Last year I put Drake’s old personal Facebook page on display for the whole internet to see and honestly, I felt kinda bad about it. Nobody wants pictures of themselves from high school shared with the world, right? That said, Drake has done just fine for himself since then, so I don't feel that bad. I'm sure he's long since wiped away the embarrassment of old Facebook photos with giant stacks of "Hotline Bling" cash.
The OVO blog though? That’s fair game. That’s a public forum that I'm free to dig though all I want. So that’s what I did.
Here’s what you need to know going in. Before the days of playing diss songs at the Four Seasons, back when the only person singing about the 6 lived on Sesame Street, the OVO team was very, very active on Blogspot. They still update the blog today, but the real gems were delivered between 2008-2011. Most of the older posts are about fashion and art, authored by Drake’s manager and OVO founder, Oliver El-Khatib, but on occasion Drizzy himself chimed in. Regardless of who's posting, though, the site is a fascinating look at the pre-fame OVO days. The Drake we know now is such a calculated entity, a global brand whose every move is intentional, but the early blog days, when almost no one was watching, give us a more unfiltered look at what he was really like.
Case in point, this incredibly creepy post from Drake where he talks about having crush on a girl who won't talk to him because he sent her flowers, and so in some sort of lowkey revenge move he shared a video of her getting ready for a photo shoot with the title "Saturday Enjoyment." Weird. Creepy. Creepy weird.
Same with this post on his favorite bedsheets, which he insists you can enjoy yourself, "no homo." Drake would never share that now, it would make him come across as shallow because, you know, it's incredibly shallow. But hey, who am I to deny someone the pleasure of laying on a fresh set of Frette sheets. (Where's the check?)
Nothing says Drake like a melancholy stare into the horizon with a Mini Cooper in the background, unless it's him making a Family Guy reference or posting the kind of selfie that makes him look like he's desperate on Tinder.
He might constantly be working these days, but don't think that Drake was always locked inside a studio 24/7. The man got out and explored the world, too. Sometimes that meant oh-so-subtly posing in front of a private plane, sometimes that means some sweet, sweet water ski shots, and sometimes that meant just kicking back and looking at some horses. You know, like most people do.
A young Drake was also super into exercise but not very good at taking in-focus selfies. Hey, we all look back at our younger years and wish we could do better. This is the kind of shot he undoubtedly tried to slide into some DMs with.
It’s not all cringe-inducing pics and creepy posts about girls though. There’s also some really great pictures of actual music-related stuff. There’s some cool moments where Drake is just starting to become big, touring with Wayne and living off the So Far Gone buzz, but not too big to share the moments on the blog. You can kind of track his rise through the hip-hop ranks through pictures like this and this:
At first we are treated to shots of him recording “Little Bit," or at least that’s around the same time when he posted the below photo, and then quickly we're transitioned to shots of him first rocking a Young Money chain and then performing with Wayne and Nicki (who was still dressing like an "ordinary" young woman back then) for the first time. Young Aubrey's on the come up.
And as Drizzy continues to become more and more popular he gets Kanye to direct his “Best I Ever Had” video, shoots a commercial with Sprite and then spends that Sprite money on private flights and grandfather sweaters.
The successes keep piling up and now Drake begins to work on his next album, Take Care, bringing in a young and essentially unknown The Weeknd to help. No word on whether or not he forced Abel to sleep in a tent, or whether he picked up the "write the tracklist on a legal pad" thing from Kanye.
Think of this like the OVO yearbook - mostly pictures, very few words. But in the coming weeks we’ll be unveiling a lot more substantive stuff that we uncovered via the OVO blog - believe us, there's a lot to discuss. Mirror selfie pics aside, the blog really is a fascinating way to track Drake’s career and a lot of the early posts foreshadow what's happening with Drake today. There may even be some early hints at diss tracks and perhaps if you're lucky, a cameo from Kanye (wink wink). For now though, enjoy the appetizer, the potato skins (all filler, no nutrition), before we get to the main course.
In the meantime, as Drake continues to rise through the celebrity stratosphere, never forget his humble origins.