Celebrity relationships and friendships are a rare breed. These famous faces have their lives played out in front of the masses, whether it’s the good, the bad, or the straight-up shady. In Elite Daily’s new series, It’s Complicated, we’re highlighting the biggest celebrity “feuds” that took over Hollywood and dominated our Sunday brunches for weeks on end. We’ll take a deep dive into the lives and social media feeds of our favorite stars and dissect what happened in front of the camera, what went down behind the scenes, and everything you might have missed in between.
Whenever you're feeling blue, just remember there are people out there who still ship Drake and Rihanna at this very moment. While the two music giants may no longer be the dynamic love-duo fans were hoping they'd be, they still share a similar social circle. There are a few people Drake and Rihanna have in common across their music careers and personal lives, which makes me wonder: How often do they really bump into each other?
The thing is: Hollywood is small. When you isolate the music industry, it gets even smaller. The odds of having cross-over between collaborators, agencies, producers, and studios gets very, very high when you're thriving at the same time as other artists. Drake and Rihanna have both been lingering at the height of successful careers for well over a decade. Sure, music and albums have come and gone, but their star power is as strong as ever.
When you look at both of their expansive careers, you'll start to notice a few crossover faces. Some are mutual friends and some are mutual-frenemies, which further confirms Drake and Rihanna have more in common than not.
Here's a look into some people who might get Christmas cards (or lumps of coal) from both stars.
1. Kanye West
It's actually hard to say whether this is a mutual friend or not. We know that Kanye West and Drake have had loads of beef between them over the years, though they occasionally make up via Twitter. Their last beef involved Drake's "In My Feelings" lyrics and West feeling some type of way that Drake didn't sufficiently shut down speculation surrounding Kim Kardashian being the "Kiki" he was rapping about in the song. However, the rappers had squashed their beef prior to the Christmas holidays in 2018, thanks to this gracious tweet by Ye:
Rihanna has collaborated with West on hits like "All Of The Lights" and "Four Five Seconds," and appeared in his "Famous" music video (albeit as a fake human, but still). There's also that hilarious meme going around showing Kim Kardashian catching her husband swooning over Rihanna on stage at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards pretty hard.
If Rihanna has feelings or personal opinions about Kanye West, she's mainly keeping them to herself.
Wait... am I already seeing a pattern here? The relationships Drake tends to sabotage, Rihanna tends to maintain?
Drake has historically had a complicated relationship with JAY-Z, too. In the beginning, the two regularly worked together with Drake openly admitting JAY-Z was a mentor and helped him blueprint his career. Along the way, Drake started saying he was JAY-Z, which didn't sit right with Hov. In 2016, JAY-Z rapped these lyrics from his song "I Got The Keys": "Real life I’m like Hov, real life I’m life goals/ In real life they’re like me? In real life I’m like, ‘No.’"
Still, JAY-Z is one of the omnipresent fathers of rap and hip hop, which makes him an organic role model for both Drake and RiRi. He's been there for Rihanna throughout her entire career, signing her at the young age of 16 to Def Jam records in 2005. Of course, they also collaborated on "Umbrella" in 2008, one of her biggest hits to date.
As for where everyone stands in 2019: Rihanna is now signed to JAY's record label Roc Nation, which suggests they still have a good relationship. Photos of Drake and JAY-Z embracing backstage at the On The Run II tour in August 2018 suggest the two rappers are on good terms as well, warming hearts everywhere. Maybe there's a collab between these three industry heavyweights in our future? *fingers crossed*
3. Chris Brown
Brown and Rihanna infamously dated for one year from 2008 to 2009. Their relationship ended abruptly when Brown was charged with assaulting her in his car on the night of Feb. 7, 2009. Brown plead guilty to "one count of assault with the intent of doing great bodily injury" and was sentenced to 5 years probation, 1,400 hours of "labor-oriented" services, and a year-long domestic violence counseling class, according to CNN.
Meanwhile, Drake and Chris Brown always seemed to have a rocky relationship. When Chris Brown came out with a remix of Drake's 2011 single, "Marvin's Room," it was largely believed by fans to be a message about their dueling feelings for Rihanna.
Brown included lyrics like: "He’s saying he’s your best friend / And he’s always the one in your ear / I know that he been waiting / To get my ass up out of here," and "Cus he’s just saying you could do better / And baby all I’m saying is he sound like a hater," both of which strongly imply he felt Drake was meddling (if the remix was, in fact, about Drake).
Fast-forward to 2019, and weirdly enough, Brown and Drake collaborated together on their song, "No Guidance." The official music video dropped on July 26 and shows the two rappers facing off in a dance battle. (Not surprisingly, Chris Brown wins.)
One thing Eminem is pretty good at is popping up on group collaborations. This includes the song "Forever" that combined himself, Drake, Lil Wayne, and OG frenemy Kanye West. The music video for "Forever" has been on YouTube since November 2009, and is hovering just under 250 million views today. (Yup, that's seven zeros, people.)
That sounds like a lot, but just one year later, Rihanna and Eminem's hit "Love The Way You Lie" blasted to the top of the charts and has since accumulated nearly 2 billion views. (That's billion with a B.)
In keeping with the theme of Drake not getting along with people RiRi is chill with, Eminem and Drake have gone on to have some conflict throughout their individual careers. For example, fans think Eminem dissed Drake in his song "Kamikaze" after he brought up ghostwriting with the lyrics, "I got a couple of mansions / Still I don't have any manners / You got a couple of ghostwriters / But to these kids it don't actually matter."
At the time, Drake had long been rumored to have used ghostwriters to make his music, eventually admitting to The Fader he thinks music is "a collaborative process" and that he sometimes needs "individuals to spark an idea" he can run with. Eminem later told Sway Calloway the assumptions surrounding his lyrics and Drake are false, adding, "I like Drake. What I'm telling you with these lines is, I don't know what's real and what's not, at this point. Because you hear s**t about this rapper, that rapper, whatever."
As for Rihanna, she and Eminem appear to be nothing but groovy.
5. Nicki Minaj
The only other woman Drake has claimed to love as much as he once claimed he loved Rihanna is Nicki Minaj. The two have openly expressed how much they adore each other throughout the years and, for a while, even fueled engagement and marriage rumors. It was all in good fun, but still.
Drake was also included in the series of men Minaj "dissed" in her track "Barbie Dreams" when she rapped the words, "Drake worth a hundred milli, always buying me sh*t / But I don't know if the p*ssy wet or if he crying and sh*t." However, fans can probably piece together this line was all in good fun. Minaj told Apple Beats 1 radio she loves all the people she referenced, adding, "I said things about people who I know can take a joke and won’t be emotional about it."
Meanwhile, Minaj and Rihanna appear to be cordial, despite speculation among their respective fans that they're feuding.
After collaborating on Minaj's debut album in 2010 and appearing at various events together over the years, the women's friendship seems to be chilling at a low simmer. While it's true they don't follow each other on social media, both Minaj and Rihanna don't strike me as the kind of people who would have fake friendships just for the sake of it or bother themselves with unnecessary B.S. While some fans have tried digging for drama here, Minaj recently brushed off that there was any true beef between her and RiRi during a June 2019 episode of her show Queen Radio.
I don't know about you guys, but I find the whole thing exhausting. Through the transitive property, Drake and Rihanna are continuously being brought closer together or pushed further apart depending on where they stand with each other's friends and enemies. (That's how math works, right?) History shows Drake tends to live in frenemy limbo way more than Rihanna, who is perhaps the most chill person on earth.
Luckily, I happen to know I'm on neither of their sh*t-lists right now. (Not that I'm on, like, any list. But you guys get where I'm going with this.)