ix, a restaurant in his hometown Toronto, according to Food & Wine. In 2018, Rolling Stone reported that Drake had invested in a green tea start-up. In 2019, Vine Pair announced that he had launched a champagne brand. And, of course, there is Virginia Black, a whiskey made from the collaboration between Drake and Brent Hocking, a Tequila maker.

That's a prodigious list of only food-based investments Drake has made in addition to constantly breaking musical records. Being a rapper is to a large extent being a brand, but Drake has become a business empire.