Aubrey Drake Graham—aka Drake, Drizzy, Young Papi, or Jimmy Brooks if you're an OG fan—has taught us many a life lesson. From his Degrassi days to the present, he's worked hard and it's paid off. The kid from Toronto became an international superstar, mind and manners intact.
Last night, Drake reached a new milestone in his gentlemanly journey when he declared his love for Rihanna at the 2016 MTV VMAs. As he presented her with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, he proved himself to be the Prince Charming we've always wanted for her. And as he gave her that semi-awkward onstage smooch (for anyone saying Rih snubbed him a gave a cheek, please try practicing PDA with the world watching and see how seamless your kiss looks), he proved once and for all something we could all use a reminder of every now and then: Nice guys don't finish last—sometimes, they even end up with Rihanna!
And Drake has always had a reputation for being a standup fella. Fetty Wap, for example, raved about the rapper in a 2015 interview with The Fader. "The thing I respect about Drake the most is that he's not one of them artists that take his status and just do what he want with it," he said. "He has the status to just do anybody's track, if he really wants to. I'm just a nobody compared to Drake, and he still actually asked me, 'Is it cool if I do a remix?' And even the way he said it—more like, 'Can I bless it?' He was thanking me for putting him on the remix, and I'm trying to tell him like, 'No, thank you. You don't understand what you're doing for me.' He's definitely a very, very, very, very humble person."
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And humble guys don't just go looking for trouble. That's why Drake tried to downplay his role in the 2012 nightclub scuffle with Chris Brown, telling GQ the whole thing was "embarrassing" and "distracts from the music."
"Two rappers fighting over the woman. He's not even a rapper, but still, it's the last way you want your name out there," Drake lamented (he and Chris were reportedly fighting over Rihanna). "I wish we could sit down, just like you and me are right now, and talk it out man-to-man. But that's not going to happen...I'm not confrontational, but if someone challenges, I'm not going to back down."
Hey, can't fault the guy for standing up for standing up for himself. Drake's not the type to get caught up headlines, and he certainly hasn't let Hollywood go to his head. He rolls with the big boys now, but that doesn't mean he's forgotten where he came from. The not-too-cool-for-school star still pops up at the occasional reunion with his Degrassi: The Next Generation co-stars.
Drake also is shy about the fact that he loves his mama...
He dances when he knows we're all watching.
And he's an unabashed romantic who is not the least bit intimidated by the fact that his girlfriend is a boss. Drake celebrates Rihanna's awesomeness, and he wants the world to know he's proud.
You can't help but be happy for Drake! Perhaps like Rihanna, we can all learn a valuable lesson: Don't settle for the bad boy—your real-deal, respectful rapper could be right around the corner. Love is patient!