Views: all the Toronto mentions on the new Drake album
All of the Toronto references on the new Drake album, from Weston Road to the CN Tower
It would be impossible to see Weston Road from the CN Tower. But Drake, who's perched atop the tower on the cover his new album Views, included a reference to the west end street anyway.
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From street names to condos to obscure teen rappers, Drake's Toronto is all over the map, literally and figuratively.
Kennedy to Weston
"Kennedy Road taught me not to trust people like you," Drake raps on the album opener Keep The Family Close, a reference to the judge of character required to roam the Scarborough thoroughfare.
On the title track Views, he also speaks on being street savvy in Toronto, namely staying safe at Caribana.
Weston Road Flows is a song explicitly about Drake's past in the city, and has the most Toronto references in it. In the song, which takes its title from the road in the north west part of town, he references former Toronto Raptor Vince Carter's Slam Dunk Contest winning through-the-legs dunk and having a drink with local R&B crooner Glenn Lewis.
On the same track, he also name-checks the TTC and shares memories of visiting the now-defunct Fluid nightclub on Richmond Street West.
The intersection of Jane Street and Weston Road comes up on Still Here.
The London on the Esplanade, the name of the condo in the St. Lawrence area of the city, slyly makes it into the Kanye West-produced U With Me?
The song is directed at a romantic interest who lived in the building for a month. When Drake would visit the mystery woman, he was forced to take the service elevator to her room, because the relationship was secret. He also reveals the room number, 4301.
Hassan Ali gets a surprising shout-out on the song Grammys. Ali is a 17-year old Somali-Canadian rapper from the Lawrence Heights neighbourhood. He goes by the rap name Top 5, but since he is almost always seen without a shirt on, he also earned the nickname Shirt Off Shawty. Both of his names get mentioned by Drake here.
Drake mentions two more established acts in Toronto in the song Views. In a rap about how he was able to get more exposure in the Toronto rap scene in the late 2000s, Drake said that he "worked JD's connections whenever Jason let me" – JD likely being rapper JD Era and Jason being Jason Harrow, or rapper Kardinal Offishall. Both rappers were more senior to Drake during his early days.
Though he shortened the album title from Views From The 6 to simply Views the day before its release, his now-ubiquitous nickname for Toronto appears in several spots on the album. "I turn the 6 upside down, it's a 9 now," he says on the song 9.
"Running through the 6, thumbing through the contracts," he raps on Views, a meta reference to his song Know Yourself, which itself is a reference to the emotion involved in moving through Toronto.