In a lot of ways, Jack Harlow is Drake’s heir apparent. He’s charming in interviews, mischievous on social media, dabbles in acting, and, as proven over and over on his new album Come Home the Kids Miss You, loves a sprawling song about the double-edged sword of financial and romantic success over a moody beat. It’s not surprising that the 35-year-old Canadian superstar has taken the 24-year-old Louisville rapper under his wing—but it’s also unprecedented. Drake loves a collaboration with a new rapper with a hot sound, sure, but he and Jack seem to have become fast friends in record time. Their burgeoning friendship has been inescapable across Instagram, blogs, and blogs that recap what happens on Instagram.
In November 2021, Drake attended Harlow’s sold-out show in his native Toronto, where he was gratefully acknowledged from the stage. “I was halfway through my performance when I looked up and seen my idol looking at me, man. Toronto, make some noise for the GOAT one time,” Harlow said. (He referred to Drake with the same honorific in a September 2021 Complex interview alongside their co-bff Druski.) Drake later posted an Instagram story showing Jack in his kitchen—not only did Jack get a royal Drake appearance at his show, he also got the post-show invite back to Champagne Manor to formally chop it up.
This past March, another par for the course Drake vacation—wherein he floods Instagram with thirst trap pics of him and the OVO crew relaxing on some island—took a turn when Jack popped up. Suddenly things went from looking like the “Started From the Bottom” video to Wedding Crashers. In an interview with SiriusXM’s Gray Rizzy, Harlow talked about vacationing with Drake in Turks and Caicos this March. (Drake might as well be a tourism ambassador for the popular beach getaway locale, as he’s mentioned it on no fewer than four songs.)
“He introduced me to a different type of relaxation because I’ve never taken a vacation since I got started. I’ve never been to the islands or anything. That was a first-time experience for me, so I was grateful for that,” Harlow said, also explaining that’s where he was able to get Drake on his track “Churchill Downs.”
On March 9, Harlow posted a video of himself screen-peeking on Drake during their getaway, looking away sheepishly as soon as he was caught. (Drake replied that he was trying to figure out the contents of a weng weng, a particularly boozy tropical cocktail.) Drake also called Harlow “GQ Switzerland’s Most Attractive Man of the Decade,” so evidently he knows something even we at US GQ don’t.
A concert meet-cute, a getaway, and an official collaboration—the only thing left was for Jack to return the favor and show Drizzy around his hometown. Which brings us to this past weekend at the 2022 Kentucky Derby on May 7, where they spent time with Druski and DJ Drama, founder of Harlow’s label Generation Now and one-time Drake feud-haver. The outing found Drake in rare form, seemingly happy to be the just-off center of attention and there purely as a good friend—which led to him literally, drunkenly, stumbling into a televised interview Jack was giving, and interjecting slurred words of support like he was giving a Best Man toast. Drake was asked what it meant to see Harlow getting a rapturous reception in his hometown, and offered a genuine, if meandering response.
“We’ve been talking about it a lot the last couple of days. It reminds me of early moments, the same thing I did for a city that at the time really needed that energy lift, that recognition. I was referencing my first OVO Fest, I was blessed enough to have two amazing artists come support me [Jay-Z and Eminem] and that just drove me, I had to show up,” he said. “And we’re drunk. He’s sober, I’m drunk.”
The interview spawned another viral moment when Drake caught one of the TV producers giving the wrap-it-up motion to the on-air talent, prompting a stunned response of “You can’t give the wrap-it-up signal. What are you gonna cut to, a shot of poorly manicured grass or something?”
The two rappers obviously used the opportunity to also shoot a video for “Churchill Downs,” at its namesake. Given how uh, celebratory Drake seemed, the finished visual will surely be entertaining and meme-worthy. But it’s not enough—now that we’ve established these two as a full-fledged bromance, give us the buddy comedy we deserve, guys.