How Did Drake & Lil Wayne Meet?

by Marenah Dobin

Drake and Lil Wayne seem to have the ultimate bromance in the rap industry. They are like the Ben Affleck and Matt Damon of the hip hop world. They collaborate on almost all of their hit singles and when they're not working together on a track they're giving each other shout outs on a song. They seem to have a genuine love for each other and support one another to reach further success. So how did this all get started? How did Drake meet Lil Wayne?

Lil Wayne has been around as a rapper for a lot longer than Drake, so it's not as if they grew up together like Damon and Affleck. Drake's mentor is often credited for "discovering" him, but that is actually not true. Contrary to popular belief, Weezy was not technically the first one to discover Drake.

Back in the day, most of us who knew Drake saw him as the actor Aubrey Graham who played Jimmy Brooks on the Canadian television series Degrassi: The Next Generation. If you watched the show, you are aware that Jimmy rapped some bars in more than one episode. Clearly the boy had talent, but none of us expected him to blow up quite like this.

If you flash back to 2008, you'll remember that MySpace was all the rage. This was the beginning of a new era where users were able to share anything with anyone and a lot of artists used the social network as a platform to get a bigger audience for their music. This is how a man named Jas Prince got access to Drake's music and got hooked. In a 2012 interview with Business Insider, Prince explained that pitching Drizzy's music to Lil Wayne was actually pretty difficult:

At first I was tellin' him about him like, "Yo, you really need to check this dude Drake out," and Wayne wasn’t tryin' to hear it. Then one day while leavin' the Galleria, I just threw his CD in and let it play. He was like, "Wait..who is this?," and I was like "Drake… the guy I been tellin' you about." Wayne told me to book him on the next flight to Houston.

Did Drake ever make it to Houston? You bet he did. In fact, Drake showed up the very next day. If you are a fan of Young Money, you have listened to Drake's track "November 18" and know that date was November 18, 2008, the day Drake met Wayne.

In Houston, Lil Wayne's tour manager, E.I., brought Drake on the bus to watch Lil Wayne get a tattoo. Well, that's unusual. Most of us have meetings in an office or even a restaurant or coffee shop, not at a makeshift tattoo parlor. Then the meeting got even more epic when Weezy played the not-yet-released Tha Carter III album. Drake described the surreal experience when he was speaking to Interview in 2011: "Then he proceeded to play me Tha Carter III — of course I was blown away at the time, 'cause nobody had heard it yet. I heard it front to back and it was, it was amazing."

So was Drake signed on the spot after the album listening session? Not exactly, but their first meeting got even crazier because Drake "stayed on the road with him for a while, about a week and a half." In line with his heartbroken reputation, Drake was coming out of a hard breakup and told Complex, “I felt like I hit Houston and got my swag back. I was single, I was with Wayne and it was Houston, I was going nuts, sipping drank, smoking.” Could you imagine going through personal drama and then meeting an idol in your field and spending that much time with him? It's unbelievable. And on top of that Drake added, "And I think it was the last night before I went back home, we finally got into the studio and made some music."

I wish my past job interviews were this legendary. I once got excited over free macaroons during one job prospect. To make my life sound even more pathetic, just listen to Drake's 2008 song "Ransom," where he raps, "Weezy told me just write every single thing you need down/And he got it for me, and I'm as happy as I can be now.” So what did that include? Your guess is as good as mine, but I envision a record deal, clothes, cars, and alcohol to start off with.

Sounds like Drake was one lucky duck. But it's not a one-sided relationship, Drake is one of Lil Wayne's most successful artists which has obviously benefited them both. And to think it all started with a MySpace connection. I wonder if we will hear pop culture fairy tales in the future about artists signed through SnapChat or Tinder. Some epic social media exchange could be going down at this very moment.

Images: Giphy