In the early hours of Wednesday morning, @champagnepapi—otherwise known as Drake—snatched 2016 with ease.
With neither a caption nor context, Aubrey Graham posted a photo to Instagram of him and J Lo (yes, Jennifer Fucking Lopez) snuggled on a coach—his head buried in her hair; her head in his lap. Almost immediately afterward, J Lo posted the exact same shot to her own Instagram, which caused Rihanna—Drake's star-crossed lover and multi-time ex—to unfollow her.
A photo posted by champagnepapi (@champagnepapi) on Dec 27, 2016 at 11:38pm PST
This event—normally a mere humblebrag in the world of celebrity dating—wouldn't be so impactful if it didn't come at the tail end of a year that saw Drizzy cemented his title as the world's biggest hip-pop artist/Twitter rapper (even if VIEWS, his fourth studio album, failed to deliver on the hype set by many fans and critics.)
Here's a condensed list of his achievements in 2016:
- VIEWS, released in very-late April (to just "meh" reviews), still went multi-platinum in record-breaking time. Up until the Weeknd rampaged through the Billboard charts with his own album, Drake was the first and only artist to achieve 1 billion streams on Spotify and Apple Music. (He was also crowned Spotify's most-streamed artist of the year.)
- He dated Rihanna for the summer and together they made two of the year's biggest hits—"Work" and "Too Good." Between a slew of concerts and two separate tours, Drake and Rihanna built the Aubrih brand to a new level of rabid fandom—mostly thanks to constant videos posted to social media of the two grinding the fuck out of each other on stage at every show.
- Drake reportedly dated Serena Williams for a brief period of time, and was quickly blamed for being a distraction in her life by fans—a distraction so big that he might've have contributed to her stunning loss at the US Open semifinals.
- Drake now officially has more number one singles than the Beatles, which makes him the GOAT ("I JUST HIT THE BEAT AND FLOAT").
- He might have had a fling with Taylor Swift.
Now, here we are: after a week of "ARE THEY DATING?" rumours (which started after the Queen of early-2000s R&B and the Toronto Don were spotted getting friendly last week), the duo has decided to light the internet's powder keg with no remorse.
There is speculation whether Drake—who flirts and sends romantic gestures to just about every major female celebrity in existence—is playing this for publicity, perhaps for a joint venture between the two artists, but it's also hard to ignore the fact that Drake is literally the posterboy for teenage fantasies being fulfilled.
Think about it: despite how bad this year was for just about everything and everyone, this is truly a light in the darkness. J Lo is 47, Drake is 30. That means that a 10-year-old Drake would have been sitting in front of his TV, drooling over a 27-year-old J Lo, probably thinking about (like many of us have before) the bittersweet feeling of having a childhood crush that's way too old for us.
Today, however, Drake showed us that anything is possible. He brought us hope, and for that, Aubrey 'Drake' Graham has won 2016.
Follow Jake Kivanc on Twitter.