friendship (drake's version)

Drake’s Photo of Taylor Swift Has to Mean Something

Photo-Illustration: Vulture; Photos by Shutterstock and Getty Images

Welcome the latest addition to Taylor Swift’s squad: Something’s going on between the pop star and Drake, per a photo the rapper posted to his Instagram of him giving her an awkward hug. (Celebrities, they’re just like us — except they all seem to know one another!) “They too soft to understand the meaning of hard work,” Drake captioned the photo, the fifth and final in an extremely random series of himself and his son, Adonis. Sure, Swift keeps a wide and varied circle — she has made much of her most recent work with a member of indie rock band the National — but this still seems like a bit of an odd coupling, aside from the fact that both she and Drake run the charts like few others these days. She has made her Drake fandom known before, name-checking the rapper on the Lover opener, “I Forgot That You Existed.” So is this the beginning of a Swiftian rollout for a new chart-topper? Or is Drake just flaunting that he met Swift, as any living, breathing human would? Here are a few theories the internet worked hard on.

Swift has new music with Drake.
As BuzzFeed News noted, this photo is from 2016, around when Swift stoked speculation about recording music with Drake. A source told the Sun at the time that she had been in the studio with the rapper, but none of their collaborations ever saw the light of day. That music could be released as a vault track(s) on an upcoming Taylor’s Version of either 1989 or reputation since their collaboration came between the two — except that Swift can’t legally rerecord the rest of reputation until five years after its release, in November 2022. To go down the rabbit hole a bit further, some fans think this means Swift is un-vaulting a whole new album, the allegedly scrapped 2016 release Karma.

Swift is rerecording an old song with Drake.
Swift already has a song that would make sense for a Drake feature: “Bad Blood,” which she originally remixed with Kendrick Lamar when it was released as a 1989 single. Sure, Swift is one of the biggest pop stars in the world, but Lamar seems busy with his own long-awaited album release, so we’ll figure he’s not making an appearance on 1989 (Taylor’s Version). But as another rapper Swift knows — who previously danced to “Bad Blood” in an Apple commercial, no less — Drake could make sense as an alternate feature on a remix. Plus, Swift debuted her rerecording of the 1989 song “Wildest Dreams” in the movie Spirit Untamed, so we could already be in 1989 (Taylor’s Version) rollout mode and not even know it.

Swift and Drake are dating.
Okay, the logistics of this one get pretty difficult once you consider that Swift has been in a committed relationship with actor Joe Alwyn for years. But the Sun sure seems to think she and Drake are now an item, posting three separate stories over the past 12 hours about their relationship. No, the paper doesn’t have any sources confirming anything on the record; as the Sun itself notes deep into one of the stories, “Even though some fans are convinced this post was a way of them saying they are dating, they are not.” But maybeee Alwyn actually is in his own Conversations With Friends–style open relationship?

Drake is just really, really excited to be friends with Taylor Swift.
And we’re all too soft to understand the hard work that went into that friendship!

Drake’s Photo of Taylor Swift Has to Mean Something