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A brief history of Drake’s immense and very public love for Rihanna

A brief history of Drake's immense and very public love for Rihanna
Still from YouTube

Last night at the MTV VMAs, Drake admitted he’s been in love with Rihanna since he was 22 years old. In case you weren’t counting, Drake is 29, so that’s seven years of public pining, sexy duets, oblique lyrical references and general will-they-or-won’t-they vibes.

There are a few different Drake-Rihanna (Drihanna?) origin stories. In an interview with Elle magazine, Drake explained that they met at a birthday party. But last night at the VMAs, he told a different—and far more Toronto-centric—story. According to Aubrey, the two met in 2005 at the shoot for Rihanna’s “Pon de Replay” video at Republik.

The duo connected again and again through the 2000s: going on dates, fighting with each other’s exes (okay, well, Drake starting things with Chris Brown), referencing each other in their lyrics (okay, well, Drake referencing Rihanna a lot) and collaborating on more videos.

Looking back, it’s hard to believe the two were just friends, especially when you watch the video for “What’s My Name.” (Then again, it’s not so hard to believe that Rihanna might not have been super into someone who wrote the lyric “the square root of 69 is 8-something, right?”)

This year, Drake and Rihanna both released new albums and new collaborations with each other. In a perfect encapsulation of their dynamic, Drake’s single was all about how Rihanna doesn’t appreciate him enough, while RiRi’s was just sexy and fun.

“Work” had two videos—both by Toronto’s Director X—but the infinitely better version was shot at T.O’s legendary Real Jerk restaurant. We wonder if Drake was having flashbacks to their first meeting while he was grinding on Rihanna.

Then, this past August, RiRi made an appearance during Drake’s set at OVO Fest, where she she performed a few of her own songs, and then, naturally, joined Drake on “Work” and “Too Good,” complete with some swoon-worthy choreography.

After their OVO performance, rumour has it Drake took Rihanna on a midnight date to the aquarium (!) where they had a fancy midnight dinner in front of one of the tanks (!!!).

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The rest is (recent) history. There’s the billboard Drake bought for Rihanna in Los Angeles to celebrate her Video Vanguard award:

And his VMAs speech, which sounded more like a marriage proposal than an award presentation:

And this picture, which Drake posted last night:

Congratulations, Drake. If the two of you are actually dating, you are going all out. And if you’re still not, then you are trying very, very, very hard.

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