All of the Times Drake Has Paid Tribute to Virgil Abloh

From giant statues to special hoodies, Drake continues to find new ways to show love to the late visionary.

Via @champagnepapi/IG

“My plan is to touch the sky 1000 more times for you…love you eternally brother.”


This is what Drake’s Instagram caption read on a post following Virgil Abloh’s death in November 2021.


Drake has never been shy about showing love to Abloh. There’s the “Life Is Good” line that everyone has heard ad nauseam about the Patek on his wrist going nuts. His private jet is covered in a cloudy paint job and signature text styling that reads, "IF YOU'RE READING THIS WE LEFT," courtesy of the Off-White founder. We’ve seen the two of them link up in matching camo Arc’teryx jackets at the Nike Forum in 2020. And since the visionary’s death three years ago, Drake has continued to keep his friend’s legacy alive in various ways.


After photos recently surfaced of Drake in a hoodie covered in references to the late designer, we decided to look back at all of the times that the rapper paid tribute to Abloh. 

Forearm Tattoo

Honestly, Nevermind

“Sticky”

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

When: August 2022

The most obvious nods to Abloh on Honestly, Nevermind came on the standout track “Sticky.” He raps, "Off-road Maybach, Pyrex trap/Virgil came back through the boy." The bars reference two of Abloh's endeavors, collaborative work with Mercedes-Benz and his first brand, Pyrex Vision. Towards the end of the song, the beat pauses and we get a message from Abloh, “Like we weren’t supposed to come up with something this clean, like something happened.” This was pulled from his "Everything in Quotes" lecture at Columbia GSAPP in 2017. The particular sound bite was Abloh discussing the conceptualization of the Yeezus cover with Ye. 

When the "Sticky" video dropped a few weeks later, Drake made sure to really live his lyrics. Abloh’s one-of-one Mercedes-Benz Project Maybach concept car is featured throughout. The special vehicle was officially unveiled during Art Basel Miami in December 2021 just days after Abloh’s death. Drake also owns the 2023 Mercedes-Maybach S680 designed by Virgil Abloh, which features a similar paint job to the off-road edition. It's one of only 150 that were produced. 

'It’s All A Blur' and 'Big As The What?' Tour Statue

Drake has a statue of Virgil Abloh at his show 🖤 pic.twitter.com/4ewy4oApUF

— Complex Music (@ComplexMusic) July 6, 2023
Twitter: @ComplexMusic
When: July 2023-Present

Drake’s most grandiose tribute to Abloh was unveiled during his “It’s All A Blur” tour in 2023. For a portion of the show, a giant statue of Abloh hovered over the stage. A paper plane moved overhead as if it was being tossed. The statue is a reference to this iconic image of Abloh tossing a paper plane down the runway of his first presentation for Louis Vuitton back in 2018. The giant sculpture was such a focal point of the show that a fan joked it was why he had to cancel the Memphis stop of the tour back in August 2023. An official statement from the FedEx Forum read, "Due to the magnitude of the production of the Drake concert, it is logistically impossible to bring the show as designed to the FedExForum on August 6th," so that fan might be onto something. A variation of the statue is still featured as part of Drake's current "Big As The What?" tour with J. Cole.

“Meltdown” Verse

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

When: July 2023

Some people might not necessarily consider this one a tribute. After all, Drake’s verse on “Meltdown” is more well-known for his threat to melt down $3 million worth of Pharrell’s iconic jewelry that he bought at auction. But we’re going to count it. Later on in the verse, Drake raps, “Since V not around, the members done hung up the Louis, they not even wearin' that shit.” This is meant to another subtle jab at LV's current men’s creative director, Pharrell Williams, but it doubles as praise of Abloh’s tenure at the storied French luxury house. If it is designed by Abloh, don't even bother throwing it on. That's loyalty. 

Immortal Varsity by Gruppo Vava

Lumiere Hoodie by Gruppo Vava

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