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What Is Drake’s “Virginia Beach” About? Here’s The Scoop

Drake’s much anticipated 8th studio album dropped on Oct. 6,  and I don’t know about you, but it was totally worth the wait. After Drake released For All The Dogs, fans couldn’t stop talking about the opening track “Virginia Beach,” especially its lyrics and that (suspected) Frank Ocean sample. More than anything, fans have been wondering what “Virginia Beach” is about — and I’m here to tell you. 

Prior to the album’s release, social media speculated that the song would be a diss track in reference to Drake’s decade-long feud with Virginia Beach native, rapper Pusha T. However, upon the album’s release, the title of the opening track proved misleading. This surprising turn not only defied expectations but added depth to the narrative of the album. The track ultimately proved to be reminiscent of a simpler time in a year-long complex relationship. 

Namely, Drake seems to address a woman he wants to be with, crafting the song into a heartfelt conversation. In the chorus of the song, Drake delves into the emotional complexity of what we can assume has been a year-long on-and-off relationship. The lyrics “lean in, lean in soda, Fanta, fantasizing” appear to be a double entendre: The choice of the term “lean” has a two-fold meaning.

Initially, we may be inclined to interpret this as an allusion to the recreational drug beverage, which is cough syrup usually combined with Fanta or another soda. Lean is often referenced in rap culture and therefore seems to be an appropriate assumption of the use of the word. However, within the context of the song the term “lean” may well be Drake’s invitation for an authentic and intimate connection with this girl. This lyric sets up a prevalent duality that characterizes the piece, the tension between the lavish lifestyle of rap culture and the pursuit of an intimate connection. 

A similar antithesis appears later in the chorus when Drake raps, “I move mountains for you, f*ck that social climbing”. The metaphor “I move mountains for you” expresses a willingness to go to great lengths for his love for the girl. The rapper’s play on words with “mountain” and “climbing” introduces the juxtaposition Drake is exploring in “Virginia Beach”. He prompts his girl to “f*ck that social climbing”, implying his disdain for superficial relationships that are built on success or social status. 

Given the content of the song, the initial speculations about the reference to “Virginia Beach” falter. Yet fans were quick to notice that the opening track may after all be dedicated to “Virginia Beach”, as an allusion to Drake’s iconic performance there on his tour in 2014 with Lil Wayne. Consequently, the title of the opening track marks a full-circle moment for Drake, setting up For All The Dogs as a nostalgic ode to the simplicity and authenticity of his early music endeavors. 

Maria Anna Maridi

Columbia Barnard '27

Travel, reading and writing are amongst Maria-Anna’s top interests. Maria-Anna is an incoming freshman at Columbia College aspiring to travel the world and be a writer.