Update, October 12: Drake’s back to being super emo on Instagram. In a pair of recent posts, he may or may not have shouted out Rihanna. “Too mix up in drama to free my mind but I’m praying for you even in your darkest times. 💀,” he wrote in the first moody shot, in which he stares out the back of a chauffeured car holding a bottle of booze.
In the next, Drake is pictured working hard late at night in the studio, a candle burning beside him. “💡,” he wrote.
Guessing Rihanna’s not liking either of those posts.
Update, October 10: Drake and Rihanna have reportedly broken up, according to E! News. Their source tells them the pair “are seeing other people at the moment. They are not exclusive anymore. They still love each other, but their schedules have gotten in the way.” Drake is apparently currently kicking it with India Love.
Original Post: Right up until about a month ago, when Drake and Rihanna finally confirmed their relationship after many, many, many are-they-or-aren’t-they moments, Drihanna frenzy was at an all-time high. But as with pretty much everything, once the mystery was gone, intrigue very quickly disappeared too. There has been almost no news about the couple ever since that week when they got matching shark tattoos and performed great feats of public displays of affection at clubs. Until then, though, we were dying: Were they secretly in love? What was with all the onstage grinding? And why wouldn’t Drake stop talking about how much he loved Rihanna onstage?
To answer these questions, we need to go back to the beginning. Let us take you on a tender little stroll into the past, when Drihanna was first getting started. The year was 2005, long before Rihanna was the mega-megastar she is today, and before Drake had even gotten started as a rapper.
RiRi was shooting “Pon de Replay” in a Toronto diner. Drake was but a wee lad, starring on Degrassi. As he revealed this year at the VMAs, “The first time I met Robyn Fenty was in 2005,” he said, naming his boo by her given name. “I was introduced to her as the kid who played background music at the restaurant as people ate their dinner.”
The pair are spotted making out at NYC bowling alley Lucky Strike. According to Page Six, Rihanna was rebounding after Chris Brown with Drake, whom they referred to as “Canadian former child actor-turned-rapper Aubrey “Drake” Graham.” According to a source, “She was drinking whiskey and apple juice and making out with him all night. They were really cute together.”
“No. Me and Drake, we’re, we’re friends,” Rihanna told Angie Martinez on Hot 97. “We’re still friends, actually.” Though she acknowledged that they hung out “a few times,” she dissolved into giggles when Martinez asked if she played with the idea of getting together with the rising star. “Noooo,” she said, sounding very much like a yes in no’s clothing. Then she got it together: “No. Me and Drake—nah.”
Drake’s first studio album, Thank Me Later, contains a hint about what transpired between he and Rihanna. “Fireworks” alludes to their romance: “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, now all of a sudden those gossip blogs want to cover me.” He added, “But I was curious and I’ll never forget it baby,” concluding, “what an experience.”
Later that month, he whines to the New York Times. “I was a pawn,” he said. He wrote a song for her, but it never saw the light of day. “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,” he said. “I was like, wow, this feels terrible.” Aha: So that’s how she got his attention.
Perhaps she apologized after that Times piece came out, because they released their first duet, “What’s My Name,” this month. Well—don’t get it twisted, this is her song, “featuring” Drake. In the video, a fire-engine-redhead Rihanna chills with Drake, drinking white wine at home.
Rihanna says Drake has it all wrong in an interview on Power 101.5—he’s no pawn. “I would definitely say that was wrong, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. We just became friends and we left it at that. We get along really well.”
In another interview with Martinez, while dating L.A. Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp, Rihanna admits that she was totally into Drake, but theirs was a case of wrong-place, wrong-time. “I definitely was attracted to Drake, but I think it is what it is, like it was what it was,” she said. “We didn’t want to take it any further. It was at a really fragile time in my life, so I just didn’t want to get too serious with anything or anyone at that time.” (See: the lyrics to “Take Care,” coming in 2012.)
In what would prove to be the first of many onstage grinding displays, Drihanna perform “What’s My Name” at the Grammys and get up on each other. Then they do it all again at the MLB All-Star Game halftime, while Kemp looked on.
Drake confesses that Rihanna broke his heart. “I was hurt because I started to slowly realize what it was,” he said. “I guess I thought it was more. That was the first girl with any fame that paid me any mind. You spend days reading about this person in the magazines. All of a sudden you have this number-one song and you’re at some birthday party and there she is. And you’re just some naive kid from Toronto staying in some shitty-ass hotel who got invited to this party on a whim. That’s just how it happened.”
Drake drops the video for “Take Care,” arguably his saddest song yet or since. In the video, Drake touches Rihanna longingly while she sings, “I’ve loved and I’ve lost.” He raps, “Can’t deny that I want you, but I’ll lie if I have to / Cause you don’t say you love me to your friends when they ask you / Even though we both know that you do … you do.”
The same month, Drake blames the whole thing on “just being young and trying to figure it all out” in an interview with U.K. station Max Choice FM, adding that they’re “very busy people.” But then he gets down to brass tacks. “I think that we have a connection that’s established for life and that is that I love her and support her unconditionally, and I like to think that she feels the same way,” he says. Accidentally performing his best Woody Allen impression, he adds, “Do I fancy her? Of course, I mean who wouldn’t? Look at her, she’s stunning. Of course I do. Yeah, no, she’s incredible. But you know, it’s one of those things that it’s a maybe one day, maybe not.”
