Say what you want about Drake - that he’s too commercial, that he sings too much, that he’s a terrible dancer (Hotline Bling, anyone?). These might well be true. But one thing that can’t be taken away from Drake is his unmatchable ability to coin a soundbite. He’s the figurehead for the Instagram generation, with his lyrics providing influencers with a reel of perfect and pithy captions for their next post.
Some of the Toronto hitmaker’s slogans stop you in your tracks and make you think, while others fire you up and have you puffing out your chest. But we’re not focussing on either of these. We’re looking at the hilarious, and sometimes downright bonkers, quotes that Drake manages to slip into an otherwise hard-hitting rap song.
Most rappers would be ridiculed for not taking their verses seriously enough, but with Drake the comedy and self-deprecation are all part of his persona. There’s a reason he’s one of the most meme-able and quotable artists out there. But does he care? If anything, he loves it, and he clearly plays on this. He even got Shiggy, the dancer that made his ‘In My Feelings’ track go viral, to star in the official music video.
Whatever the motives behind Drake’s willingness to send himself up, we’re the ones that get to benefit from the abundance of hilarious quotes he provides us with. Having scoured every nook and cranny of Drake’s discography, here’s a curated selection of the best ten lyrics that are bound to make you smile, chuckle or maybe even laugh out loud...
“I touched down in ’86, knew I was the man by the age of six” - All Me
The way Drake keeps breaking record after record, maybe it always has been written in the stars for him to hit these kind of heights. But since he was six? Heck, at that age I was still figuring out how to run without falling flat on my face, let alone mapping out my life plan.
What’s great about Drake, is that he flexes with a twinkle in his eye. It never feels overly serious, and there’s always a sense that he’s rapping tongue-in-cheek (although practically, as a technique, that’s bound to cause problems…).
This track was on Drake’s 2013 album, ‘Nothing Was the Same’, and features 2 Chainz and Big Sean. Fun fact: Big Sean is actually of average height.
“My Mount Rushmore is me with four different expressions” - Survival
What make this so funny in my opinion, is that you can literally imagine Drake posing for the Rushmore architectural photoshoot, and doing a different face for each shot. Serious, pensive, smiling, shocked. It’s just so Drake.
Once again, self-confidence, braggadocio, and a heavy dose of ego - but delivered with a charming smile.
‘Survival’ opens Drake’s 2018 ‘Scorpion’ album, and is full of ominous warnings to all his competitors, such as “I ain’t even have to cut the tie, it severed itself”. This gravity makes the light-hearted Mount Rushmore comment stand out even more, and epitomises the two sides of Drake’s persona.
"Why you gotta fight with me at Cheesecake? You know I love to go there” - Child’s Play
It’s nice to see Drake is a man with his priorities in order. Yes, his relationship is crumbling. Yes, he’s fighting with his girl. But what’s he most worried about? Ruining his chances of being able to go back to his favourite restaurant.
He delivers this line with the indignant petulance of a baby who’s just had his beloved sweet ripped from his hand. But lesson learnt - don’t come between a hungry Drake and his Cheesecake. Hey, that rhymes, maybe I should be the rapper here…
‘Child’s Play’ has one of Drake’s most famous music videos, and that’s no mean feat considering how viral the visuals for ‘Hotline Bling’ and ‘In My Feelings’ went. ‘Child’s Play’ begins with Drake having an argument with Tyra Banks, who plays his girlfriend, in the Cheesecake Factory that the song famously references.
Why did the video become so well-known? Because it involves Tyra throwing a whole cake into Drake’s face. As they were beefing at the time, you can almost hear fellow rapper Meek Mill laughing with glee in the background…
“Only begging that I do is begging your pardon” - Is There More?
It’s cheeky wordplay enshrouding an equally cheeky flex, but I love it. This is definitely one for any of you looking for your next Instagram caption.
Again, I don’t know if it’s just because he used to be an actor, or if it’s because of how expressive he is in his music videos, but I can picture Drake’s face when he says this. Offended, but also kind of loving the chance to use one of his snappiest witticisms.
‘Is There More?’ is another track from ‘Scorpion’, and like ‘Survival’ is full of dark musings and intense introspection. You could be forgiven, on the basis of this song, for thinking that Drake has started to take himself too seriously. But fear not, the most memed song of 2018, ‘In My Feelings’, follows swiftly on the ‘Scorpion’ tracklist to reassure you that all is still fun and light-hearted in the Drake camp.
“Hey y’all get some more drinks goin’ on, I’ll sound a whole lot better” - Passionfruit
In my view, Drake is at his best when he is self-deprecating. It is the antithesis of everything that rap stands for, and that’s why it works so well. He perfects this in Chris Brown’s recent video for ‘No Guidance’, where the two recreate their infamous club fight in the form of a dance battle.
