The Best Pop Culture References In 'VIEWS'

by Caitlin Flynn

It's finally here. On April 29, Canadian rapper Drake released VIEWS, his highly anticipated fourth studio album. Not only does it have awesome cover art, but musician cameos abound. Rihanna, Wizkid, Kyla, and Future are just a few of the artists who collaborated with Drake as guests on the album. Of course, VIEWS would be incomplete without plenty of gossip — much of it is directed at Meek Mills, with whom he has been feuding for what feels like an eternity, as well as the fact that Jay Z and Kanye West's verses on "Pop Style" have been inexplicably removed. But, there are also plenty of pop culture references in Drake's VIEWS to unpack, that range from iMessaging to designer handbags to '90's music and movies. (2016 is seriously the year of '90s nostalgia, people, and this just proves it yet again.)

The pop culture references are wide-ranging and diverse — and plenty of them are clever. (The Posh Spice reference is one of my personal favorites, but I'm sure you'll have your own too. Pro-tip: They'll probably make a really great Instagram caption at some point, because Drake lyrics always do.) Without further ado, let's recap the best pop culture references from VIEWS, one song at a time.


Mannie Fresh & Stunna

Drake sings "Like Mannie, like Stunna, man, sh*t is big time now." This is a comparison to Mannie Fresh and Stunna, two New Orleans rappers who formed the duo Big Tymers.

U With Me?

"Three dots, you thinkin' of a reaction still / While you're typin' make sure to tell me."

These appear to be sarcastic references to modern-day communication via text. I think most of us can agree that those darn three dots are pretty anxiety-inducing.


"That boy light as Michael Jackson."

In 2009, Drake spoke out in support of Michael Jackson.

"You cannot be right here next to me/ Don't you see RiRi right next to me?

Drake recently collaborated with Rihanna on her song Work, and she's featured on his song off VIEWS, "Too Good."

"Swear I just had an epiphany/ It cost me 50 at Tiffany's."

This reference to the high-end store isn't unique for rap music — but who doesn't love the sight of a Tiffany's box?

"Roy outta here like NASA."

Roy Woods is an up and coming rapper from Ontario who has signed with Drake’s OVOSound label.

Weston Road Flows

"You number one and I'm Eddie Murphy/ We tradin' places"

This lyric references Murphy's 1983 film, Trading Places. Murphy's character starts out as a street hustler, but is a wealthy investor by the end of the movie. Drake may be drawing a parallel between his life and that of Murphy's character — coming from humble beginnings and becoming wealthy.

"Creepin' like Chilli without the tender, love, and care / No tender love and care and no love and affection"

Who doesn't miss the '90s R&B trio TLC? This lyric references member Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas and the group's 1994 single, "Creep."

"Been flowin' stupid since Vince Carter was on some through the legs arm in the hoop sh*t"

In 2000, NBA star Vince Carter famously threw down an arm-in-rim dunk and a through-the-legs slam. (I'm not even a basketball fan, but this video is pretty epic).

Still Here

"Got the key, now the doors open and we all goin' through it/ Whole city at your head for the boy"

During this year's NBA All-Star Weekend in Toronto, the city's mayor gave Drake a key to the entire city.



This entire song focuses on the Grammy Awards. Drake has been nominated for multiple awards and he won the Grammy for Best Rap Album for Take Care in 2013.

Top 5 no debating/ Top 5, top 5, top 5

Is Drake one of the Top 5 rap artists of today? Yes. Yes he is. (This could also be a reference to Chris Rock's 2014 film, Top Five .)

Child's Play

"Why you gotta fight with me at Cheesecake/ You know I love to go there."

As Genius pointed out Friday in their excellently researched article, Drake has been spotted at Cheesecake Factory locations around the country for years.

"I give Chanel out like a hug I know" and "My past checkered like the Louis you just got"

The designer handbag references are plentiful in this track.

"All the Cadillac, like I'm Teddy Pendergrass"

Teddy Pendergrass was a drummer for The Cadillacs before he went solo as a soul singer in the '70s.

Pop Style

Got so many chains they call me Chaining Tatum / (They do, they do)

A Channing Tatum reference is always welcome.

Girl let me rock, rock, rock, rock, rock your body/ Justin Timberlake and then I hit the highway

Who sounds better singing the words "rock your body" — Timberlake or Drake?


"Question is will I ever leave you? / The answer is no, no, no, no, no, no / Question is will I ever leave you? / The answer is no, no, no, no, no, no"

The intro to Views is from The Winans song, The Question Is. The Winan Brothers are a gospel group from Detroit.

"And my wifey is a spice like I'm David Beckham"

Beckham is married to former Spice Girl, Posh, of course.

"Me and Niko used to plot on how to make a change"

Niko and Drake have been friends since childhood, long before they were stars.

"Lamborghini got me feeling like I'm Christian Bale"

Christian Bale plays Batman in The Dark Knight trilogy, and drives a Lamborghini when he's disguised as Bruce Wayne.

"And my life is on display like Truman"

This reference to the 1998 film, The Truman Show, expresses the downside of being in the public eye. The film is about a man whose life is broadcast as a reality show without his knowledge, and he has no idea that his life is being carefully staged for viewers. Like many celebrities, Drake seems to feel the pressure of having personal details of his life broadcast to the public.

Is this one of Drake's most pop culture reference-filled albums? Judging from the above, possibly!

Images: Giphy (8)