Everything we know about everyone in Drake’s massive, ultra-loyal entourage
Toronto has had an extra-Drakey summer, even for us. His star-studded OVO Fest took over the ACC, the city hosted a Drizzy-branded basketball tournament, and he and Rihanna are finally official (we think). Here are the personalities hustling behind the scenes to make it all happen smoothly.
THE INNER CIRCLE
The friends he doesn’t make a move without consulting
Noah “40” Shebib
Shebib and Drake have been friends for nearly a decade. The co-founder of Drake’s label, OVO Sound, he owns SOTA Studios in Etobicoke, a production facility that serves as OVO’s home base. As Drake’s most frequent musical collaborator, Shebib is responsible for helping create the rapper’s unique, moody sound.
El-Khatib came up with the phrase “October’s Very Own”—reference to his and Drake’s birth month. He’s one of OVO’s three directors and is responsible for much of the label’s visual style. He has acted as one of Drake’s two managers since 2013.
Adel “Future the Prince” Nur
Future started as Drake’s tour DJ but became the rapper’s co-manager in 2013. In his song “6 p.m. in New York,” Drake sings: “If me and Future hadn’t made it with this rappin’ / We prolly be out in Silicon tryna get our billions on.”
Nessel “Chubbs” Beezer
Drake’s head of security grew up near Kingston-Galloway. His association with east-end tough guys Reps Up, including rapper P Reign, gives Drake’s crew a soupçon of street realness.
Drake often brings his mom, a former kindergarten teacher, to red-carpet events. On her birthday this year, he Instagrammed a video of her blowing out her candles with the caption, “I do this all for you.”
Anthony “Hush” Palman
Drake’s frequent collaborator has writing credits stretching back to the first track on 2011’s Take Care. Drake-haters suggest he’s a ghostwriter, but insiders swear his role is advisory, with Drake handling the bulk of the composition.
Matthew “Boi-1da” Samuels
The Jamaican-Canadian producer is Drake’s most consistent musical collaborator after Shebib. He worked on Drake’s first mixtape and produced “Best I Ever Had.”
The assistant, experts and advisors he calls on for specific tasks
Nicholas “Niko” Carino
Niko was around at the very beginnings of Drake’s OVO label and helped with some of the company’s initial merchandising efforts. He also helps organize OVO Bounce, Drake’s popular basketball tournament.
One of Drake’s oldest friends. Insiders call him Drake’s assistant. His cousin is Ayesha Curry, wife of NBA superstar Stephen Curry.
Alonzo “Jonny Roxx” Thornhill
Roxx spent a few years pursuing a rap career—in 2008, he released a mixtape with tracks such as “A Blunt and Gin” and “Hands Wet.” Now he’s Drake’s personal trainer.
Jason “JMac” Macaraig
JMac has been tightening Drake’s fade for about a decade. He tags along on tour and makes one-day trips from Toronto to L.A. specifically to buzz the rapper’s head. Drake performed at his 2015 wedding.
Angelo “Gelo” Ferraro
Gelo was Drake’s favourite waiter at Sotto Sotto, and now he’s a partner at Fring’s, the Drake-affiliated Susur Lee restaurant.
His musical offspring
OVO Sound’s newest act comprises singer-songwriter Daniel Daley and Paul “Nineteen85” Jefferies, a Scarborough-born producer best known for the infectious sampling in Drake’s “Hotline Bling.”
Jahron “PartyNextDoor” Brathwaite
The Mississauga-born artist, who originally performed under the name Jahron B., writes and produces his own music. OVO has put out two of his albums, and he produced three tracks on Drake’s If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late.
Majid Al Maskati and Jordan Ullman met each other at U of T. Noah Shebib signed them to OVO in 2013. They co-wrote Drake’s “Hold On, We’re Going Home,” and they’ve since released an EP and a full-length album.
Denzel “Roy Woods” Spencer
The Brampton singer has a breathy delivery that has earned him comparisons to Michael Jackson. His first EP, Exis, was released by OVO in 2015.