Here’s every reference to Toronto (that we could find) on Drake’s new album

Here's every reference to Toronto (that we could find) on Drake's new album

Drake climbed to the top of the CN Tower Friday, surveyed our fine metropolis free of EdgeWalk tethers and dropped a musical masterpiece on the world. We listened to Views from the 6 to give you track-by-track footnotes on the 20-song opus’ references to our city.

Keep the Family Close

“Kennedy Road taught me not to trust people like you”: The Scarborough roadway, which also got a shout-out on Drake’s 2015 hit “Energy,” is where some of his OVO crew members reside.


“I turn the 6 upside down, it’s a 9 now”: The 6 is Drake-speak for Toronto (duh), due to the common numeral in the city’s area codes, 416 and 647. (Yes, we know there’s a 4 in both, too.) Drake flips the city he’d die for on its ass end with this lyric. Fun note: The running time of “9” is 4:16.


“You cannot be right here next to me / Don’t you see RiRi right next to me?": Among other collaborations, Drake and Rihanna (a.k.a. RiRi) filmed a steamy video for the latter’s single “Work” at legendary Jamaican joint The Real Jerk. And Drizzy made a cameo onstage with Rihanna just two weeks ago.

“6 cold like Alaska”: Drake uses a chilly locale that Americans are familiar with in order to properly convey the bitterness of a Toronto winter.

“Roy outta here like NASA”: Brampton’s Roy Woods, a 20-year-old OVO newbie, is building his buzz.

Weston Road Flows

“Weston Road flows, I did this shit for my nigga Renny”: A throwback to Aubrey’s younger days, growing up on the sketchier west side of town. Drake gets nostalgic for his childhood friend Renny, an early producer.


“You was ridin’ TTC metro, I had the place boomin’”: A shout-out to the Red Rocket melded with a thinly veiled nod to Metro Boomin, who was the executive producer of Drake and Future’s mixtape, What a Time to Be Alive.

“Creepin’ like Chilli without the tender, love and care”: A big TLC junkie, Drake brought the ’90s R&B group out during the 2013 OVO Fest at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre. He also covered “Fan Mail” in 2010.

“Shout out to KD, we relate, we get the same attention”: When Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin “KD” Durrant showed up at OVO Fest in 2014, ambassador Drake said he should join the Raptors as a free agent. The Raps were fined $25,000 because he broke tampering rules. Bad Drizzy.

“Been flowin’ since Vince Carter was on some through-the-legs-and-hoop shit”: Search up the 2000 NBA dunk contest on YouTube and look for the guy in purple.

“Drinkin’ Hypnotiq with Glenn Lewis”: Lewis, a Toronto singer, scored a major hit with 2001’s “Don’t You Forget It.”


“Too busy face-screwin’ on waste movements”: Prior to the 6, one of T.O.’s nicknames was the Screwface Capital, so christened due to the crabs-in-the-bucket mentality among local artists.

“Big Apple had the white Hummer parked right in front of Fluid”: Man-about-town Big Apple, a.k.a. Swagg Boss, is a Toronto street mogul who has dipped in retail, clothing and media. He gave Drake advice as he was coming up. Like the Hummer, Fluid Lounge—a Richmond Street nightclub—isn’t poppin’ anymore.

“But money can’t buy happiness, Jellee talkin’ truthful”: Rexdale MC Jelleestone scored a top-40 hit in Canada with 2001’s “Money (Part 1).”


“Ericka sued me and opened a business”: Drake’s ex-girlfriend, Ericka Lee, sued him in 2012 when he allegedly sampled her phone call in “Marvin’s Room.”

Still Here

“How did I finesse all this shit from Jane and Weston?": The intersection of one of Drake’s childhood homes in the northwest end of the city—a.k.a. the famed bottom from which Drake started.


“Blew up and I’m in the city still”: Though Drake maintains a home in L.A., where he’s neighbours with Kanye West, he still owns property and spends plenty of time in his hometown—you know, working at Shoppers and such.

“Whole lot of 6s but I’m still like / Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah”: Yes, he reps the 6, but not the sign of the devil.

“Six-point star, Lion of the Judah”: A cryptic line from your favourite Rasta-tinged Israelite, raised in Forest Hill.

