Drake is expressing some regret over name-dropping his exes in songs.
As you might be aware, Drake has a long history of shamelessly mentioning his past lovers by name across his hits.
His 2011 tracks “Club Paradise” and “Shot for Me,” for example, directly mention his exes Rose Mary, Leanne Sealey, Catya Washington, and Alisha Phillips — whom he previously revealed he’d “tried to put a ring on.”
More casual fans have likely heard the rapper’s 2018 hit “In My Feelings,” which left Drake’s ex-girlfriend Keshia Chanté at the center of public attention, thanks to the song’s repeated mention of someone named “Kiki.”
And Drake hasn’t certainly shied away from name-dropping his more famous exes too. In 2020, he joined 21 Savage and Metro Boomin on the song “Mr. Right Now” and casually mentioned that he “used to date SZA back in ’08.”
This caused a ton of controversy at the time given that SZA was 17 for most of 2008, while Drake was 21. However, SZA later clarified that the pair actually dated in 2009 as she addressed the uproar in a series of tweets.
Long story short, Drake has left his exes at the center of negative public attention time and again over much of his rap career.
And now, the 35-year-old has admitted that he wishes he hadn’t.
Speaking about his career regrets with fellow rapper Lil Yachty on FutureMood's A Moody Conversation last week, Drake noted that he “could have done without” name-dropping his past lovers.
“When I've said girls’ names in songs… I look back on [that] and I’m like, ‘Maybe I could have done without, like, shitting on people for age or disrupting somebody's life,’” he said.
Going on to claim that his lyrics are “never with ill intent,” Drake explained that grew aware of his songs' impact after an ex reached out to him.
“The lyrics are never with ill intent, but I had somebody one time be like, ‘You know, it's not necessarily what you're saying about me, it's the fact that you said it,’” he said.
Quoting what his ex had told him, he said: “‘You don't know who my boyfriend is at the time or you don't know what my family knows or doesn't know. And if you express any form of discontent for me and call me by name in a song, then all of a sudden, I'm left to pick up the pieces of my own life that I've tried to build up for myself.’”
“So I've tried my best to stop doing that,” he said, before adding: “But I like to be honest in music too so that one's a push and pull.”
Drake’s comments have sparked a pretty mixed reaction on Twitter.
“This is a hilarious take after almost 2 decades of name dropping,” one person wrote. “Drake buddy …. You name drop in every song,” another said.
“This man had a necklace made with all the diamond rings he wanted to propose with. He regrets nothing,” one person wrote, referring to Drake’s bizarre piece of jewelry that was unveiled just last December.
Titled “Previous Engagements,” Drake’s necklace features 42 diamonds that represent each time he considered proposing. Fans were left bewildered by the concept, labeling the piece “strange” and “corny” online.
What’s more, several Twitter users went on to rightfully point out that Drake has continued to mention his past lovers — and other celebrities — by name as recently as a few months ago.
On his and 21 Savage’s collaborative album Her Loss, which was released just last November, Drake evidently disses his ex-girlfriend Serena Williams. Mentioning her and her husband, Alexis Ohanian, on the song “Middle of the Ocean,” Drake raps: “Sidebar, Serena, your husband a groupie.”
What’s more, Drake name-drops a bunch of other celebs across Her Loss, including — perhaps most infamously — Megan Thee Stallion.
On “Circo Loco,” Drake insinuates that Megan lied about being shot by rapper Tory Lanez amid a heated legal battle between the two. Tory was eventually found guilty on all counts, which include assault with a semiautomatic firearm, carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle, and discharging a firearm with gross negligence.
“This bitch lie ‘bout getting shots but she still a stallion,” Drake rapped in the song, which was released a month before Tory was found guilty in court. This sparked huge backlash and prompted Megan to respond in a series of tweets.
Given that Drake has now expressed regret for naming and shaming his exes, several fans have been left wondering if he has any remorse for calling Megan out — especially since she was super open about the ways her life was negatively impacted by accusations that she’d lied.
“Does he regret calling out megan? for BEING SHOT,” one person tweeted. “tell him to apologise to meg and then we’ll talk,” another said.
Correction: The title of Drake's song "Shot for Me" was misstated in an earlier version of this post.