Sometimes in life, we have more questions than answers.
Drake’s tropical vacation in Barbados this month is one of those situations. In theory, he should be in album mode right now. His sixth studio album is supposed to arrive this summer, and he recently dropped hints that he's 80% finished with it. So, why have we been seeing photos of Drake lounging in lavish pools and hanging out in nightclubs with Popcaan all month?
For a two-week stretch, from July 11 to July 23, Aubrey Graham and his boys hopped on Air Drake and went on a trip to Barbados. Along the way, there were meme-worthy run-ins with fans, paparazzi images of Drake hanging out with Rihanna's brother, and more than a few Chefette references.
We're take journalism seriously here at Complex, so we spent hours digging through Barbados geotags on Instagram and closely monitoring his tropical escapades over the past couple weeks. And, honestly? We're left with more questions than answers. Here are 15 questions about Drake's trip to Barbados.
Where did Drake drop his spliff?
When I was in college and smoked way too much hookah, the way we fixed a burn in the dorm room carpet was to simply move a large piece of furniture over it. But we also weren't smoking hookah over alpaca. When I saw Drake's Barbados Instagram tutorial about how to fix a spliff burn in a carpet, I absolutely went on YouTube to see if he just ripped a video from there or what, and I couldn’t find anything that matched.
So now I'll be up all night wondering: Was that a carpet on the boat Drake and the crew were riding in? Did Drake tell whomever was fixing the carpet that he wanted to take a timelapse video? Did this come from the mind of buzzed-to-maybe-drunk-Drake? (I have a history of enjoying the content Drake posts when he's off the shits.) But I'll also be pondering more existential questions like: What happened to that spliff? And where does a spliff go when it dies? It doesn't deserve to have its whole life defined and judged by this one mistake. —SA
What’s going on with Air Drake?
The bottom of Drake’s $185 million plane says, "If You're Reading This We Left." But what happens when they get to where they're going? Does the text change when they arrive at the next airport? Also, is the plane powered entirely by PartyNextDoor manning a bicycle generator located in its belly? To be clear, I'm asking: is PND the commander of Air Drake’s First Airborne, Dungeon Division?
I'd like to think it functions similar to Air Force One. Obviously, there's an onboard hookah lounge, but is there a war room? You know, a place where Drake can call an emergency meeting with his cabinet to mull over important things like whether a picture should go on his grid or on his story. —SA
Sweeter Tings or Carby Musk?
The biggest revelation about Drake this year is the fact he started his own scented candle company, Better World Fragrance House. The candles aren’t actually available yet (unless your name is Kehlani, Steph and Ayesha Curry, or you play for the Toronto Raptors). But you know Drake made sure his Barbados vacation home was properly scented. The only question I have is about his aroma of choice. Returning home from a night out with Chubbs and the boys, did he burn down a jar of Carby Musk or opt for something more elegant? Just kidding; the answer is obvious. Take a long look at this photo of a bespectacled Drake feasting in a Barbados diner and try telling me the night didn't conclude with the aromatic delights of Sweeter Tings wafting through his rented mansion. —ES
What was the real point of the trip?
I noticed they were using some pretty nice cameras when they took the boat out, so I think it's safe to assume this wasn't just a leisurely trip. I also know that Drake stopped by Rihanna's childhood home. Are we dangerously close to seeing a music video where Drake shows up outside Rihanna's window holding a boombox over his head like John Cusack in Say Anything? As much as I don't want anyone to bother Rihanna, I would love to know what his boombox song choice would be. Is he going to try to win her back with a Popcaan song? Is he going to blast “Love Yuh Bad” as raindrops fall onto his Denzel Washington tattoo? He'd be symbolically adding another teardrop to Lil Wayne's face. Poetic, honestly. When you make Lil Wayne cry from a cloud in the sky? That's amoré. —SA
Related: Is Rihanna’s childhood home a museum yet?
If not, why? She didn't make "Love On The Brain" for that house not to become a museum with a majestic equestrian statue out front. I want to see bronze Rihanna on top of Pegasus leading her Navy into battle. —SA
Who told Drake about the tweets?
I would give anything to be a fly on the wall in Barbados at approximately 9:48 p.m. on Monday, July 20. When Kanye West tweeted Drake’s name next to a thinking face emoji, who told Aubrey? Did Chubbs walk over to Drake and nervously wait for him to finish blowing hookah clouds before muttering something about the emoji? Or did Drake see it himself and ask OVO Bryan to take this photo of him sipping water (which he not-so-coincidentally shared on Instagram just moments after Kanye’s tweet went live)? Did he pause for just a moment and let out an evil laugh as he considered captioning the photo with a purple demon emoji? These questions will keep me up at night. —ES
Why is Drake obsessed with Chefette?