One Dance

“I need a one dance”: Despite a seven-year onslaught of smash radio singles, “One Dance” marks Drake’s first number-one song on Canadian charts, believe it or not.


“OVO, we a gold mine”: Drake’s OVO comrades—including Toronto acts PartyNextDoor, Majid Jordan and dvsn—made appearances on the album and are all buzzed-about acts in their own right.


“Hall of fame, hall of fame / Like I’m shirt off, like I’m shirt off… Top 5 no debating”: Shirts-optional Toronto rapper Top 5 gave Drizzy a shout-out in his anthem “Hall of Fame”: “I called up Drake, let’s celebrate!”

Childs Play

“Momma is a saint, yes she raised me real good”: Sandi Graham (née Sher) is an educator who divorced Drake’s father, Dennis Graham, when the boy was five years old. She raised Drake on working-class Weston Road before moving to Forest Hill. Forever adored, Drake’s mom frequently pops up in Drake’s lyrics and Instagram feed and has been brought onstage at OVO Fest.

Pop Style

“This sound like some forty-three-oh-one shit”: A holler at 4301 Kingston Rd., a 20-storey Scarborough housing complex near Drake-affiliated artist P Reign’s hangout.

 “Turn my birthday into a lifestyle”: With his career ballooning, Drizzy celebrated his 27th birthday on Oct. 24, 2013, with a hometown concert. Opener Miguel led a sold-out Air Canada Centre in a rendition of “Happy Birthday.”

“Dropped out of school, now we dumb rich”: Drake fed his acting bug at Forest Hill Collegiate Institute, then switched to Vaughan Road Academy, which he’s described as “a tough school.” He dropped out but earned his high school diploma via a private tutor as a 25-year-old in 2012, scoring an impressive 97 per cent on his final exam.

Summers Over Interlude

“Days in the sun, nights in the rain / Summer is over, simple and plain”: Views is modelled after T.O.’s aggressive seasonal switches. “Winter to summer and back to winter again,” Drake said in an interview. “It’s just to show you the two extreme moods that we have. We love our summers, but we make our winters work.”


“I worked at Jaydees Connections whenever Jason let me”: Owner/manager Jason Hamilton let Drake take a shift at this Eglinton West streetwear store when it suited him.

“Kiddie Caribana, tryin’ not to catch a stray”: The children’s parade at Toronto’s Caribbean festival, unfortunately marred by shootings in recent summers.

“Ceesay’s, I was buying fitted every day”: Need a fresh cap? Be like Drake and hit up Ceesay’s M&M Military Sporting Goods at Dufferin and Eglinton. Twenty per cent off if you mention “Toronto Life.” (Not really.)

Hotline Bling

“Ever since I left the city you got a reputation for yourself now”: Rumour has it that Drizzy is musing over his old Toronto flame, Zineb “Nebby” Samir, an ex-girlfriend who has popped up in his lyrics a number of times.

Summer Sixteen (Bonus)

“Out front of Four Seasons lookin’ like a damn football team”: Drake and his favourite punching bag Meek Mill were both staying at the same hotel, the five-star Four Seasons in Yorkville, when Drizzy—the Joe Carter of rap—dropped “Back to Back.”

“All you boys in the New Toronto want to be me a little”: Safe bet that this is a not-so-subliminal jab at Toronto rapper Tory Lanez, who dropped a mixtape titled The New Toronto in December. Lanez has questioned Drake’s nickname for their hometown in the past but went on record saying he’s a Drake fan and would never dis him.

“I might get a key to the city and give it to Wayne”: Mayor John Tory awarded Drake a key to Toronto during NBA All-Star Weekend in February. When he gets his spare key, the Raptors ambassador plans to give one to his mentor Lil Wayne.


Sign up for This City, our free newsletter about everything that matters right now in Toronto politics, sports, business, culture, society and more.

By signing up, you agree to our terms of use and privacy policy.
You may unsubscribe at any time.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


Big Stories

The Battle for Leslieville: Gentrification, opioids and murder in the city’s most divided neighbourhood
Deep Dives

The Battle for Leslieville: Gentrification, opioids and murder in the city’s most divided neighbourhood