Aubrey “Drake” Graham is many things: a rapper, a strip club owner, and the guy who famous women hire to grind up on in their music videos. Drake has made a career out of being a man who appreciates women, lending his lap, wallet, and Wi-Fi password to superstars, strippers, and ex-strippers in need. His entire musical oeuvre is consumed by the fairer sex, as Drake obsessively rattles off the names and occupations of his various crushes like a particularly explicit pubescent. These women hail from as close as Drake’s native Toronto and as far as his beloved Houston. There’s Courtney from Hooters on Peachtree, Porsche from Treasures, Maliah and Chyna.
Drake has stripper Tourette’s. He can barely go a verse without dropping the names of his favorite exotic dancers. Drake also has an active imagination. Where other rappers might summarize a few sexual positions and call it a day, Drake’s songwriting approach is more akin to dream journaling. Drake’s fantasies extend way beyond the bedroom—he wants to pay his girlfriends’ college tuition bills, ask them to move in with him, and force them to quit their day jobs. Essentially, Drake is the king of taking it from zero to sixty. One day you’re serving up chicken wings at Hooters, and the next you’re washing his dishes and applying for Canadian citizenship.
Drake’s obsession with women can be kind of cute. After all, it’s always nice to see a rapper—or any male celebrity, really—celebrating women instead of putting them down. Specifically, Drake’s all-encompassing obsession with black women is a refreshing change of pace at a time when beauty standards are still far from inclusive. From Nicki to Rihanna to Serena, Drake is reduced to a powerless heart-eyes emoji in the presence of beautiful, powerful black women. While the rapper’s unadulterated adoration is admirable, it’s also a bit much. To put it mildly, Drake is hella thirsty.
For evidence of Drake’s thirst, look no further than how the man acts every time he manages to score a girlfriend. Drake embodies the rom-com trope of the girl who suffocates her man by taking him engagement ring shopping on the second date. A prime example of this was at the 2016 VMAs, when he made the ill-informed decision to try and force Rihanna to define their relationship on candid camera. Asked to present his former/possibly current flame with her Video Vanguard Award, Drake made a patented fuckboy move—why talk about the woman whose accomplishments everyone was assembled to honor, when he could just share what his penis thought about the beloved pop star?
Drake’s script read like an homage to another scene-stealing significant other: Bill Clinton. The rapper’s “boy meets girl” story was a page ripped straight from the DNC playbook. Of course, Bill and Hill met at Yale Law School, and (probably) didn’t share their first kiss at a trendy club-cum-bowling alley. And unlike our former Secretary of State, Rihanna doesn’t have to smile and nod politely whenever a chatty idiot tries to occupy her spotlight. Drake chronicled the eight years that Rihanna took his love for granted, proclaiming, “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.”
And Rihanna, God bless her, cringed, dabbed, and proceeded to curve Drake when he tried to go in for a kiss.
There are a million great ways to ask your girlfriend to go public, but mimicking the format of Punk’d is not one of them. As a chastised Drake pulled back from his attempted mouth-to-mouth, Rihanna appeared to scold him, muttering, “That wasn’t funny.”
VMA viewers expected to hear the famously flattering Drake pull out some characteristically cheesy compliments. We didn’t expect to watch Drake stare at Rihanna like he had been wandering through the desert for forty years and she was water (to be fair, this is one of the only acceptable ways to look at Rihanna). Doubtlessly aware that the whole world was laughing at him, Drake took to Instagram to share an old couple-y picture of him and RiRi. Because nothing says “I’m not pathetic” like digging through your folder of “pictures that make it look like Rihanna and I are together.”
The ballad of Rihanna and Aubrey is the perfect encapsulation of Drake’s thirst. Drake thought that the fact that Rihanna let him follow her around for eight years and occasionally put his crotch near her butt during video shoots meant that they ought to be an item. Like so many lurkers before him, Drake used the readily available tool of persistent proximity.
When he wasn’t trying to gaslight Rihanna, Drake ran through a handful of girlfriends who were actually willing to admit that they were dating him. The best example of a wifed-up Drake comes courtesy of the Serena Williams era. Cognizant of the fact that his boo’s uber-powerful body essentially made her a medical marvel, Drake went above and beyond, debuting Drake 2.0. While new Drake was just as thirsty as his previous iteration, he came with a new and improved beard and six-pack. Drake paired his new body with a cardigan that he draped effortlessly around his shoulders while cheering Serena on at Wimbledon. It takes a certain kind of thirst to risk your entire reputation on a girl and a ridiculously preppy sweater.
Like a particularly smooth sofa, Drake is his best self when supporting women and letting them use him. He makes an excellent, stoic prop to grind up against, and is a great guy to have cheering for you from the sidelines. In essence, Drake makes a great wifey—in fact, he hasn’t played a role this convincingly since he was a teenage paraplegic. But Drake gets himself into trouble when he trades his self-imposed servitude for the single life.
Like a very specific brand of bounty hunter, Drake has single-mindedly pursued women across social media and state lines. Most recently, the rapper was spotted in Malibu taking in a women’s college basketball game. This isn’t the first time Drake has shown up to support UNLV’s women’s basketball program, thanks to a particularly attractive set of twins who play on the team. In the pictures fans managed to snap, you can spot Drake in the near-empty audience, posed like The Thinker, sultry eyes locked on the college-aged sisters. His relative lack of a squad reminds us that thirst is ultimately a solitary calling—few among us are capable of combing through university rosters for hours on end, traveling long distances just to watch girls run around in gym shorts.
This isn’t the first time Drake has creeped on collegians. In October, he decided to ding dong ditch the Drake University Kappa Kappa Gamma house…at the textbook booty call hour of two in the morning. Unaware that a major celebrity was on their doorstep, the sorority members slept through the rapper’s surprise visit. Luckily, he made an Instagram story to show them what they were missing.
But as any fuckboy could tell you, thirsting after a female doesn’t always require frequent flyer miles. In 2016, all you really need is an iPhone, a Wi-Fi connection, and an intimate knowledge of your best selfie angles. In 2015, porn star Mia Khalifa outed Drake for sliding into her DMs, unsolicited. Apparently, the rapper hit Khalifa up out of the blue in the hopes of a non-musical collaboration. “It was flattering, but his intentions were obviously clear,” said Khalifa, continuing, “It was so cringeworthy. The whole thing was cringeworthy.”
Drake’s miscellaneous try-hard moves range from consistently rapping about how much he would like to sleep with Nicki Minaj to letting her charge countless snacks to his credit card. He’s called Lorde “wifey” on Instagram and Anna Wintour “bae.” He fueled rumors that he was dating Taylor Swift by working out to her music in a recent Apple Music commercial. He bought Rihanna a freaking billboard. He wore a (custom-made?) “Woman Crush Everyday” shirt to a Raptors’ game, featuring a picture of ESPN’s Doris Burke. Back in June, Burke recalled the time Drizzy flirted with her at a Raptors’ game. “I just could not believe this happened. Drake turned around—my seat at game Game 6 [of the 2016 Eastern Conference Finals] was right behind him—makes a heart shape [with his hands] and points at me,” Burke said. “I’m looking around behind me to see who’s there, turn back to him and then he points and he does it again. I texted my daughter and said, ‘You need to know Drake just did this to me.’”
Drake’s personal life is basically a rap sheet of thirsty misdemeanors. Whether you’re an Atlanta stripper, an up-and-coming superstar, or an athletically gifted college junior, it’s safe to say that Drake is already ghost-following you on Instagram. Now who’s going to tell Taylor Swift?