Last night, after Drake's If You're Reading This You're Too Late tape impacted, Drake circulated a lengthy dedication and thank you note. Some of the names and places mentioned are readily familiar—Oliver, Noah "40" Shebib, RiFF RaFF, and the Yolo Estate, for instance. But others, less so. So we've parsed the handwritten note, and to the best of our abilities, here is who's who and what's what.
His Day One friends— Noah "40" Shebib, Oliver El Khatib, Future the Prince, Niko, Chubbs, Gelo, Mark, Morgan, OB, Hush (aka Husher Raymond), Cans.
Baka— Baka is an old friend of Drake's who you might recognize as Baka Not Nice from the outro of "From Time." Baka, whose real name is Travis Savoury, was arrested for human trafficking last year, hence this line from "Know Yourself": I might declare it a holiday as soon as Baka get back on the road.
Win Win and 50— His muscle. On "Energy," he threatens his enemies with his friends Win Win and 50: I got real ones livin' past Kennedy Road, I got real ones with me everywhere that I go.
Courtney Smith— Drake's former personal assistant, who is still close to the October's Very Own Crew.
His Side Crews:
Pretty much the entire Raptors roster — Tyler [Hansbrough], Amir [Johnson], Demar [DeRozan], Kyle [Lowry], Pat Man [Patrick Patterson], T Ross [Terrence Ross], Lou Will, JV [Jonas Valanciunas], JJ [James Johnson], Bruno [Caboclo], Lucas [Nogueira], Chuck, GV [Greivis Vasquez], [Greg] Stiemsma and the whole Raptors organization.
Zoe Kravitz— There was a time when Drake was often seen palling around with Lenny Kravitz's daughter Zoe—they even got caught maybe making out at a Beyoncé concert. On "Star67" Drake raps, Like Zoe mama I go hippy/Peace sign in the air like I'm Nixon.
A couple of girls from way back when — Nicole "that used to come see me in my mom's basement," Whitney from Brampton, and Nadia—but, like, the old Nadia: "But this tape is for when you worked at La Vie en Rose and lived on Fox Trail or whatever that street was called."
The women who took him to see Theo Huxtable read poetry in Baltimore— Linda and Amanda Noro.
Two recording studios— Sota Studios, Sandra Gale Studio at the Yolo Estate.
"Everybody that reaches volleyball, Everybody that ever reached skating and paradise"— This may be a nod to Beach Blast, the indoor volleyball facility where Drake shot for the "5AM in Toronto" music video.
If You're Reading This You're Too Late collaborators:
Boi-1da, T-Minus, Noel, Vinylz, Party Next Door, Wondagurl, Travi$ Scott, Jimmy Prime, Amir Obe, Eric Dingus (as "Do Eric and Big Tho," we assume), RiFF RaFF
Other Collaborators (or Possible Collaborators):
Kenza— Kenza Samir is a poet who has helped Drake with his writing in the past. "She's a great girl and a phenomenal poetry writer. We just sit together and come up with the best way to say things," he told Vibe in 2013.
Skepta— The British grime rapper from whom he borrowed a line (Shout out to the Gs from the ends, We don't live no girls from the ends) for "Used To".
Glo Gang— Glo and Chief Keef get shoutouts—how long till GloVo activates?
Madonna and Ginuwine—Track 6 is called "Madonna"—as in the pop star with whom he was recently caught trading flirty Instagrams. And "Madonna," as well as the tape's opening track, "Legend," sample Ginuwine's "So Anxious."
No Explanation Necessary:
Last but not least:
Here are the names and places we don't recognize—if you are or know of any of the following, please get in touch! We'd love to get to know you:
Preme, Ant Daddy, Biz, Aunty Kay, Charlene, Freddy, K9, Babel, Grease, JRJ, QM, Bob, Steelus, Sticky Rei, Jahvon, Hawiti, Kareem, Julius, Dio, Theo, Snaz, Arian, Skinny Gucci, Kayla, Vida, Raemiah, GGM.
Update: We've been tipped off to the identities of more from the list above:
☻Brian Espiritu is the owner of a Toronto based clothing line called Legends League.
☻"Sicky Rei" is Nicky Rei, Oliver's girlfriend.
☻"JRJ" is Jason R Johnson, a longtime friend of Drake's who is referenced on "Fancy": Jason had a girl named Tammy with the purple Bentley
☻ Snaz is a producer
☻Preme is P. Reign's nickname
☻Babel is Mathew Babel, P. Reign's music manager
☻Theo is allegedly short for Theophilus London
☻"QM" is Quentin Miller, a composer from Atlanta
☻"GGM" is Gabriel Garzón-Montano, whose song "6 8" is prominently sampled on "Jungle." Last year Garzón-Montano toured with Lenny Kravitz, father of Zoe (see above).