What's The Real Meaning Behind Drake's Down Hill? Here's What We Think

On June 17, just hours after Drake's surprise announcement that he was releasing a new album, "Honestly, Nevermind" dropped. It's the musician's seventh studio album, the last, "Certified Lover Boy," received pretty lukewarm reviews. NME called it a "boring, bloated disappointment" and accused the Canadian of "[whining] about women and fame" yet again. Pitchfork decreed it to be "an overlong and very familiar journey through the life, mind, and heart of Drake."

Haters gonna hate, though. Proving detractors wrong, "Certified Lover Boy" broke the record for most U.S. top 10 tracks from one album, with nine hitting the mark. Just days after its release, Drake's latest offering appears to be just as divisive and record-breaking. Per TMZ, "Honestly, Nevermind" was declared "the biggest dance album" in Apple's history after racking up the highest number of "worldwide first-day streams." Drake's fellow musicians have been serving up some major props, praising the rapper and calling his album "nothing short of a classic." However, social media critics haven't been so forthcoming with their praise; many are totally panning the album.

"Honestly, Nevermind" includes 14 tracks written and performed by Drake, with just one guest artist, 21 Savage, featuring on the album's last track, "Jimmy Cooks." Everybody's combing through the album to discover its true essence. They're analyzing the narrative and significance of each track's lyrics — as are we. That includes exploring the real meaning behind Drake's "Down Hill." Here's what we think.

Drake's Down Hill love woes

So, what's the real meaning behind Drake's "Down Hill"? Well, Drake is basically the Canadian Adele of the R&B world. He loves to impart all of the heartbreak and pain caused by romantic breakups and analyze his relationship struggles and issues via his music. "Down Hill" is the perfect example — and it lends credence to NME's accusation that the actor-turned-rapper loves to "whine about women and fame" (the women part, anyway).

"Down Hill" is about the breakdown of a failing relationship. Drake admits they've "tri-tri-tried, tried, tried" to rebuild their bond, but nothing is left anymore. Drake laments that he and his boo have lost their mojo. He knows it's gotten to the stage of no return as they now "feel disconnected and exposed," and he's unable to recall the last time they felt kindred. However, Drake's still unable to pull the trigger, so he begs his lover to end the relationship instead. "Tell me you're ready to walk away," he sings.

He contrasts how they are now with how they were last summer. Drake admits they lost that loving feeling "overnight," and from then, they were doomed. He confesses to having pondered how somebody "could swear it's for life" when it's not. Drake's confused about how their relationship could go so far "downhill" that they no longer have any attachment to each other. "We don't connect anymore. Far, far, far gone," he sings. "Oh! We're going downhill," Drake concludes in the outro.

Is Drake still going Down Hill with Rihanna?

Drake's "Down Hill" begs the obvious question of who's the woman that he sings about feeling so "disconnected" from as their relationship falls apart. It's difficult to answer, especially as the first video that dropped, for "Falling Back," depicts him marrying 23 chicks. "It's a good time for me. I'm ready to settle down; I'm in love," Drake says as he prepares for his multi-marriage marathon, returning to his Jewish roots as a Rabbi waits for the well-groomed groom's arrival.

Of course, it's always possible Drizzy has still got the feels for Rihanna as the couple has had a complicated "relationship," to say the least. Nobody knows what really went on with Rihanna and Drake — mainly because she's repeatedly denied that she ever dated him, while he's continued repeatedly declaring his love for her. Per Billboard, Drake implied in "Fireworks" that his relationship with Rihanna was "heading downhill." But, that was back in 2010, though, surely it couldn't have been foreshadowing?

A lot of water has passed under the Drake love bridge since then. In 2020, news broke that Drizzy had secretly fathered a son, Adonis, with the artist and model Sophie Brussaux two years previously. However, they've stayed in a platonic relationship since, as they co-parent their child together. In 2021 Drake was briefly linked to Johanna Leia, but Radar Online reported they split after just months. Which circles back to Rihanna again. But surely he's over her by now?

Drake's Down Hill set Twitter alight

Drake's "Down Hill" is about despair over a failing relationship. Which is a common thred in Drizzy's tunes. "What's brought Drake a tremendous amount of fame are his songs about love," Nylon writes. "Well, maybe 'love' isn't the right word. Maybe they're better called his 'women songs.'" They claim Drake has always strived to go the extra mile by writing and rapping about "every woman he's ever passed on the street or thrown money at in a strip club."

"You can call him divisive, but you can't call him boring," the Daily Beast writes. They go out on a limb, claiming, "Honestly, Nevermind" is a compelling leap into "dance and house music." Not surprisingly, Drake's surprise album set the Twitterverse ablaze. He was trending within minutes, and a search for #HonestlyNevermind brings up endless memes and quips.

"It's giving me...very much forever 21, hollister, abercrombie & fitch, hobby lobby background music, but it is an album!" one comment reads, accompanied by a pic of NeNe Leakes covering her ears. The comments on music sites weren't much better. "This would be nice in the lion king. Simba would be proud," one fan wrote about "Down Hill." Drake clapped back at the haters in a video posted by Rap Alert. "It's all good if you don't get it yet. That's what we do! We wait for you to catch up," he said. "We in here, though. We caught up already. On to the next. My goodness!"