The Ongoing, Eternal Bromance of Drake and Odell Beckham Jr.

Both at the top of their game, the rapper and athlete's friendship only makes sense. But how did it all begin? Complex has the timeline of their crew love.

drake and obj
Image via Instagram
drake and obj

Drake may or may not be a bandwagon fan, but one thing is for sure: He is faithful, faithful, faithful, faithful to one athlete in particular. That man is New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. 

If you hadn't noticed, the young NFL poster boy has put the debacle of last season behind him by trailing Drake across Europe, tagging along on The Boy Meets World Tour. Not a day has gone by since More Life dropped that Beckham has failed to update his Instagram with posts captioned with Drake lyrics—something he's done his entire career. It's the literal embodiment of Drake's "Thank Me Now" lyrics: "Damn, I swear sports and music are so synonymous / 'cause we wanna be them and they wanna be us."

In a Draft Kings interview from Aug. 26, 2016, Odell spoke of their blossoming friendship and explained that he grew up watching Degrassi. It was clear the kid was living every fan's dream—getting to meet your idol and discovering they're just as cool as you imagined.

"To see his whole story and then to finally be able to meet him, a guy like that whose mindset is very similar to mine," OBJ said. "Like I said, he wants to be the greatest. He wants to put out the best song every single time. I understand where he’s at."

It hasn't been that long since OBJ's ridiculous one-handed catch ratcheted him into stardom, but there are certainly parallels between his meteoric rise and that of the 6ix God. Perhaps their pairing is kismet; maybe they just happen to be the hottest in their fields at the right time. Here, we bring you the timeline of the consummate modern rapper-baller bromance.

May 22, 2015

drake and obj

This picture was the start of it all. Odell Beckham Jr. was invited to play in Drake's charity celebrity softball game during the second Houston Appreciation Weekend around Memorial Day, nearly two years ago. Let Beckham tell it, it was love at first sight.

That really was the first time we like really hung out and stuff like that, was at HAW weekend. And this really was the start of a friendship that’ll carry through a lifetime.” 

Sept. 28, 2015

Four months later, OBJ excitedly uploads this video of him scoring a touchdown, set to the Drake and Future's hit "Jumpman." You will notice that he tagged Drake...but not Future. 

Oct. 26, 2015

View this video on YouTube

It is well-documented that OBJ loves to dance. Seriously, the man never stops. Is it coincidental that a few months into their friendship, Drake releases "Hotline Bling," a video in which he dances unabashedly, which he'd never done before?

Oct. 28, 2015

Two days later, OBJ is interviewed for Rolling Stone's series "The Die-Hards." Here, he reveals how much Drake's music motivates him to be great. In particular, "Energy" from If You're Reading This It's Too Late, sits on his pregame playlist.

"A lot of his songs, it's almost as if he wrote them and had me in mind," OBJ said. Now that's fan luv.

Jan. 16, 2016

Drake begins to claim OBJ, posting this pic to IG with the caption "my brother." Are they at the infamous "safehouse in Calabasas"?

February 2016

These photos, from Feb. 20 and Feb. 25, 2016, show OBJ and Drake breaking bread. They line up with the timeframe that OBJ spoke of in later interviews, when he said their bromance deepened when Drake called him up out of the blue and invited him to London. 

Getting to sit back and be a part of the OVO crew was eye-opening for OBJ and solidified their bond.

“I’m usually the one who has people with him and they’re following me and it’s like, ‘This is my crew and my people. I got to take care of them. I’m responsible for them,’” he later said. “So to be able to sit back and take the backseat, it was just real humbling for me to be somebody who, now, I’m looking around and I’m watching out for what’s going on. Instead of being the one that everybody is looking at, they’re looking at him. I love seeing somebody shine. So I think we'll be friends for this lifetime, next lifetime. That’s my guy."



April 6, 2016

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OBJ drops the biggest bombshell yet: He actually moved in to Drake's home while Drizzy was putting the finishing touches on the record-breaking album known as Views.