Drake and Chris Brown get into a bar fight, which may or may not have been sparked by a returned
olive branch bottle of champagne alongside a note from Drake to Brown that read, “I’m fucking the love of your life, deal with it.” (We really hope this is true, though we kind of doubt it.)
Rihanna and Brown are caught kissing at the VMAs, and things die down between Rihanna and Drake. In a video posted by TMZ, it very much looks like Rihanna says, “I hate these assholes” when Drake and his crew go up to accept Best Hip-Hop Video for “HYFR.”
Speaking of Brown, Drake tells GQ, “I hear he has everything he could want now,” referring to Brown’s relationship with Rihanna, though they’d broken up by the time the piece ran. “I don’t want my name to be synonymous with that guy’s name. I really don’t. I wish we could sit down, just like you and me are right now, and talk it out man-to-man. But that’s not going to happen. I’m not confrontational, but if someone challenges, I’m not going to back down.”
He adds that he hates the drama: “It’s embarrassing, the amount of media coverage,” he says. “Two rappers fighting over the woman. He’s not even a rapper, but still, it’s the last way you want your name out there. It distracts from the music. But he’s made me the enemy, and that’s the way it’s gonna stay, I guess.”
The pair are seen dining together at Sons of Essex in NYC just before the VMAs.
During a slightly sadistic game Ellen DeGeneres makes him play on her show, he has to talk about various women with whom he’s been linked. When RiRi comes up, he says, “Great, great girl. We had our moment, and, you know, always, always support and have love for her.”
Drake and Rihanna reportedly go to a strip club in Houston to drop $17,000, because—why not?
This time it’s Drake fending off rumors. “She’s the ultimate fantasy,” he tells Rolling Stone. “I mean, I think about it. Like, ‘Man, that would be good.’ We have fun together, she’s cool and shit. But we’re just friends. That’s my dog for life.” He adds that he hasn’t met “the one” yet: “I haven’t met somebody that makes everybody else not matter.”
Their moment comes up again, this time in a series of appearances at clubs together in L.A. and London; they’re seen holding hands leaving a U.K. club one night. Drake blows kisses to Rihanna at a show in London; she walks around the next day wearing his Pigalle sweatshirt.
And then “Days in the East” comes out, a Drake song sampling Rihanna’s “Stay.” He raps, “Remember one night I went to Erykah Badu house, she made tea for me / We talked about love and what life could really be for me / She said, “When that shit is real, you just know” / And I was thinkin’ bout you, you already know.” They’re also seen embracing passionately at a Clippers game.
Rihanns possibly dates Leonardo DiCaprio and Travis Scott; Drake possibly dates Serena Williams. Or: Their PR do overtime spinning stories, while Drihanna are off gallivanting at an undisclosed location.
Drake maybe gets a tattoo of Rihanna’s face on his bicep. You be the judge.
Rihanna tells Vanity Fair that her last real boyfriend was Brown, and that she’s patiently waiting for true love. “I will wait forever if I have to … but that’s OK,” she says. “You have to be screwed over enough times to know, but now I’m hoping for more than these guys can actually give.” She adds that she’s not in the market anyway: “I don’t want it right now. I can’t really be everything for someone. This is my reality right now.”
And then the video for “Work” comes out. Also, Rihanna goes on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” to do her favorite thing, tell everyone she’s single. She adds, “I would love to go on tour with Drake. That has to happen.” Also also, they grind onstage at the Brit Awards.
The Year of Drake Grinding on Rihanna Onstage officially begins.
After popping up for some onstage grinding at a few of Rihanna’s shows, Drake and Rih really get into it in Toronto. He asked the crowd to “make some noise for the greatest woman I’ve ever known in my life” after a rousing performance.
In an interview on OVO Sound Radio, Drake says of Rihanna, “There’s something genuine. We’re not, like, forcing some story on people. A lot of the music that we make and the energy that we bring is genuine. We have a lot of genuine energy between us.”
The same month, “Views” finally drops. Rihanna appears on “Too Good,” which may or may not be autobiographical. Lyrics sample: “I’m too good for you / You take my love for granted / I just don’t understand it.”
Drake does his favorite thing, which very similar to Rihanna’s: Publicly deny their relationship. This time, he does it on “Saturday Night Live,” along with a very accurate Rihanna impression.
More onstage grinding, along with a neck kiss. Anyone who truly believes there’s nothing between Rihanna and Drake at this point is deluding themselves. They also hit clubs till all hours of the day and night together.
The couple—we can call them that at this point—perform at OVO Fest in Toronto. Drake tells everyone that
his girlfriend Rih is “way too good for me.”
Drake literally puts his love for Rihanna on a billboard.
Then that whole VMAs debacle happens, in which Drake basically decides to take their relationship public and Rihanna decides she isn’t ready. “She’s someone I’ve been in love with since I was 22 years old,” he says. “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.” Then he goes in for a kiss, only to be declined. That said, Rihanna is caught on camera looking rather lovingly in Drake’s direction.
What happens away from the cameras seems to be quite different, as Drake proves later that night with an Instagram.
At last, on August 31, Rihanna and Drake kiss onstage. Among other things.
Drake and Rihanna get matching shark tattoos. So they’re pretty much married.
In L.A., Drake says, “I pray that you find somebody that holds you down like this woman right here.”
They do a lot of things onstage that look like this:
Yeah, practically married. Long live Drihanna!