One thing we appreciate about Drake is his duality. He'll make us all feel poor by rapping about Nobu and then turn around and stop by Caribbean fast food chain Chefette just to remind us that we're not so different after all. Did you know that Chefette was founded by a Trinidadian Arab? So it makes sense that Drake is rapping in Arabic and Patois (and Somali!) on the "Only You" freestyle. Does this mean Drake will remix Trinidad Madman's song of the summer? Personally, I'm looking forward to seeing the "Married" remix receive the Noah "40" Shebib treatment. —SA
What if he actually named this upcoming album Chefette like his Instagram post suggests? And what if the Chefette menu found its way into the song titles?
The tracklist would look something like:
1. In Plenty intro
2. Chico Pak
3. All Potato Roti
4. BBQ Barn interlude
6. Spliff Man Gets Paid (featuring Spliff Starr of the Flipmode Squad)
7. 9 PM At The Charles Rowe Bridge Location
8. Single Scoop Frozo
9. Large Juice
10. Pizza Hotline interlude
11. Hawaiian Slice
14. Mix & Match
15. Nugget Supa Pak
16. Garlic Sauce Riddim
17. All Prices in BBD*
18. Speed Team
19. Snack Box
20. In Time of Need Outro
21. Only You Remix (featuring Shaykh Hamza Yusuf)
22. Married Remix (featuring Rihanna & Trinidad Madman)
Drake, I am once again standing on the other side of a translucent window, in a smoky office lit by only a desk lamp, wearing a trenchcoat and fedora, and asking you to confirm or deny my theories. —SA
Is he still in album mode?
In early July, Drake told everyone he was almost finished with the next album. So was this trip to Barbados a celebratory vacation after finishing recording, or did he head out there to catch a Caribbean vibe and soak up some last-minute inspiration to complete the album? Will these tropical adventures make it on the album? Perhaps he is back in the Drake Embassy right now, writing rhymes about riding on a sailboat with OVO Bryan? According to Hollywood Life, Drake was in Barbados to shoot a music video, but I really hope he still finds a way to hit us with a "Sheeeeezus Chryssss" reference somewhere on the final tracklist. —ES
Will Bajan slang make it on the album?
Drake's Headie One collaboration, "Only You Freestyle," dropped in the middle of the trip. Over a U.K. drill beat, he adopted yet another accent, and even tried out new languages as he rapped, "Habibti please! Ana akeed, inti wa ana ahla." So I've got to ask: If he's still working on the album, will Bajan lingo sneak into some of these songs? If his Instagram comments are anything to go on, the answer is a resounding yes. No one would caption a group photo of their boys on vacay as, "Gyal come way too fussy crushy," if they weren't really about this shit. Of course, he already used that line on "Only You," but I'm holding out hope that he'll can save "bad chargeee" for the album. Classic incoming. —ES
How was Copacabana?
During Drake's stay in Barbados, he ended up at a club called Copacabana Barbados, where he was the very first guest who had the honor of enjoying their brand new VIP 1ofK Lounge. There are candid photos of him milling around the club, and even a hilarious video of him reuniting with the "Sheeeeezus Chryssss" guy, but I was curious what the Copacabana experience was really like, so I went to their Instagram page and read the bio: "Check out this awesome Beach Club where there is always a Happy Ending!" At first, this seemed like shocking information. But upon further investigation, a Happy Ending is actually just a drink on their menu. For Drake's sake, let's hope they put Virginia Black in it. —ES
Did he add to the collection?
For better or worse, the everlasting image from Drake's trip to Barbados is going to be this photo of his back tattoos. I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, though, and assume it's just not finished yet. Maybe he just needed to pull up to Soul Touch tattoo and add Popcaan’s portrait to the mix? —ES
Who played J. Cole at the pool?
In a comment on J. Cole's Instagram page, Drake revealed "The Climb Back" and "Lion King on Ice" were "ringing off this afternoon poolside." They're are fine, but even J. Cole would have to admit that no one's instinctive reaction to hearing these songs is going to be grabbing their bathing suit and a piña colada. Noname's “Song 33” has more pool energy than this new Cole, if I'm being honest. But maybe Drake just wanted to take a little sun nap? Look, at the least, I can appreciate Drake being a real friend and posting about Cole's new music. Sharing your friend’s art literally costs you nothing!!! —SA
What is it about the allure of a body of water that Drake can’t resist?
Is it the way water is shapeless and formless, yet takes on the many shapes and forms it finds itself in? My favorite memory of Drake near water is that time he was nervously zipping up his already-zipped jacket by a kiddie pool because he and Rihanna both ended up at the same kid’s birthday party. Why do I know that information? Unclear, but we absolutely do not talk about that video enough as a society. Anyway, maybe he was hoping to recreate the magic by posting up in Rihanna’s home country. His toxic cup runneth over! —SA
What does Rihanna think about Drake gallivanting around her home country?
What did Rihanna's texts with her brother look like when she found out they were hanging out? I mean, look, if Drake texts you to roll with him, what are you gonna do? Say no? I feel like Rihanna is powerful enough to ban Drake from entering Barbados if she wanted to, so if Air Drake isn’t on the no-fly list, then maybe we should read it as a sign of eased relations between the Canadian and Barbadian ambassadors???? —SA