all the women in drake's life
Behind every Champagne Papi, there is a Champagne Mami.
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As @johncostanz0 accurately noted on Twitter: Drake is Rupi Kaur for men. He is Ed Sheeran in rapper form. He’s the guy with a drawstring Sports Direct bag that says “alright beautiful?” to everyone in leggings. He's the Instagram follower who'll slide into your DMs the moment you drop a bikini pic on stories. Drake just loves women.
He sings about them all the time; The girl with beige strappy heels drinking turmeric shots, the student working late as a waitress to make her rent, the granny he doesn’t call enough. Drake aspires to be womankind’s collective boyfriend. I’m surprised he hasn’t moodily crooned over Mambo No. 5. “A little bit of Monica in my life, a little bit of Erica by my side / A little bit of Rita is all I need, a little bit of Tina is what I see.” But maybe that will come. Until then, here's an (admittedly abbreviated) list of some of the women in Drake's world.
Drake is a mummy's boy. I imagine his mum Sandra runs him bubble baths and tells his girlfriends how he likes his tea. As Drake sings on God’s Plan, no one will ever be good enough for him: “She said, ‘Do you love me?’ I tell her, ‘Only partly’ / I only love my bed and my momma, I’m sorry”. Props to Sandi, she’s a single mum who nurtured Drake to be an emotionally mature bop producing mega-machine. Twinkling piano ode Look What You've Done sees Drake singing about all the crap they made it through, from painkillers on the kitchen counter to bitter arguments: “And you tell me I’m just like my father / My one button, you push it", before turning warm and fuzzy: “You love me and I love you”.
The two pop culture heavyweights allegedly first hooked up in 2009 at Lucky Strike bowling alley in New York. Drake rapped in Fireworks: "I can tell it wasn't love, I just thought you'd fuck with me / Who coulda predicted Lucky Strike would have you stuck with me / Damn, I kept my wits about me, luckily / What happened between us that night / It always seems to trouble me." Then the pair got touchy in the What’s My Name and Take Care music videos.
Rihanna is to Drake the archetypal "one that got away". In an interview with The New York Times, Drake admitted feeling used by Rihanna. "I was a pawn. You know what she was doing to me? She was doing exactly what I’ve done to so many women throughout my life, which is show them quality time, then disappear. I was like, 'Wow, this feels terrible.'”
Drake took the gushing too far when presenting her with an MTV award: “She's someone I've been in love with since I was 22 years old, she's one of my best friends in the world. All my adult life, I've looked up to her even though she's younger than me." Rihanna was not into it. Wincing when Drake's name was brought up in a Vogue interview. Drake must have been wounded. His favourite thing to do is to continually pop up in his exes lives like a weed. I imagine his utopia is him sat in a dressing gown as a harem of his old girlfriends surround him. Rihanna resisted Drake’s template for female relationships and for that I imagine she will always be on his mind.
Drake’s kid is with ex-porn star Sophie Brussaux. As he raps on March 14, a track from his new album, “She not my lover like Billie Jean, but the kid is mine”. On That’s How You Feel he goes in on her for speaking to Pusha T: “Line ringin', sayin' that you told him things / Things that you could've kept inside / Sidetrackin' me when I was good to you”. :(
Good girl gone bad
Drake loves good girls. During his concerts, he’s always serenading shy teens from the audience boy-band style. Then there’s the music video for Practice, in which some unknown girl in pyjamas dances alone in her room like a MSN webcam chat. He takes these women, and showers them with gifts and lavish dinners. I don’t imagine Drake’s ever split a bill in his life. If you got your Santander card out he would do some ninja move, flying towards the card reader like something out of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. But girls don’t stay good for long, they all, as Drake sings on Hotline Bling, start “wearing less and goin' out more”, subsequently consuming a lot of “Glasses of champagne out on the dance floor”. Poor Drake, he just wanted a girl to cuddle in front of Cash in the Attic.
Girl who should wear less foundation
When Drake sings “Sweatpants, hair tied, chillin' with no make-up on / That's when you're the prettiest” on Best I Ever Had you just know he’s that guy who’s always telling women: “you look so much better without makeup”. While they think, ‘eh but this Fenty Beauty iridescent lip luminiser in Snkeskn is looking fire doe?’
Girl who spends too much time on her phone
On new track Emotionless he signs “I know a girl whose one goal was to visit Rome / Then she finally got to Rome and all she did was post pictures for people at home / ‘Cause all that mattered was impressin’ everybody she’s known”. Could be anyone I know tbqh.
Nice hometown girl he leaves behind when success hits
Drake's ex-girlfriend Zineb Samir (or ‘Nebby) is the girl who was there before all the blacked out windows and VIP sections. He told Toronto’s FLOW 93.5 that “she represented everything about the city that I loved”. This idea of women as reminiscent of geographical locations is another common theme in Drake. Whether it’s Houston girls glugging Dom Perignon, strippers from Atlanta crunching heels over cash smothered floors, or lippy British babes on new track Peak: “England breeds proper girls / Where are all your good manners? / Reply with pleasantries / Honestly I can't stand ya”.
Girl that he wants to get with but she just keeps slipping away
Drake’s ex Erika Lee is the sultry answer machine message in Marvin’s Room, asking “are you drunk right now?” whilst Drake wallows in his loneliness at a nightclub. Feeling empty, he just wants to see someone who knows the Aubrey beneath the famous veneer. A girl who’ll bring him a decaf tea and ask after his Nan’s daffodil plant. This didn’t quite work out; when Drake didn’t pay her co-writing credits, Erika sued him.
The stripper he wants to save and turn into a princess
Drake’s been rapping about strippers his entire career. On 2009’s Houstatlantavegas he sings: “Ass low, ass low, I always request you/ You go get fucked up and we just show up at your rescue/ Carry you inside get you some water and undress you.” The whole “rescue” thing is mildly repulsive, but props to Drake for getting the bedside water. It isn’t fun waking up with hangover mouth, everything so dried up you have to peel your lips off one another. That’s a real gentleman right there.
Then on Legend Drake fulfils his dream of domesticating a stripper: “Got a girl, she from the South / Used to work, used to dance in Texas, now she clean the house”. Hmmmm.
Mortifyingly, in 2017 Drake commissioned a “retirement ceremony” for his favourite dancers Mercer, Miracle Watts, and Maliah Michel. The latter lady was not amused at the prospect of Drake attempting to end her career, tweeting:
After watching a number of her matches, Drake began dating Serena Williams, mentioning her on Worst Behaviour: "I'm with my whole set / Tennis matches at the crib / I swear I could beat Serena when she playin' with her left." Fortunately Drake didn’t try to get her to retire as well. But recent track Nothings into Somethings has been interpreted as a commentary on her engagement to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian. “Least, do I get an invitation or something?”. But who would invite an ex to their wedding, Drake? Imagine bumping into someone your wife used to snog whilst accepting a mini-quiche off a waistcoat-clad waiter. It’s just not ideal.
Successful girl getting $$$$$
“Workin' hard, girl, everything paid for / First, last phone bill, car note, cable,” Drake sings on Nice for What, “Work at 8am, finish 'round five / And doin' overtime for the last month”. The video is similarly deferential with the camera tilted up at Drake’s screen queens in a number of dominant poses: Jourdan Dunn snarling down from the top of a black horse, Letitia Wright gazing over a swarming cityscape like she bought it in cash. It’s basically Destiny's Child’s Independent Woman but from a bloke’s perspective. This the Drake we live for, praising women like the absolute qweeens that we are.
This article originally appeared on i-D UK.