Drake is the master of the moment, a born entertainer, the rap game P.T. Barnum. In an age when attention spans are more divided than a high school algebra class, Aubrey Graham has figured out how to take over hip-hop conversation like no one else, both online and in real life.
Like "Back to Back," Drizzy's latest salvo, "Summer Sixteen" is less of a song and more of a drone strike, every line carefully calculated to detonate into hashtags, quotes and questions, every note meticulously designed for maximum impact. It's pure entertainment, and there's nothing I find more entertaining than spending way, way too much time trying to figure out how much of a song is poetic license and how much are factuals. So in the spirit of Kanye's sex laptop, let's take a look at "Summer Sixteen" and try to separate truth from fiction, particularly when it comes to the song's most shocking claim - that Drake was in the same hotel as Meek Mill the night "Back to Back" dropped.
I let the diss record drop, you was staying right below me, nigga / We must have played it a hundred times, you was going to bed
This is obviously the claim that has the internet's Twitter fingers in a frenzy. In short, Drake is saying that the night that he dropped "Back to Back" he booked a hotel room right above Meek Mill's and played the song on repeat all night. If it's true it's a savagely petty thing to do - imagine Meek hearing "Is that your world tour or your girl's tour?" - while actually with his girl on her their tour, but is it true?
First, the dates match up. Drake dropped "Back to Back" on the night of July 28, the same night that Nicki Minaj and Meek Mill were in Toronto for hertheir Pinkprint Tour. So right off the bat it's at the very least plausible.
The next step is looking at location. In the hook to "Summer Sixtenn" Drake mentions being "Out in front of Four Seasons," and Meek seemingly confirms the location in his response, "War Pain," leading off with, "Toronto, five star hotel, Four Seasons." So we're clearly talking about this hotel, but were Meek and Drake actually both there?
Judging by the "War Paint" lyrics, "Them chumps right upstairs, they know not to come down here playin' no real niggas," Meek knows Drake was nearby, especially if Drake was with a "football team" size squad, but you wouldn't have known it at the time. Meek's Instagram from that night is full of clips of him partying with Rae Sremmurd and Rich Homie Quan - it's unclear if they're in a hotel room - and there's nary a mention of Drake or any bad vibes at all. The same goes for Meek's usual crew, Rae Sremmurd and RHQ. When it actually supposedly happened, if Drake was upstairs or in the vicinity, Meek was seemingly oblivious or chose to keep it off social media - and it's fair to say that keeping things off social media isn't exactly Meek's style.
For his part, Drake's Instagram and Twitter are completely devoid of any mention of being at the Four Seasons that night. Ok, well...maybe Drake didn't want to personally post something, but if he was rolling that deep certainly someone in the squad must have posted something about being at the Four Seasons, right? Chubbs, the man frequently referred to as Drake's "muscle" (Drake compares him to Draymond Green in "Summer Sixteen") and someone who would have assuredly been with Drake at the Four Seasons that night, posted some memes about Meek Mill on July 28 and 29, but nothing that indicated any location.
Ok then, digging deeper into Drake's squad, his manager Oliver El-Khatib was also silent that night, as was his friend OB O'Brien. Luckily, Drake's other muscle, P Reign, gets us closer than anyone. The night before, July 27, he posted a pic partying at Drake's house in Toronto, which is the only confirmation we have so far that Drake was even in Toronto around that time, but on the night "Back to Back" dropped, nope, not a peep.
So shit, it looks like absolutely no one supposedly involved in a hotel square off mentioned even the slightest thing about it at the time. I did a few more general searches on YouTube, Instagram and Twitter for any fans who might have taken a picture of Drake and company at the Four Seasons that night, but nothing.
In one last ditch effort I actually called the Four Seasons in Toronto to see if I could confirm that Drake had indeed booked a room there that night, but unsurprisingly they (very professionally) laughed me off the phone.
