These days, memes are a way of life. No rapper knows that better than Drake.
Drizzy’s debut album, Thank Me Later, was released six months prior to the launch of Instagram in October 2010, and since then, the rapper’s every move has served as fodder for the viral phenomenon known as internet memes.
Drake is the right mix of popular, polarizing and ever-present in the cultural zeitgeist that all eyes are constantly on him. That amounts to Aubrey pretty much not being able to do anything without the potential of it becoming the internet’s next meme craze. Every album cover, every awkward face made while sitting courtside at a Toronto Raptors game, every screenshot from a music video or snippet of footage from tour has the potential to be the day’s most entertaining tidbit. The rap superstar isn’t even safe checking his phone in the club these days.
In 2016, he acknowledged the fact that he is every meme maker’s top priority during an interview with Instagram.
"I have become the most memed person aside from the Michael Jordan crying face," Drake said. "I love that I’m the guy that doesn't take himself too seriously. I like laughing even if it's at my expense. It doesn’t feel like it's necessarily malicious or hurtful stuff. I’m conscious of it."
He added, "I really enjoy it more than watching television. It brings joy to my life. I hope it brings joy to other people’s lives too."
The same year, he appeared on Saturday Night Live and jokingly sprinkled his opening monologue with a song called “More Than a Meme” about constantly being the butt of internet jokes.
Earlier this year, he fed into the meme mania, urging people to meme his post-game rant following the Toronto Raptors winning the NBA Finals, to which he was obliged.
Aubrey is definitely ingrained in the meme culture. With the decade coming to a close, XXL compiles a list of the best Drake memes of the past 10 years.
Wheelchair Drake Origin: 2010
Drake’s Degrassi character Jimmy Brooks got shot on the show and became wheelchair-bound. When Drizzy broke out to stardom around 2010, it didn’t take long for the memes about his former gig to surface.
Hugged Up With Demarcus Cousins Origin: 2010
Drake made his way inside the University of Kentucky locker room and found himself under the arm of friend and then freshman center Demarcus Cousins while the hooper was giving his post-game interview following a NCAA tournament win over Wake Forest. The glowing look in Drake’s eyes instantly became a meme mainstay.
“Drake the Type of Nigga…” Origin: 2011
Drake (especially when he first dropped) was considered by some to be softer than satin because of his rap ballads and tender slow jams. The perceived lack of toughness birthed an abundance of “Drake the type of nigga…” posts on social media that still continue on today.
“Marvin’s Room” Video Origin: 2011
Memeufactures made easy work of out Drake’s laggard Take Care track “Marvin’s Room,” specifically the part where Drizzy stands in front of a mirror and repeats, “I hope no one heard that.”
Happy Drake vs Unhappy DrakeOrigin: 2012
A photographer captured photos with Drake displaying polar opposite moods on his face, and the internet caught the alley-oop and slammed it home.
“No New Friends” Video Origin: 2013
A screenshot of Drake rocking Timb boots, a throwback DaDa Supreme fit and turned at an awkward angle was all the internet needed to freeze in time one of the most memorable meme moments of the year.
Yucking It Up With LeBron James Origin: 2013
When the Miami Heat won the NBA Finals in 2013, Drake was front and center with the Big Three and crew popping bottles in the club. Some called foul on Drake’s seemingly bandwagon behavior.
Nothing Was the Same Album Cover Origin: 2013
Drake’s profile photo backdropped by a blue sky for his Nothing Was the Same album quickly started getting replicated after it was revealed, with many people putting their own head in the clouds.
Kentucky Loses, Drake Gets Memed Origin: 2014
The University of Kentucky’s loss to UConn in the 2014 NCAA Tournament left Drake looking sad in the stands. Leave it up to the Internet to revel in Aubrey’s sorrow.
Clapping at Serena Williams Match Origin: 2015
Drake has been spotted at many Serena Williams matches over the years. When she went head to head with Andrea Petkovic in 2015, Drake’s spirited claps of support were caught by the camera and flipped into Internet entertainment.
