Rapper, singer, and actor Aubrey "Drake" Graham candidly opened up about his future plans, revealing his thoughts on marriage and whether he envisions settling down with a fellow celebrity.
The 36-year-old may have gained professional success after dominating the music charts with his catchy tunes for over a decade following his departure from the Canadian hit series Degrassi: The Next Generation. Still, Graham's personal life is an entirely different story.
Over the years, Graham has been romantically linked to Rihanna, SZA, and Serena Williams, to name a few. Although those alleged relationships didn't work out, the "God's Plan" emcee welcomed a son, Adonis Graham, in 2017 with former model and artist Sophie Brussaux.
In a July interview on Bobbi Althoff's The Really Good Podcast, Graham explains why he isn't a perfect suitor for marriage and isn't interested in being with a celebrity despite his past high-profile relationships.
Drake On Marriage
In the discussion, the "Over" lyricist disclosed that he feels he wouldn't be an ideal partner for marriage because of his busy schedule.
"I don't know. I don't think I could offer somebody what they'd be looking for," he told Althoff. "Just consistency. My work is my priority. I wouldn't want to not be able to contribute as a partner."
Further into the interview, Graham added that he is also reluctant to get married because he doesn't want to disappoint anybody.
"I don't want to get married because, like, I just don't want to disappoint someone," the "Fancy" rapper said.
Drake On Not Marrying A Celebrity
As the topic shifted to the type of woman Graham would marry, the star shared that he would prefer a noncelebrity over a famous person because he finds them more intriguing.
"I probably will end up marrying somebody that's not famous," he stated, "Famous people aren't that anything. They're not that intriguing."
In light of Graham's recent admission on relationships and marriage, xoNecole looks back at his former romances.
Drake's Relationship Timeline
Although the exact timeline of when former 106 & Park host Keshia Chanté dated Graham is unclear, new outlets report that the pair's romance occurred in the early 2000s when they were both teenagers.
Despite their relationship ending, it appeared that Chanté left a mark in Graham's life because years later, in 2022, the emcee revealed that she was the "Kiki" inspiration behind his hit song "In My Feelings" during OVO Fest as he introduced her onstage and mentioned the activities the pair would partake in, which is highly referenced in the track.
"This next person coming to the stage, I used to get in my mom's car, and I used to drive all the way to the west for this one right here, you feel me? So, I have to personally introduce her," he said. "This is my first girlfriend I ever had in my life. A real legend, somebody I love with all of my heart. Make some noise for Keisha Chanté.”
Following his split with Chanté, Drake was reportedly linked to singer Solána "SZA" Rowe around 2008 or 2009, depending on whose version of events you believe.
At the time, Rowe wasn't widely known. On the other hand, Graham gained notoriety following his mixtape So Far Gone, featuring the hit singles "Best I Ever Had" and "Successful." Although it is unclear how long they were together, the rapper mentioned his romance with Rowe in 2021's "Mr. Right Now."
"Yeah, said she wanna f--k to some SZA, wait. 'Cause I used to date SZA back in '08," he said.
After the track's release, Rowe took to Twitter to clarify a few things, including the former couple's dating timeline.
"So It was actually 2009 lol ... in this case, a year of poetic rap license mattered lol," she wrote. "I think he just innocently rhymed 08 [with] wait. Anybody who really knows me and was around during this time can confirm ... it's all love all peace."
The following year in December 2022, Rowe opened up in an interview with Audacy about where she stands with Graham, their past relationship, and why she isn't fazed by being name-dropped in any of his songs.
"We're cool. We've always been cool. It's never been weird," she said. "Anytime he's ever mentioned me, it's always been positive. He never said anything negative about me, and I'm grateful for that. I think really highly of him… I'm an artist now, I wasn't then, and he's King Drake!"
Graham's most notable relationship to date has been with singer and entrepreneur Robyn "Rihanna" Fenty.
The couple began dating in 2009, years after Graham appeared as an extra on Fenty's music video "Pon De Replay." Despite their chemistry, Graham and Fenty's romance wouldn't last long because, by 2010, the lyricist revealed to The New York Times that he felt like "a pawn" in their relationship.
“I was a pawn," he stated. "You know what she was doing to me? She was doing exactly what I've done to so many women throughout my life, which is show them quality time, then disappear. I was like, 'Wow, this feels terrible.'"
Shortly after that comment, Graham and Fenty would reunite that same year. However, their reunion was short-lived again because, in 2011, Fenty and Graham broke up for a second time. The following year, Fenty rekindled her relationship with her ex Chris Brown.
By 2016, all appeared to be going well with Fenty and Graham because the longtime musical collaborators released their hit song "Work." At the same time, Graham professed his love for Fenty when he presented her with the 2016 MTV Vanguard Award. Although it appeared Fenty and Graham would take the next step in their relationship following the public admiration from both parties, it sadly wouldn't last because, by 2017, they had broken up for the final time.