So let me get this straight. At the height of the most high profile beefs in modern rap history, and in an era when almost every single person on the planet has a camera in their pocket and access to social media, Drake, one of the most famous people on the planet, rolled into a very popular hotel with a football team squad in an effort to provoke tension with another famous rapper rolling with an equally deep squad, and yet there's nary a record of it on the internet? I mean sure, it could have happened, it's far from impossible, but I'm also far from convinced. At the very least all the other sites reporting the incident as fact clearly haven't looked any deeper than rap lyrics. Someone get Aubrey Graham on the phone for me so I can confirm.
Verdict: Highly suspicious.
I won't front, that was a far more intensive investigation than I anticipated. I assumed I wouldn't have to dig deep to come up with proof that Drizzy and Team OVO were at the Four Seasons that night, but I just spent literally hours of my life looking through OB O'Brien's Instagram account for nothing. I'll never get that time in my life back, and frankly I'm exhausted. But as long as we're here, I might as well rifle through some other much quicker fact checks.
"Tell Obama that my verses are just like the whips that he in / They bulletproof"
Verdict: Fact. Obama rolls around in a custom armored Cadillac known as The Beast.
Minus twenty we in Pitfield / That Kai's kitchen in a Canada Goose
Verdict: Fact, fact and fact. 2015 included Toronto's coldest weather ever, with temperatures dropping as low as -25 C, so yes, it's completely plausible that Drizzy and crew were out mobbin in minus 20 degree weather. Kai's kitchen refers to Fring's, the Toronto restaurant Drake helped launched, and you can buy your very own OVO x Canada Goose jacket for a mere $900!
Chris Breezy with the dance moves / Mo-G with the dance moves / Ave Boy with the dance moves
Verdict: Fact (kind of). I don't know if I'd say Drake has Chris Brown level dance moves, but I'll give it to him. More specifically, according to Genius, Mo-G is a Canadian rapper who inspired some of Drake's "dances." So yeah, he's literally Mo-G with the dance moves in the sense that he got his dance moves from Mo-G.
"Golden State running practice at my house"
Verdict: Fiction. Come on, I'm not going to even bother looking this one up. Maybe some Warriors players have slid through the crib, but no, Steve Kerr has not had his entire team practice at Drake's house when they're in town. On a side note, it's suspect that Drake drops so many Warriors shout outs without a single Raptors reference in a song about Toronto, but Drizzy's sports nymphomania is nothing new.
"I used to wanna be on Roc-A-Fella then I turned into Jay"
Verdict: Fiction (aka wishful thinking). Drake said this line in some "speak it into existence" type shit, but he just doesn't stack up to Jay, not yet. Music? Drake's hugely popular and has won some awards, but he can't touch Jay's 100 million albums sold and 21 GRAMMYs. The label? Jay's launched superstar careers both at Roc-A-Fella and Roc Nation, Drake's big OVO success so far is making PND moderately successful at best on the internet. Clothing line? Drake has people lining up around the block at his pop-up stores, Jay Z had Rocawear selling in Macy's. Money, other business ventures, you name the metric, Aubrey Graham's on the right trajectory, but he's still nowhere near Hova's level.
Now I got a house in LA, Now I got a bigger pool than Ye / And look man, Ye’s pool is nice, mine's just big is what I’m saying
Verdict: Fact (not that impressive). Drake does indeed have a house in Los Angeles which, by all accounts, has a pretty damn big pool. In fact, giant pools have been a longtime obsession for Drake, who once said, "One of my goals in life is to have the biggest residential pool on the planet." So Drake loves him a big pool, the real question is, how big is Kanye's pool? While Kim and Kanye's estate in Bel Air is just as lavish as you'd expect, it doesn't have a particularly big pool. I don't have exact measurements, but eyeballing the two pools, I would have to say Drake's is bigger. Although, again, bragging that your pool is bigger than Kanye's isn't that big of a brag because it turns out that Kanye doesn't particularly give a shit about having a big pool.