Madonna Kiss at CoachellaOrigin: 2015
Madonna laid a big wet one on Drake right in front of the crowd during her set at 2015 Coachella. The scene left people stunned including Drizzy whose immediate reaction to the pop star’s tongue being shoved in his mouth gassed up meme content for days.
“Hotline Bling” Video Origin: 2015
The “Hotline Bling” video may hold the record for most meme’s generated from a single work. Drake’s dance moves, facial expressions and hand gestures have been the meme gift that keeps on giving.
If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late Album Cover Origin: 2015
Drake’s rudimentary If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late mixtape cover quickly turned into something people were making on their own. Fans came up with some entertaining alternates.
Beef With Meek Mill Beef Origin: 2015
When the beef is on, the memes come out. When Drake and Meek Mill were mortal enemies in 2015, the internet played a large part in adding entertainment to the friction with memes that helped push the narrative.
What a Time to Be Alive Album Origin: 2015
The release of Drake and Future’s joint effort, What a Time to Be Alive, had the internet teetering on the verge of maximum overload. Once fans started taking in the project, the memes started rolling in.
Drake and Future High School Photos Origin: 2015
Drake and Future’s alliance on WATTBA proved they were a dynamic duo and two of the hottest rappers in the game. But when someone unearthed their high school photos, the internet had fun with speculating about their pre-fame lives.
Views Album Cover Origin: 2016
Drake’s Views album cover depicts the rapper sitting atop Toronto’s massive CN Tower. It didn’t take long for hilarious recreations to pop up.
A Whisper From Rihanna Origin: 2016
On-again, off-again, probably never-again couple, Drake and RiRi partied the night away at E11even Miami in the summer of 2016. When the paparazzi captured a shot of Bad Gal whispering something in Aubrey’s ear, speculation of what was said started running rampant in meme form.
Checking Phone at Club Origin: 2016
It was a simple check of the phone at the club but, because the Internet, it turned into a whole damn wave of memes with empathetic commentary.
Drake scribbling words down into a notebook gave people open season to come up with what the rapper must have been scribing.
Blurry Drake Origin: 2017
When Drake invited fans to caption a blurry concert photo in 2017, the hilarious captions and memes started piling up.
“God’s Plan” Music Video Origin: 2018
Drake’s “God’s Plan” video got touching at moments, especially the part where Aubrey shares a warm embrace with a couple he just hooked up with some cash. The teary-eyed moment became the motivation for another meme movement.
Hair in Migos “Walk It, Talk It” Video Origin: 2018
Drake let his soul glow in Migos’ throwback “Walk It, Talk It” video, with the internet having a good ol’ time coming up with jokes about the rapper’s curly wig selection.
Reaction to Magician Julius Dein’s Lollipop Trick Origin: 2018
Drake’s mind was blown when magician Julius Dein turned a regular lollipop into a bust of Batman right before his eyes. The 6ix God’s look of surprise will forever be jotted down in meme history.
Caught Pouring Drink Origin: 2018
When cameras caught Drake pouring up a beverage while sitting courtside at a Toronto Raptors game last season, he jokingly slid the drink to the side, reminding people of similar situations they’ve been in.
The Fake Smile Origin: 2019
Drake’s fake smile during the 2019 NBA Playoffs was accompanied by some of the best memes of the year.
Bold NBA Finals Prediction Origin: 2019
Drake was on one after the Toronto Raptors won Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals and predicted his home team to win it all in a fiery post-game interview. Drake’s intense demeanor was hilariously logged into the meme catalogs.
Reaction to Kevin Durant Getting Hurt in NBA FinalsOrigin: 2019
When Kevin Durant injured himself during the NBA Finals, Drake was upset. Or was he? The internet had a field day deciding if the show of frustration was real via meme.
“No Guidance” Video Origin: 2019
People had no chill after seeing Chris Brown and Drake’s extended “No Guidance” video. Drake’s “Ooo. Wow” line has been the subject matter for several funny memes.
Booed at Camp Flog Gnaw Origin: 2019
The unthinkable happened when Drake performed at Tyler, The Creator’s Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival: Drizzy got booed offstage. It happens to the best of them, but since it happened to Drake, we got a bunch of memes poking fun at the moment.