In a 2018 interview with Vogue, Fenty opened up about her nearly decade-long romance with Graham and where the pair stood after their final split.
"We don't have a friendship now, but we're not enemies either," she said. "It is what it is."
Since then, Fenty has moved on with rapper Rakim "A$AP Rocky" Mayers. The pair welcomed a son RZA Mayers in 2022 and are currently expecting their second child.
During Graham's on-and-off relationship with Fenty, the "Hotline Bling" emcee was romantically linked to legendary tennis player Serena Williams in 2011 after he was seen attending one of her matches and shared a telling tweet online.
"@SerenaWilliams I cannot wait to put it on you and make you sweat……. during our match this weekend," he wrote.
Although neither party confirmed the romance, Graham and Williams appeared to be heating up when he mentioned her in his song "Worst Behavior" and later threw jabs at her ex, Common.
Although both men ultimately settled the feud, which was allegedly over Williams, dating rumors continued to follow the alleged couple when Graham kept attending the tennis player's games, and they were spotted making out in various locations.
But by 2015, Williams and Graham's alleged relationship would be over. Williams has since settled down with businessman Alexis Ohanian. The couple share a daughter, Alexis Olympia, and are expecting their second child.
In December 2016, actress and singer Jennifer Lopez and Graham ignited dating rumors after they shared an intimate photo of the pair cuddling on Instagram.
Although, at the time, it was reported that Graham and Lopez were professionally working together, a source told People magazine that they greatly respect each other and their friends are hopeful it could lead to a blossoming relationship.
"They seem to really like and respect each other, but it's early," they said. "Where it goes, we shall see. Friends of them both are hoping it becomes something, but it's too early to say more than that."
A short time later, another insider revealed that Lopez was "smitten" with Graham and enjoyed "spending time with him." The alleged couple's romance continued well into the New Year when Lopez was seen sporting a Tiffany necklace, reportedly worth $100,000, that Graham gave her. The duo allegedly continued dating for a while, and during that time, it was revealed to the public that Graham met Lopez's children.
But unfortunately, by February 2017, Lopez and Graham's brief union ended. Since then, Lopez has married actor Ben Affleck.
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Feature image by Prince Williams/Wireimage
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
It is Eartha Kitt who once said, “Aging has a wonderful beauty, and we should have respect for that.” I couldn’t agree more. That’s why, it really does get under my skin, that we live in a culture that is almost obsessed with staying young. Why? Don’t you want to grow, evolve…mature? That’s why I’m also not big on people who are damn near obsessed with looking 20 years younger than they are. Nah, personally, I think the goal of looking great for and at your age is where it’s at because, as my mother (who ages remarkably well) used to say, “I’ve earned every year. I don’t want to be looking like a child when I’m not.” (It’ll preach.)
This kind of wisdom is the type of hindsight that cannot be matched. Because again, while getting older shouldn’t be anything that any of us are afraid of or ashamed to do, wouldn’t it be great if we were more proactive than reactive when it comes to how we take care of ourselves — so that as we do age (and it is inevitable), we will age…gracefully…seamlessly…beautifully?
That’s why I took the time to ask 15 women in their 40s to share some things that they wish they had done in their 20s as far as physical beauty is concerned. Look at it as me doing a solid for any of you younger readers who really think that “I woke up like this” will last…forever. It won’t. And if you settle into that very real reality by taking good care of yourself now, the 40s will be where you actually end up looking better than ever.
*Middle names are used in all of my interview pieces, so that people can speak freely, no matter what the topic may be.*
“Some women aren’t gonna like this but, Black can crack. I see it often; especially when I look at a lot of these women’s necks — even celebrities. You can look like you’re 29 in the face but because you didn’t take care of your neck when you were in your 20s, it’s out here looking like it should be in a nursing home. That part of your skin ages and sags like everything else. I wish I had cared about that back in the day. I do now and yes young women, moisturize your neck every night and every morning. I personally use a combination of rosehip oil and lavender because they help to stimulate collagen production. Don’t wait until you have tree rings. Do it…now.”
“I wish I had taken better care of my breasts. Not [just] as far as my health; as far as their appearance. When you’re in your 20s, everything is perky and unicorns. Hit 35 and you start to notice that your girls like your feet more than your neck. Doing some exercises to make your pecs more prominent and applying some cocoa or shea butter every night are little things that can keep them youthful. Don’t wait. A breast lift is an option but those aren’t cheap. And if you can avoid paying what a used car costs to keep your breasts sittin’ high, why not do that now?”
“It might sound weird but I wish I had laid off of my protective styles more. It’s like we’ve forgotten that the point of them is to grow our hair out but that can’t happen if we’re never giving our hair a break from all of the tension that comes from tight-ass braids and twists. Now my edges are suffering and that can make you look older than you are. Those ‘Brandy braids’ are cute, girl, but so is having a full hairline. Don’t live in a protective style — your future self is screaming this at you.”
