Drake presented Rihanna with her Video Vanguard Award at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday (August 28) and, for a second, it felt like a page was taken out of the Ross and Rachel plot line from Friends.
“She’s someone I’ve been in love with since I was 22 years old,” said a very candid Drake before launching the entire AubRihNavy into a tizzy. Although his attempt at a kiss didn’t go as planned, Drake’s profession has since become the most talked about moment from the VMAs. With that said, of course, Twitter and the meme generators had a lot to say.
Hilarious reactions aside, Drake gave one heck of a speech that was, as you guessed it, as heartfelt as his odes to loves lost. Read a full transcription of his presentation below:
The first time I met Robyn Fenty was 2005. She was shooting a music video at a restaurant called Avocado in Toronto called “Pon De Replay” and the director of the video was lil x. I was introduced to her as a kid who played background music at a restaurant as people ate pasta. It’s hard to believe that 11 years later, that all three of us would come together to create visuals for a song called “Work”. Today, the world knows Little X as Director X, they know me as Drake and not the kid singing while you order pasta. But 11 years later, they still all know Rihanna as the one and only Rihanna.
“Captivating from day one, the iconic being that is Rihanna was already at a place that most artists only dream of going. For them that is often the peak, but for her that was the starting point that she has kept to ascending to an untouchable level ever since. When it comes to music she relentlessly takes over the charts with every release. When it comes to performances, they swarm in masses just to be in her presence, obviously. And when it comes to fashion and style, she makes it seem so effortless, until you try and do it’s yourself, which is when it gets a little awkward. What’s most impressive isn’t the endlessness of stats, awards, and accomplishments. What’s most impressive is the person. Some artists need to play a character to achieve success; some need to downplay their own natural instincts to blend in. She succeeds by doing something no one in this industry does, which is being herself. This woman has surpassed all competition while still being the same girl from Barbados surrounded by the same friends, speaking with the same accent and never missing a Crop Over unless it’s to come perform at OVO Fest.
“We love the music, which can change styles from album to album. We love the videos, which change their artistic vision from year to year year. But most of all, we love the woman who hasn’t changed since day one. She’s someone…she’s someone I’ve been in love with since I was 22 years old, she’s one of my best friends in the world. All my adult life, I’ve looked up to her even though she’s younger than me. She’s a living, breathing legend in our industry.