It’s no secret that landing a Drake guest spot will definitely bolster your profile several times over. But it’s not like Drake shows up to help. Most of the time, Drake ends up stealing the spotlight and having the general population think that your song is his song. It’s a nasty habit that the Toronto emcee has developed over the years and very few have been able to step outside of the massive shadow he casts whenever he drops a sixteen and a hook. That’s why Drake is more Russell Westbrook than Rajon Rondo. The latter’s focus is to help those around him. But the former? Well, that guy will make everyone better by dropping dimes. But if you aren’t careful, he’ll drop a triple double on your ass real quick and carry the team to victory regardless who his teammates are.
For this week’s The TENS, we take a look at Drake’s long, long, long list of guest spots and pick out our favorite moments when Drake housed the hell out of a song and damn near made us forget that it originally belonged to somebody else.
Rick Ross – “Aston Martin Music” f. Drake
Teflon Don (2010)
This buttery smooth cut finds Drizzy hating the fact that he calls women bitches. However, the bitches just so happen to love it. Not to mention that he’s got those wedding ring flows that consist of all kinds of engaging shit. Honestly, Rick Ross could have been removed from this track because the Canadian completely owns it and it’s filled with just enough braggadocio and slick talk to satisfy listeners of both sexes. – Andreas Hale
Nicki Minaj – “Moment 4 Life” f. Drake
Pink Friday (2010)
Nicki’s song about living in the moment where everything falls into place is fertile ground for Drake to boast about Young Money’s standing in the rap game. It’s the perfect song to set the stage for Nicki’s takeover and Drake does his best to be the groomsman for Nicki’s coming out party. He salutes the team, nods to a then-incarcerated Lil Wayne, reminds the rest of the industry that it certainly won’t be their year and you know he had to tease that he’s got something going on with Nicki. It’s a celebration! – Andreas Hale
DJ Khaled – “I’m On One” f. Drake, Rick Ross & Lil Wayne
We the Best Forever (2011)
Being featured alongside Lil Wayne and Rick Ross meant that Drake had to prove that himself as the top dog by setting the table with a blistering verse. In true Drake fashion, he sets it off singing the first part of his verse and slowly builds momentum. He claps at the new jacks and their one hit wonders with a reminder that once their money is spent up, he’ll still be around. And anybody who grinds as hard as Drake yet still “smells like a vacation” is a problem. Drake also caused a stir by closing his verse by suggesting that “the throne is for the taking,” which raised eyebrows because Jay Z and Kanye West’s Watch The Throne had been the talk of the town. Of course, Drake turned everyone’s volume down by tweeting that it wasn’t a direct shot at Jay Z. But he didn’t say anything about it not being a dig at Kanye. We don’t’ care what you say, there’s tension between those two. – Andreas Hale
Waka Flocka – “Round Of Applause” f. Drake
Triple F Life: Friends, Fans & Family (2012)
Following the short-lived and braggingly fluffy “hashtag rap” style he employed throughout Thank Me Later Drake was in a somber mood by his sophomore effort Take Care in 2011. However, after lamenting about failed romances, unhappiness, and heartache, the first signs of what we now know as “Trap Drake” began to surface on tracks like “Round Of Applause.”
Joining Waka Flocka at Washington, DC’s Stadium, Aubrey would get over a breakup in the only way a stupendously rich guy in his twenties knows how: by recklessly tossing racks at the strip club.
“Oh no, there I go, magic tricking on your ass/Throwing every president except for Nixon on your ass/Make you rich, I feel like I should make commission on your ass/Wonder what you would ever do if I went missing on your ass.”
For any guy who has spent many a night and dollar at the nudie bar, Drake’s verse strikes a chord with all of them. – Meka Udoh
French Montana – “Pop That” f. Drake, Rick Ross & Lil Wayne
Excuse My French (2012)
The complete irony that, on a song literally tailor-made for the strip club, Drake would instead fire off some of his sharpest barbs toward his rivals.
A little background history: French Montana, freshly signed to Puff Daddy’s Bad Boy Records, was working on his debut album Excuse My French. The first single from the album would turn out to be one of the biggest rap songs of 2012, “Pop That.” Sampling Uncle Luke’s “I Wanna Rock,” the track was the strip club anthem of the summer, and yet Drake used his verse to bark back at perceived lyrical foes Fabolous and Pusha-T. The latter, allegedly, caught the brunt of the attack: “We don’t dress alike, we don’t rap alike/I shine different, I rhyme different/Only thing you got is some years on me/Man, f*ck you and your time difference.”
