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Culture > Entertainment

Hold Up, Did Drake Diss Rihanna On His New Song “Fear Of Heights”?

Drake has very publicly been the president of the Down Bad Club for years and honestly, I can’t blame him. I would be just as hung up on my ex too if they were Rihanna! The couple broke up around 2017 on what many of us believed to be good terms, but fans are convinced that Drake just dissed Rihanna on his album For All the Dogs, which was released on Oct. 6. Like I said: he’s the president.

In the first verse of the song “Fear of Heights,” Drake raps, “Ayy, ayy, look / Why they make it sound like I’m still hung up on you? / That could never be / Gyal can’t ruin me / Better him than me / Better it’s not me / I’m anti, I’m anti.” The word “anti” is an obvious reference to Rihanna’s 2016 album ANTI. The pair’s collab “Work” was the album’s lead single. The “him” Drake mentions might be A$AP Rocky, Rihanna’s current partner with whom she shares two adorable kids. Genius points out that “Rihanna’s Instagram handle is ‘badgalriri,’ where ‘gal’ would likely be pronounced as ‘gyal’ in her accent.” Her Campus reached out to Drake’s team, but did not hear back by the time of publication.

The lyric “Why they make it sound like I’m still hung up on you?” makes me laugh. Doesn’t Drake realize that writing songs about his very famous, very moved-on ex seven years later is the definition of being hung up on her?

Drake and Rihanna’s relationship timeline is kinda messy. The pair met in 2005 on the set of Rihanna’s “Pon de Replay” music video, where Drake played an extra (don’t forget he was an actor before he became a rapper!). The first time they were confirmed to be dating was in 2009 after they were spotted kissing in a bowling alley. They reportedly broke up at some point before May 2010, when Drake told the New York Times that Rihanna ghosted him. I’d consider this Drake’s villain origin story and the start of his down bad era.

This is where Drake and Rihanna’s on-and-off relationship gets muddy. After their breakup in 2010, the two stayed friends and collaborated on a ton of hit songs like “What’s My Name?” and “Take Care.” The vibes were pretty platonic until Drake called Rihanna his “ultimate fantasy” in a 2014 interview with Rolling Stone (he also called her his “dog for life,” so make of that what you will). 

The pair seemed to have gotten back together in 2016. They got matching camo shark tattoos, kissed on stage at Drake’s concert in Miami, and posted each other on IG all the time. Drake even bought a billboard in her honor and told the world during the 2016 VMAs that he’d been in love with Rihanna since he was 22 years old. Unfortunately, the couple called it quits between 2017 and 2018. Rihanna told Vogue in June 2018 that she and Drake weren’t friends anymore and that she was dating someone new (AKA A$AP Rocky). 

Clearly, Drake is still salty about the breakup. Fans took to X (formerly known as Twitter) to show that they’re so over how not over Rihanna the rapper is.

RiRi might be the one who got away, but Drake, it’s time to move on. For everyone’s sake.

Fabiana Beuses is an entertainment journalist at Her Campus, where she interviews celebrities and professionally fangirls over pop culture phenomena. She previously served as the Editor-in-Chief of Her Campus at FSU and as Her Campus' Summer 2023 Entertainment & Culture Intern. She graduated from Florida State University with double majors in Media/Communication Studies and English (Editing, Writing, and Media) and a minor in Film Studies. When she's not polishing her latest article, you can find her browsing bookstore aisles, taste-testing vanilla lattes around town, or rewatching the Harry Potter series for the millionth time.