Following the release of his third full-length, Nothing Was the Same, Drake hosted an album signing last week at a Best Buy in New York City. Fans lined up as early as 8 p.m. the previous day to buy the record at midnight in order to obtain a wristband for the meet-and-greet and signing the following day.
Many didn’t sleep, most skipped work. One thing remained consistent: Everyone there was stoked.
3. We asked some of the fans to tell us why they love Drake.
4. Hussein, 19, from Brooklyn, was FIRST in line.
“At first I wasn’t into him at all,” Hussein admitted. “I was a Lil Wayne [fan] and I despised Drake, until this girl made me listen to one song, ‘Sooner Than Later.’ I liked how he did [both] singing and rapping. And then, I gave more of his music a chance instead of just blindly hating him. I became a fan, and then I went through some things, and I could relate to him more and more. He became my favorite artist out of everybody.”
When asked if Drake’s ever made Hussein cry, he said, “No, never. Even though I’ve been through something rough, if he makes something I can relate to, it makes me feel better, not worse.”
6. Ian came all the way from Florida to celebrate his 11th birthday with Drake!
“His music is inspiring,” Ian said. “I first started listening to him a year-and-a-half ago.”
8. Ian came with his family, including big brothers Carlos, 26…
“I’ve been a longtime fan, since his mixtape, So Far Gone,” Carlos explained.
10. …and Gene, 19.
“Drake’s one of the greatest,” Gene said. “I think his music is great. It’s really realistic. I think anyone can relate to him.”
But has Drake made him cry?
“Nah, nah, but I’ve definitely felt down before, yeah,” he said. “You’re emotionally connected to all his songs, you understand where he’s coming from and you feel it.”
12. Gene’s older sister Mercedes, 27, called him out for not admitting to the depth of his emotions.
“Oh, Drake’s made [Gene] cry,” she said. “I haven’t cried, not to Drake, no. He’s really open with his emotions. I really like that about him. I love his music. My brothers are the ones that listen to him a lot. Gene here is very, very inspired by him. It’s his favorite artist. That’s why I was laughing at him, because I know that some of the songs have made him cry, for sure.”
14. Miguel played coy, too. “I’ve never cried while listening to Drake, but he does make you reminisce.”
15. But this brave guy admitted to what every Drake fan knows to be true: He has the ability to summon the waterworks.
16. Gina loves Drake so much it’s almost religious.
“Got here at midnight, we stayed until we got the wristband at 8 a.m.,” said Gina, who first heard the record on the day it was released. “We haven’t slept.”
18. Syeda, Drake’s “best Pakistani fan,” actually shared a special moment with him when she finally got her album signed.
“The fact that he’s not from the hood-hood, but he’s faced his bottom, that’s what I can relate to,” Syeda said. “I didn’t grow up in the hood-hood either. That’s the biggest thing.”
On her blog, she detailed her fated moment with Drizzy:
he comes outta the bathroom & we take the pic he hugz me. then from where the autographs were being held and where the bathroom was i had my hand holding Drake’s & Cortez’s. We talked about Nic, twitter, working..we were walking super slow too..then i told Drake i would take a bullet for YMCMB.. he said “nah don’t do that or say that ok?” he kept smiling & looking at me.. he said “you’re super cute & sweet” then finally i had to leave… so Drake turns around and says.. “i wanna see you again & if i do i will follow you on twitter”…& then he goes up & i yell Take Care, he turns around smiles wide dimples! & waves….the crowd cheers for his return….
20. Most agreed that it’s his genuineness…
21. …and ability to relate to his fans that makes him so special.
22. He understands his fans’ emotions…
23. …and isn’t afraid of his own.
“He’s unafraid of his emotions and that’s why he is so relatable,” said the fan above.
25. Angela appreciates Drake for staying true to himself…
26. …While Lee loves that he has the power to make any record he’s on “HOTTT!”
27. As lucky fans neared the front of the line, they started to sprint up the escalators, one step closer to Drizzy Time…
28. …Fans outside took pictures with this big cardboard cutout to pass the time.
29. These two fans made amazing works of art for him!
30. Seriously impressive.
31. It’s a portrait of Drake made out of LYRICS from his songs!
33. As the energy and anticipation of his arrival continued to mount, every car that pulled up became a possible method of transport for the rapper.
Was he going to emerge from the back of this big truck???
35. When Drake finally arrived at the back entrance of the Best Buy in a black SUV, chaos ensued!
36. This fan practically fainted and fell to the floor, overwhelmed by his love for his favorite rapper.
“I’ve been bumping Drake since I was 11-years-old, since his first mixtape,” the fan above said. “And I’ve been watching him on Degrassi since the third season. He’s been a big influence on my life. I’ve been checking his fan page every morning since… I don’t even know. Without his music, I don’t even know how I’d get through. Any time I feel sad, I listen to Drake.”
He’s also had NWTS on repeat since it first leaked. “While I go to sleep, I’ll listen to it. Like, I’ll leave it on, wake up to it, get on the bus, listen to it, go to school, listen to it. Check his website. Listen to it. I’m a fiend,” he admitted.
40. Denise Valerie, 19, said she was hysterically crying and couldn’t pronounce her name right when she finally met Drake.
“He held my hand and bowed down to it, and then I walked away,” Denise said. “We’ve been waiting since 3 in the morning.”
43. This fan made brought Drake a very special re-creation of the NWTS album cover to sign.
44. Which Drake admitted to her he found “really hilarious.”
All photos taken by Maria Sherman and Aylin Zafar for BuzzFeed.