Drake kept his run of new music going on Monday (July 20) by teaming up with UK rapper Headie One on a song called “Only You Freestyle.” While Drizzy’s drill flow was enough to talk about on its own, Twitter users couldn’t help but focus on his Arabic references.
“Arabic ting told me that I look like Youssef/Look like Hamza,” Drake raps in his opening verse.
“Youssef” and “Hamza” are common Arab names for men; Drake is saying that an Arab girl told him he looks Arab because of features like his beard, eyes and skin color. In the next line, Drake then goes on to rap in Arabic.
“Habibti please/أنا أكيد، إنت وأنا أحلى,” he says.
“Habibti” is Arabic for “My love” and “أنا أكيد، إنت وأنا أحلى” (pronounced “ana akeed, inti wa ana ahla”) is Arabic for “I’m certain you and I look better together.”
Twitter users reacted to Drake’s attempt at the Semitic language by posting memes, including photos of lookalikes and saying he learned Arabic for Rihanna.
This isn’t the first time Drake has included Arabic words in his lyrics. In 2018, he used the term “InshAllah,” which is Arabic for “God willing,” on his song “Diplomatic Immunity.” Going back even further, Drizzy said “Habibi” (also meaning “My love”) on his More Life track “Portland” in 2017.
In an Instagram post in 2015, Drake even noted his Arab features when he shared a photo with Arab Prince, HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Mohammed Al-Maktoum. Drake joked that he was his “long lost brother” in the caption of the photo, which was taken in Dubai.
Drake’s Arabic line wasn’t the only big topic on “Only You Freestyle.” Drizzy appeared to take aim at Pusha T and Kanye West, suggesting Kanye has been hiding behind Push during their longtime feud.
“Shit you man been droppin’ lately/Don’t make me have to fly my iTunes,” Drake raps. “So much people buy into my hype / Don’t make me have to buy my hype too/Dealt with the big homie already/Don’t make me have to side-by-side you / Nuff times he tried to hide behind you/Amnesia but when I remind you/I’m touchin’ road and I can’t find you.”
Drake’s release with Headie One arrived just three days after he collaborated with DJ Khaled on “POPSTAR” and “Greece.” On the latter song, Drizzy also tried his hand at French, saying “je suis ton génie” (“I am your genie”) and “oui” (“yes”).
Check out more Twitter reactions to Drake speaking Arabic below.