March 25, 2016

An emboldened OBJ takes a shot at his rival, cornerback Josh Norman, in a thinly veiled subtweet: 

That boy should thank me for all I've done for you !!! Your welcome tho ... Lol

— Odell Beckham Jr (@obj) March 25, 2016

Norman isn't having it. He cleverly claps back at Beckham by not only clowning OBJ's relationship with Drake, but using a line from Drake's diss of Meek Mill to do so:

@Obj_3 As your boy @Drake would say "trigger finger turn to Twitter finger's" huh?
I'm not Guna sub Tweet you Ima @ You.
So wassup?

— *Joshua R. Norman (@J_No24) March 25, 2016

But like his boy, OBJ isn't one to let things go, so he waits all the way until Jan. 1, 2017, to take aim at Norman one more time, using—you guessed it—a Drake lyric:


April 8, 2016

Video surfaces of OBJ absolutely killin' it to Young Thug's "With Them" in Drake's backyard. Watch him somersault in at the 2:43 mark:

View this video on YouTube

But pay close attention to this video of OBJ dancing to "Memo." You'll notice him bust an air guitar move that Drake does from time:


Sept. 25, 2016

Drake publicly encourages OBJ before an NFC East matchup against the Washington Redskins—the team for which Josh Norman plays, of course.

The Giants would go on to lose, giving Washington its first win of the season.

Oct. 3, 2016

Odell wears custom OVO cleats before a game against the Vikings. Because he plays in the No Fun League, Beckham takes them off after warm-ups.

Odell is wearing custom Drake OVO's for the game tonight (via @k_obrand)

— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) October 4, 2016


Oct. 23, 2016

OBJ TD catch
Drake references his homie on the track "Fake Love," which premieres during OVO Sound Radio.

The lyrics "No you can't son me, you won't never get to run me / Just when shit look, outta reach, I reach back like one, three / Like one, three, yeah" elude to both Odell's number, 13, and The Catch on Nov. 23, 2014, that made him a star.


February–March 2017

The Giants lost their most important game of the season on Jan. 8. The media maligned OBJ, saying the yacht party he and teammates had in Miami before facing the Packers was the reason they failed to advance. Luckily for Beckham, Drake's Boy Meets World Tour kicked off in Amsterdam a few weeks later, on Jan. 26. If he had sorrows to drown, he did so as he followed Drizzy around Europe, where he's been for the past couple of months. But it doesn't look like he was sorry at all. It looks like he's having the time of his life.

On Feb. 16, Drake stopped his show in London's O2 Arena to have OBJ sign a fan's jersey he spotted in the audience.

About two weeks ago, Beckham met the parents, kicking it with Ma Dukes:

And hanging out with the OG, Dennis Graham:

Here he is taking selfies backstage with Nicki Minaj after she joined Drake for a show in Paris:

And here he is embedded with the A/V team at the show in Oslo, Norway:

And if you look closely, you'll see OBJ nestled in among the OVO crew. He thanks his "family" for the experience, and we already know as far as Drake is concerned it's OVO over everything. 



Last but not least, Odell's Instagram would cease to exist if it weren't for Drake. He has used More Life lyrics every single day since its release as captions for the glamorous, hater-deflecting, (potentially self-absorbed) photos @obj. There's an art to the perfect IG caption, and Drake's words seem to provide the poeticism Beckham seeks.

Even when he used a PartyNextDoor song on March 7, he managed to lift only from Drake's verse:

Because Beckham has sourced Drake lyrics literally forever, time would fail us to include every instance when The Boi summed up precisely what Beckham was feeling. His fandom borders on being obnoxious, but thankfully Drake returns the public shout-outs to OBJ here and there to confirm their respect is mutual. Assuming he stays on Drake's good side, Beckham will likely continue to chronicle every step of this bromance for years to come. 

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