A Complete History Of Drake’s Surprise Billboards

From Toronto to Los Angeles, the busy artist is making a trend of pop-up messages.

September 01, 2016

Drake's got a thing for customizing billboards. It all started back in 2011 when he secured one in Toronto, styled after the city's official signage, to promote his Take Care album. Since then, Drake's used the massive displays to tease albums Nothing Was The Same and Views. Last week, he dedicated a billboard to Rihanna for receiving the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Music Award at the 2016 MTV VMAs. And now it just seems like he’s wilding out with brand new public signs featuring minimal phrases like "Calabasas Is The New Abu Dhabi" and "Top 5 Top 5 Top 5."

Below we've listed the background behind all of Drake's billboard thus far.


1. Toronto Take Care November 15 (2011)
A Complete History Of Drake’s Surprise Billboards Octobers Very Own / octobersveryown.blogspot.com

In the fall of 2011, Drake debuted this billboard to promote Take Care and its design looks a lot like the actual city signs in Toronto. After it was posted, an article was published on the Toronto Star's website that said Drake had "ruffled the feathers of the city's legal eagles," because of the similarities between Drake's billboard and officials ones for Toronto.

2. Started From The Bottom (2013)

A photo posted by Rob Soliman (@rob_soliman) on

To get fans excited for his 2014 album Nothing Was The Same, Drake made a simple and more creative billboard in Toronto with the title of the album's hit single "Started From The Bottom." And then he danced in front of it in the song's music video.

3. The 6 God Is Watching (2015)

A photo posted by QW (@queoshaa) on

In this teaser for his VIEWS album, which didn't drop until April of the following year, Drake played on his self-proclaimed moniker, "6 God." It's evident that he's one of Toronto's largest mainstream contenders and here, he portrayed his impact with this billboard posted next to the tall CN Tower that looks over the city.

4. VIEWS (2016)

All Star Weekend 2016

A photo posted by champagnepapi (@champagnepapi) on

Toronto hosted the 2016 NBA All-Star weekend and Drake took the opportunity to give attendees a warm welcome to the city. Before hitting the court as a coach for Canada's celebrity team, Drake placed a VIEWS billboard that beamed over the city to tease his upcoming album.

5. Four Plus Two Equals 6 (2016)

A photo posted by 👑 (@ovo.ssarah) on

Drake calls Toronto "The Six," a nickname he popularized on the 2015 release of If You're Reading This It's Too Late. As another build up to VIEWS, this billboard offered a fun way to emphasize the number.

6. Congratulations To Rihanna... (2016)

When he extra ❤🏆!!!

A photo posted by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on

Drake took a break from advertising his own projects to put up a thoughtful and congratulatory billboard dedicated to Rihanna in Los Angeles last week. The iconic pop singer was the recipient of the prestigious Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Music Award at the 2016 MTV VMAs, where Drake surprised the audience to present her with the honor. The gesture didn't go unnoticed by Rihanna who posted a photo of the billboard with a caption that gave Drake his props for his "extra" display of respect and affection.

7. Calabasas Is The New Abu Dhabi (2016)

On the same day of the 2016 MTV VMAs, another billboard popped up in L.A. that was a little more cryptic. It isn't clear what exactly the phrase means but underneath it are Drake's signature 6 God prayer hands and Kanye West's G.O.O.D Music symbol. It's speculated that the appearance of both emblems hints at an upcoming collaboration from the two rappers. On August 1, OVO Sound Radio tweeted that a joint album between West and Drake would be announced at OVO Fest this year.

8. Views Was Actually Pretty Good (2016)

Drake's a Calabasas resident so it makes sense that Los Angeles is his new, ideal location for pop-up messaging. On August 29, in the midst of his Summer Sixteen tour, a billboard emerged in Venice, Los Angeles that applauded his most recent album VIEWS.

9. Top 5, Top 5, Top 5 (2016)

This billboard, which was noticed on August 30, is a little more colorful. In bright red, yellow, and green letters it features the "Top 5" line from the VIEWS track "Grammys," featuring Future.

10. Let's All Get Along Like They Do In Canada (2016)

Today, Drake's manager and OVO co-founder Oliver El-Khatib posted a photo of this billboard decked out in the colors of the Canadian flag. It has a pleasant message that suggest that we all adopt the harmonious spirit of Canadians.

A Complete History Of Drake’s Surprise Billboards