Drake is no stranger to viral fame, and his latest train of success from the “In My Feelings” dance challenge that is currently sweeping the nation calls for a celebration. Back in 2015, the New York Times praised his ability to master “the mechanisms of Internet obsession” and the spectacle of his approachable persona. He also made it very clear on Scorpion that he constantly lurks on Instagram – so needless to say, he really gets it.
In lieu of popping bottles and making a mess of things, we constructed a clean and concise timeline that documents all of Drake’s moments gone viral. Scroll down and re-live them in all their comedic golden glory.
2011: Drake coins his first motto
The year after Drake dropped Thank Me Later marked a big transition for the rapper. That March, he had the honor of hosting the Juno Awards. During the ceremony, he participated in a skit where he taught elders how to vibe with hip-hop and it instantly went viral.
Fast forward to November when the rapper released Take Care and “The Motto” became an anthem for everyone as Drake revised the ancient phrase “carpe diem” by coining the acronym YOLO and inspiring a new state of mind.
2013: Drake levels up and transforms into a magical meme
Once upon a time, Drake was minding his own business on the set of DJ Khaled’s music video for “No New Friends” when someone on the scene snapped a photo of him dripping head to toe in Dada (and doing a really awkward lean back). The image quickly turned into a meme that ultimately broke the Internet to its core. From there, the meme became a profitable piece of merch like the Drake YOLO Polo.
2014: Drake stops, drops and rolls the lint off his clothes
Drake flawlessly pulled off hosting Saturday Night Live for the first time at the top of the year (he made his first guest appearance back in 2011), but nothing could prepare him for what would happen three months later. No matter where he goes, Drake dresses to impress. During an NBA playoff game between the Toronto Raptors and Brooklyn Nets, the rapper was spotted lint rolling his pants from the courtside. Things escalated when the Raptors gave away limited edition OVO x Bounce lint rollers.
After that, Drake was tasked to go undercover as a news reporter for Jimmy Kimmel Live! and took to the streets in a disguise to find out what the public really thought about him. Weirdly enough, no one recognized him underneath a fake wig with a beard and glasses. Naturally, Fake Drake was a big hit.
Three months later, he hosted the ESPYs (wearing all-linen attire) and roasted everyone in the sports world. At one point, he dressed up like boxer Manny Pacquiao and sang “Let It Go” from Frozen. It was… fire.
2015: Drake looks like he survived a kiss from death
Not many people can say that they kissed Madonna, but Drake might have found out why the hard way after he puckered up to the pop icon on stage at Coachella. It didn’t take long for images of him looking distraught after the steamy lip lock to get some good ol’ meme treatment. Like a true gentleman, Drake claimed that he was merely “in shock” about making out with the queen. As for Madonna, she totally regrets the entire thing and wishes that it never happened after facing all that backlash.
2015 also marks the humble beginnings of the beef that once brewed between Drake and Meek Mill. After serving up a pair of diss tracks (“Charged Up” and “Back to Back”), Drake took a break and dropped “Hotline Bling” and the music video took on a life of its own. On top of becoming a meme, the visual inspired parodies on Vine (RIP) and the GIFs are still going on strong to this day.
In an interview with Complex, choreographer Tanisha Scott confirmed that Drake knew which parts were the most meme-able. If there had been an award for memes, it would have arguably won for meme of the year.
2016: Drake sees how the world (wide web) really views him
Everyone on the Internet had a field day when Drake revealed the cover art for Views. With a little help from Photoshop, the rapper got cropped into all sorts of places from Nicki Minaj’s booty and Beyoncé’s magnificent head of cornrows to being joined on the ledge by the most viral stars from that year.
The following month, Drake hosted Saturday Night Live and his skit “Drake’s Beef” went viral on YouTube. Shortly after that, Drake became a meme again when everyone latched on to a picture of him looking at his phone in the club.
2017: Drake gets mixed up at a Raptors game
Who could forget the time that Drake was caught off guard while sitting court-side at a Raptors game? He took it like a champ, but since then he’s been more discreet about mixing his drinks in public.
2018: Drake finally gets some love, but not from Keke…
While Drake’s beef with Pusha-T was certainly captivating, it didn’t really produce enough memes to make him go viral per se. Recruiting some of Hollywood’s most influential women to star in “Nice For What” and then reuniting the cast of Degrassi for his “I’m Upset” were iconic, but still not enough to take Drake over the top.
This might be a premature evaluation, but the “In My Feelings” dance challenge might be Drake’s biggest moment of the year so far (aside from Scorpion breaking all sorts of records). This time, it was someone else’s doing though—all credit goes to Shiggy and his #DoTheShiggy challenge! The official music video is currently being filmed in New Orleans, fingers crossed that Shiggy makes a special appearance.
This recent photo of Drake cheering on Serena Williams during her quarterfinal match at Wimbledon has also been popular amongst the Twitterverse, but hasn’t spiraled into anything that Internet-breaking worthy.
For more like this, read our take on who definitively won the Drake vs. Pusha-T beef right here.