Chris Brown dazzles with his dancing, before Drake comes out with an embarrassing array of moves, and his entourage ditches him. But it’s great that he’s willing to send himself up, and not take himself too seriously - the music industry could do with a bit more of that.
‘Passionfruit’ was one of the best performing singles from Drake’s 2017 ‘More Life’ project, and covers familiar territory for the rapper in that it’s about struggling to find trust in a relationship, especially a long-distance one. Despite this, the tropical beat gives the song an uplifting atmosphere, underlining Drake’s ability to turn a sad song into a smash hit.
“Got so many chains they call me Chaining Tatum” - Pop Style
Pop Culture reference? Check. Play on words? Check. Humour aplenty? Triple check.
I’d love to know if anyone actually calls Drake ‘Chaining Tatum’. And if they didn’t before, I really hope they do after this lyric. On another note, anyone wondering if a collaboration with the real Channing Tatum’s partner, Jessie J, would ever be on the cards for Drake?
Mmm, probably not. I’d imagine Drake’s too concerned with his designer Price Tags for her liking…
‘Pop Style’ stirred up a lot of controversy, because it initially featured Hip Hop royalty, The Throne, aka Kanye West and JAY-Z. However, when the album ‘Views’ dropped in 2016, ‘Pop Style’ was on it, but Kanye and Jay’s verses had been axed. Drake played it off as a simple artistic choice by him, with no bad blood involved. But considering him and Kanye have now gone from friendly Calabasas neighbours to mortal enemies, one can’t help but think there was more to it than meets the eye…
“Is that a world tour or your girl’s tour?” - Back to Back
‘Back to Back’ was the famous Meek Mill diss that Drake dropped amidst the fiery feud they sparked in 2015. Meek claimed that Drake didn’t write his own lyrics, and Drake responded with ‘Charged Up’, followed swiftly by ‘Back to Back’, in a rapid one-two sucker punch. To be honest, no-one really remembers the disses Meek released.
This lyric is a reference to Meek going on tour with his then-fiancée Nicki Minaj, but only as her support act. She was obviously a lot more famous than him at the time, which is why Drake is taking shots at him for hanging on her coattails. Regardless, Meek and Drake are back on good terms, and they dropped their hit collaboration ‘Going Bad’ last year.
“You be like “who’s this?” I be like “me, girl”, you be like “oh, word, true s**t?”/Then ask if we could listen to Ludacris” - How Bout Now
This is probably my favourite of the list. It’s classic, self-effacing Drake, lamenting his girl troubles. She says she’d rather listen to Ludacris than Drake, the guy she’s dating. Ouch! Poor Drizzy.
His comedic timing is on point once again, with the pause after “oh, word, true s**t” emphasising the hilarity of the situation. It’s one of those lyrics that always makes me laugh, but then I feel bad for laughing after. Although, as Drake breaks yet another Beatles record, something tells me he doesn’t really need a whole lot of sympathy the way he’s bossing the rap game right now.
‘How Bout Now’ was originally part of Drake’s 2015 ‘If you’re reading this its too late’ mixtape, but was recently added to his 2019 ‘Care Package’ album, which serves as a compilation of his best unreleased and bonus tracks.
“Please excuse my table manners, I was making room for the table dancers” - All Me
We all know Drake loves to be up in his feelings, but he also loves a good party. Whether he’s at the strip club, on a yacht, or at a house party, he’ll turn up. But he also seems like the politest strip club customer going, and that just makes us love him even more.
‘All Me’ is one of those songs that didn’t do tremendously well in the charts, but has become a Drake fan favourite, due to its combination of uber-braggadocious lyrics, and the humorous wordplay found in each verse. As mentioned before, it was the final track on his 2013 ‘Nothing Was the Same’ album.
“She says, “You don’t know how good it is to be you ‘cause you’re him”/And I say “Well, goddamn”” - Heat of the Moment
This is actually super deep. Every now and then, Drake drops a particularly perceptive lyric that really hits you, and this underlines his dexterity as a rapper. I feel like it’s true, though. We’re so busy comparing our lives to other people’s, that we often forget to stop and be thankful for what we have in our own lives.
The Toronto megastar manages to inject a dose of humour, though, to add some levity in his response to the girl. I think it’s what most of us say in our heads when we hear this bit of heavy philosophising from him…
‘Heat of the Moment’ is another track off of Drake’s 2019 ‘Care Package compilation album, but was originally released as part of a trio that were meant to be on ‘Views’, but that hackers got to first.
Yours sincerely, but not too seriously,
Read a review of Drake's 'Scorpion' here
Hello! I'm currently studying Philosophy & Theology at Oxford University, UK. Having always loved writing and music in equal measure, and having always hated decision-making, I figured hey, why do I need to choose between the two?