“I wish I drank less. I had a good time, trust me. But drinking on the weekends and then having drinks a couple of nights a week after work took its toll. My skin feels drier and it takes more work to keep it moisturized. These days, [I] eat edibles instead. It’s healthier and it has compounds in it that can slow down the aging process. Oh, to be young again.”
“I wish I had incorporated some sort of hand care. If anything takes wear and tear on a constant basis, it’s our hands and we’ll be out here having a beauty regimen for everything but those. Now my hands are starting to look older than I would like and so I’m having to work overtime to get rid of some fine lines and fragile-looking skin. What I do is get hand facials every couple of months. Look to see what spas or salons offer them. It makes a really big difference on your hands. Your arms too.”
“I’m the most comfortable sleeping on my side but it’s not the best for my face — anyone’s face, really. I used to hear that it would cause wrinkles but when those aren’t something that you have to worry about, you don’t care. I’m starting to see a few around my lips and so now I’m on my back more often. I’m thinking that if I had cared about this in college, avoiding wrinkles would not be on my list of concerns at this age.”
“Stay off of acidic drinks. Your teeth will age just like everything else and sodas and orange juice doesn’t help. Think about the people you know who look one way…until they smile. Then they look 10-15 years older. Go to the dentist regularly and schedule a professional whitening appointment. White teeth make you look younger. Just take good care of them. You’ll be glad that you did, if you do.”
Jaye. 44.“Gray hair is a blessing but my grandmother always told me that it can come in prematurely — and a part of what causes that to happen is stress and a poor diet. When you’re young, you don’t care about stuff like that. But let those first ones creep in around your hairline and suddenly, you’re looking for all kinds of hacks. My advice? That man, that job, and that relative that is already making you want to pull your hair out? Let them go. Your hair can’t take it. And all of that junk food you’re consuming? I still hit a drive-thru but these days, it’s more like a couple of times a month instead of during every lunch break.”
“Get your legs waxed. All of that razor shaving can cause discoloration or leave razor marks that can make your skin look older over time. Plus, it creates ingrown hairs and something about those can make you look older too.”
“Stop not taking sleep seriously. When you’re 25, you can go on four hours of sleep for days on end but it catches up to you. Sleep is what rejuvenates you and if you don’t get it, eventually you will look like it. I have dark circles that I’ve been trying to get rid of and a part of it is due to years of no sleep catching up to me. Whatever it is, it can wait until you’ve had at least seven hours. Don’t listen if you don’t want to. One day you will look in the mirror and wish that you did.”
“I wish I had spent more time outdoors. It’s no secret that Black people have more of a vitamin D deficiency than anyone else but trying to pile up on supplements when you’re older is a lot. When you’re at restaurants, eat on the patio. Sit on your back deck to read a book. Go for a walk in the mornings. I’m dealing with some hair loss stuff right now and it’s partly because I need more vitamin D. And thinning hair makes you look older than you should.”
“Waist trainers are bad for you. I wish those damn things would go away. That doesn’t mean that I don’t get that a snatched waist can take a few years off. Hell, I know that I took mine for granted back in my 20s. Snack on bananas and berries. Do some cardio even if that’s power walking through the mall. Stop drinking cold stuff so much. It might sound like a mama’s tale, but drinking things at room temperature reduces bloating. There are other things that you can do to get the curves that you want without smashing your organs. Lord.”
“I wish I cared more about my damn arms. Nothing makes you look older quicker than your upper arms not being in good shape. Get some five-pound free weights and set aside 15 minutes. Dry brush those bad boys; it’ll keep dimples from showing up. Keep them extra moisturized, so that those annoying little bumps won’t show up. And use sunscreen. The sun doesn’t know if you’re Black or not. It comes for us too.”
“Have a professional care for your skin. There are a billion things that you can do at home but an aesthetician is trained to figure out what works best and what doesn’t. Facials, microdermabrasion, and chemical peels from time to time have all played a role in me starting to look younger. If I had taken preventative measures, it would’ve kept some money in my pocket because I wouldn’t be going quite as much as I do now.”
“I wish I had been more choosy about my sex partners so that I could’ve had wilder sex. Listen to Auntie here. There is some stuff that good sex will do for you and aging that no cosmetic can. Sweat out those toxins. Work out that core. Take in some of that sperm. Just do it with a man you can trust and you can be totally free with instead of these knuckleheads. Yeah, better mate selection is the beauty tip that I recommend — and stop acting like it’s a rite of passage to start this at 35. Get a good man now and sit down somewhere. So that you can lay down in peace. That’s what I’ve got for you.”
Pass the plate around for Payce, y’all. As far as beauty and maturity go, she just preached — to women of ALL ages! Amen? Amen.
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Featured image by The Good Brigade/Getty Images