Photography by Christopher Polk/Getty

Happy 30th Birthday, Drake! 9 Times We Were Almost BFFs With the 6 God

Missed Connections, the Drake Edition.

Today is oddly not a national holiday. This is strange because it’s the 30th birthday of Canada’s real Prime Minister, Drake. (He did, however, get a Tom Ford lipstick named after him that one time.) In honour of Toronto’s very own, we’ve rounded up stories about experiences with Drake, whether they went to high school with him or ran into him around the city recently.

Our own missed connection with Drake? This #tbt Instagram from FASHION‘s 30th (natch!) anniversary bash, and this party recap.

Wowwwwwww TBT @1onlykandikane #FakeCoverShoot #ReallyThoughtWeWereOn #PassaPassa

A photo posted by champagnepapi (@champagnepapi) on

Here’s to you and your woes, Aubrey.

The time I snuck backstage

“3 of my friends from Toronto were visiting me in NYC for this year’s Governor’s Ball, and the last act of the first night was Drake. We all wanted to meet him, but had general admission tickets, so we snuck into VIP…and then snuck backstage after one of the girls bribed a bouncer. We made friends with his tour manager, Anthony, who took us to Up&Down (the club in NYC where his after party was taking place). While I was talking to Makonnen, Drake came over to shake his hand, looked at me and said “Treat my man right” (assuming I was with Makonnen). He then walked over to one of the bouncers, shook his hand, and thanked him for doing a great job. He was really friendly to everyone he interacted with.” –Sarah

The time he ordered chocolate chip cookies

“His drink of choice is a white wine spritzer, with a side of chocolate chip cookies. He also wears Le Labo’s Santal 33, which I’m pretty sure is a women’s fragrance.” –Jessica

The time he used the “sweatpants, hair tied” line, IRL

“I met Drake in December 2013, during the infamous ice storm that shook Toronto. I had no hydro or electricity, so I decided to go to a hot yoga class to warm up. After I left, I met my brother and some friends for dinner in Yorkville, even though I was a sweaty mess after yoga. As I sat down I noticed there was a dude who was kind of keeping to himself, busy with with his phone. I quickly realized it was Drake. I remember being so disheartened at the fact that the first time I met my favourite artist, I was sweaty, had no makeup on, and smelled of sweet and sour sauce. I nervously started a conversation with him, joking about my appearance and how I wish I looked more put together. He laughed and told me not to worry and that I still looked beautiful (the Drake way). We talked about what it meant to call Toronto home and I joked that I had been repping the city since before he made it cool. As the conversation progressed, I told him about how I had been a fan since day one, and he was very thankful. Then shit got serious: I expressed to him that his album Take Care came out at an incredibly pivotal time for me—his music got me through a difficult breakup and med school applications. He looked very affected and thanked me with great sincerity. To lighten the mood, I told him I actually did get into med school, and he looked totally proud. A true Aubrey experience from start to finish.” –Tanya

The time he was a good BFF

“I saw him recently at the We Are Disorderly web series premiere at the Royal Cinema. He’s really good friends with the boys at Bam Productions, who created, wrote and starred in the show. It warmed my heart that he came to support his friends and that he’s still close to his old Toronto crew despite being the literal biggest celebrity in the world. He was there with OB and some other OVO guys. He’s lovely and tall and even more handsome in person. He was so gracious and excited to see his friends being celebrated.” –Katie

The time we danced together at Coachella

“We danced at a Coachella after party with Rihanna, but then I got some eyes for being too flamboyant. Call me!” –Cary

The time he was kinda creepy

“I was walking to dinner in Yorkville a couple years ago when a car driving toward me slowed down as it approached. There were two people in the car, and the driver never took his eyes off me. My brother, who was walking about a meter behind me shouted, “Yo, is that Drake?” Lo and behold, the man behind the wheel was Toronto’s very own. As he turned his eyes back onto the road, I did what anyone else would have done. I closed my eyes and sent him my name in a telepathic message, in hopes that it might pop into his head during his next studio session.” –Krysta

The time he couldn’t stop talking about his mom

“When I met Drake for the first time he was just announced as the Global Ambassador for the Toronto Raptors and I produced a TV interview with him to talk about his new position. He’s got a smooth, confident presence and was cool and kind to everyone on set. The best part was watching him instantly light up when talking about two things: his love for Toronto, and his mother, who he brought up three times throughout the interview. Cute, right? His smile and slick blue suit really did it for me, and that day is when I knew what we had (in my mind) was real.” –Tyler

The time he blew me off

I am neither a fan of Drake, nor someone who has ever spied him in public. I did, however, get the chance to speak to him for about a half hour once. It was around the early autumn of 2010, after Thank Me Later had come out, for a short piece to appear in FASHION. By this time, I’d done interviews with hundreds of musicians and even a few bonafide top tier stars—Beck, Ben Harper, Rihanna—and while maybe I’d just been lucky, I’d never been blown off completely by a subject. Until Drizzy, who went MIA on the day of ours.

After a day or so spent listening to his album with slightly less sympathetic ears, I set myself up to wait by the phone again. And waited. My allotted time passed. With my flustered and nakedly angered label contact offering tiny updates akin to “Drake’s in a car now or something” or “I’m told that Drake’s nearly through airport security, I can’t really tell…”, I began to imagine the life of this impossibly odd creation of adulation, will, and impossibly gilded luck—cavalierly sauntering through life on a treadmill made of gold and custom emblazoned sneaker soles, as I sat in my bedroom for hours on end waiting to be gifted with mere minutes of conversation; conversation that could be so simply facilited by the mere pressing of a sequence of numbers on a device in his fucking pocket…YES, THAT POCKET. RIGHT NOW, YOU ASS… Well, I was getting annoyed. Then, finally: “Hey! I got Drake! He’s gonna call you in five minutes.” And about five minutes later…
“Hey, is this John? It’s Drake. Sorry, man…”

Drake was nice. He won me over. You know, enough. Not enough that I really dig his records. But enough so that when I see or hear about him — which on Earth, in Canada, is often — I’m like, he’s good guy. Good for him. –John

The time we dated

“We went to high school together, but we barely talked until my BFF and I asked him to be part of our Black History Month group. The version I usually tell people though, is that we dated and I broke his heart” –Ellie