Despite Wayne following up by demanding to be fellated by a woman in exchange for clothes from his TRUKFIT line, nothing was the same after Drake’s verse. – Meka Udoh
Rick Ross – “Stay Schemin” f. Drake & French Montana
Rich Forever (2012)
In 2009 Drake famously proclaimed “Diss me, you’ll never hear a reply for it.” By 2013, however, he was clearly tired of the shots other rappers had taken at him, and in particular from one Lonnie Lynn (née Common). Possibly stemming from their respective relationships with Serena Williams, but likely much deeper than that, Drake was on full attack mode:
• (possibly at) Common:
“It bothers me when the gods get to acting like the broads.”
• (possibly at) Pusha T:
“Guess every team doesn’t come complete with n*ggas like ours.”
• (possibly at) anybody who thought he was soft because he wasn’t the typical “hyper-masculine rapper” archetype:
“Might look light, but we heavy though/You think Drake will pull some sh*t like that? You never know.”
However, it was his lamentations about Kobe Bryant’s then-impending divorce which is the most memorable moment of the song: “B*tch, you wasn’t with me shooting in the gym!” Fanute, indeed. – Meka Udoh
J. Cole & Drake – “Jodeci (Freestyle)”
The lightskinned takeover is in full effect when Jermaine Cole and Aubrey Graham connect for the appropriately titled “Jodeci Freestyle” that is produced by the criminally underrated Bink! Although Drake’s thunder was inadvertently snatched away by J. Cole’s autism flub, this is one of his finer moments on the mic. Perhaps it’s because J. Cole was pushing him in the spirit of competition. Drake’s boasts are plentiful and his digs are lethal. “Oh stop, please stop arguin’ ’bout who’s the best emcee. I think everyone would agree, they know that you’re not,” he rhymes. Even though the flip of Jodeci’s “4 U” gives this an R&B feel, the duo ensures that this isn’t for the softies. – Andreas Hale
Migos – “Versace (Remix)” f. Drake
I have a personal connection to this song, and it was thanks in part to one of the most random experiences I have ever had.
In the summer of 2013 I spent two weeks in Toronto, because quite simply I did not want to live in America and desired a change in scenery. I don’t remember much of the trip, on account of spending most of my time there drunk, high, or glued to a computer writing about my experiences being drunk and/or high. However, during one of my days off from the DopeHouse I somehow found myself spinning a set at one of the city’s largest clubs opening up for DJ Holiday. In the middle of my gig I spun Drake’s remix of the Migos’ “Versace,” where I would then spot — in the middle of the club — an overly excited Johnny Manziel. The then-20-year-old star quarterback for Texas A&M was surrounded by enough bottles and women to make King Of Diamonds jealous (keep in mind that this is Toronto; the legal drinking age out there is 19), reciting Drake’s verse word for word.
Yeah, I saw his downward spiral in 2016, begin in 2013. Because Drake. – Meka Udoh
YG – “Who Do You Love?” f. Drake
My Krazy Life (2014)
YG’s super West Coast debut album turned heads with it’s aggressive Cali energy. But the collaboration with Drake on “Who Do You Love” may have been the tipping point that put YG way over. Drake nods to his flavor of the month, Texas Syn; pays homage to Rappin 4 Tay; makes it known that he’s got connections to ensure the homies can come home early from doing a bid; sends a warning shot to Selena Gomes that he’ll get all up in them guts despite her butt not being of a bodacious size and would pinky swear with you to promise that everything he says will come true. Unfortunately, his damn pinky ring is way too big for him to ever pinky swear. – Andreas Hale
ILoveMakonnen – “Tuesday (Remix)” f. Drake
In 2014, ILoveMakonnen was a local artist with a slight buzz thanks to his viral songs “I Don’t Sell Molly No More” and “Club Goin’ Up On A Tuesday.” While the former would receive a dubious Instagram co-sign by Extended Back Meat, Miley Cyrus, it would be “Tuesday” that would propel him to the spotlight when it was the recipient of the Drake Stimulus Package on August 12, 2014.
Flipping ILoveMakonnen’s cadence, Drake — fully aware of his influence — isn’t bashful with his verse: “Put the world on our sound, you know PARTY and The Weeknd/Ain’t got no motherf*ckin’ time to party on the weekend.” The song would thus far be one of ILoveMakonnen’s high points in his career, as he would sign to OVO Sound shortly after while the song would garner a Grammy nomination for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.
Ultimately, ILoveMakonnen would leave OVO Sound in 2016 under less-than-amicable circumstances, and has not landed a charting single since. – Meka Udoh