Is Drake the worst boyfriend ever?
It’s a question you started asking yourself on Thursday night, after the first public opening of Art Basel Miami Beach—that behemoth fair where by day you’re perusing very expensive art (or as Drake likes to say, “You got to look at paintings and shit”), and by night, you’re hopping from pop-up club to pop-up club trying to figure out where Cardi B’s surprise performance is (then you find her, at the Moschino x Jeremy Scott party at the Eden Roc).
This year, American Express is celebrating the Art Basel hedonism with the Platinum House, a pop-up club/lounge situation on a stretch of beach behind The Edition hotel, where you planned to see Drake at 9 PM last night. He shows up a little bit later than planned, but it’s fine, you know, because Miami time—everyone’s at least 45 minutes late to everything.
“I just figured since it’s Art Basel week getting shit kicked off, I’m gonna stay up here as long as you want me to stay up here,” Drake says once he arrives, promising you forever. And really, dude has so many singles, you convince yourself he must be telling the truth.
“As long as you give me the energy,” he says, “I’ll stay up here all f---ing night playing songs for you.”
We got energy, Drake! Got a lotta energy!
So he starts running through a quick mash-up of those older songs he knows you like: “Trophies,” “Headlines,” “Started From the Bottom,” and “I'm On One”—which he tells you he wrote right here in Miami Beach, at the Setai Hotel. Drones are flying overhead, scrolling the titles on an LED screen. Then he slows it down. Starts crooning a cappella. Comes down to your level, looks you straight in the eye and tells you’re not like the others.
“I know a lotta people gotta do the corporate events and stuff,” he says. “This doesn’t feel like that corporate event.” That’s because what we have is something special. You’re FaceTiming your best friend who’s at home, and he takes your phone out of your hand and starts singing directly to her, and you visibly flip the f--- out in front of an intimate crowd of a couple hundred people. He tells you he brought his dad. Then he starts doing that dad-dance that you love while singing “Hotline Bling,” and all the lights go pink and purple, because he’s still on those James Turrell vibes.
But then you start to notice he’s always asking you between every song, “Should I keep going?” Yes, Champagne Papi, please keep going! After the third or fourth time, you have to start asking yourself, is Drake just using me for validation? No, no, no, he just respects your personal space so much, he just wants to be sure that everything is consensual.
And then for the third or fourth time, he’s talking about his exes again. The fact that he was singing a J. Lo song—“If You Had My Love”—should have been the first red flag. And then there’s that one where you don’t know what her name is but you’re pretty sure it ended badly. Sure, she suddenly stopped calling him, and she’s all about glasses of champagne out on the dance floor, but you have to wonder—why he can’t just be happy for her and get over it? You start thinking about before, back when you were with Virgil—designer and DJ Virgil Abloh, who faithfully played a full set just before Drake came into your life. He was such a nice guy.
Suddenly, Drake hits you with the truth. It’s his last song. “I feel like we could go out on this note,” he says. But Drake! You said you’d stay all night, you shout. And it’s only 10:30.
And his last words tell you what you wish you’d been saying all along. “I can tell that love is fake/ I don't trust a word you say /How you wanna clique up after your mistakes?/ Look you in the face, and it's just not the same.”
The drones fall back to earth, and it’s off to the next party.
"Hotline Bling" dramatically read by 13 celebrities: