By: Jefferson Marshall
Katy Perry & Russell Brand.
Tupac & Madonna.
Kim Jong Un & Dennis Rodman.
Buzz Lightyear & Woody.
There have been many famous odd couples in the past, but none of them have been as strange as Toronto Council member, Norm Kelly and hip-hop superstar, Drake.
Drake, 29, is currently at the peak of his career and is showing no signs of slowing down. The “6ix God” has recently been ranked #1 in Toronto Life’s list of most influential people in Toronto. Oh, and not to mention his mixtape he released last winter ‘If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late’ became the first album to go platinum in the year of 2015. With momentum on his side, a new clothing line on the shelves, and a highly anticipated album set to come out soon, the kid from Degrassi has done pretty well for himself since Lil Wayne signed him to his label back in the 2009.
On the other side of the spectrum, there is 74-year-old Toronto city councillor, Norm Kelly. He studied political history at Western University and was an Alderman on the borough council in Scarborough in the beginning of his political career. After a failed run to become the mayor of Scarborough, he was elected to the Metro Toronto council a few years later in the 1994 municipal elections. Kelly has been a Toronto council member ever since, and in 2012 he was one of first advocates for the idea of merging the City of Toronto with its five suburbs.
So how would these two totally different people ever cross paths you ask?
Well, when Drake was involved in the infamous rap beef with hip-hop peer Meek Mill, that’s when Drake met Norm.
In July, the Philadelphia native Meek Mill went public displaying his disgust towards Drake by calling him out on twitter for not promoting his album that Drizzy had a feature in.
During the entire episode of ghost writing allegations and wondering if it really was a world tour or his girl’s tour; Norm stuck behind the 6ix God the entire way.
Even after the first shot Meek sent on twitter, Kelly was the first one to quickly come to Drizzy’s aid by tweeting back.
“You’re no longer welcome in Toronto, @MeekMill,” Kelly said.
“Aye white man @norm what gives you the audacity to tell me I can’t come somewhere over me voicing my opinion! U sound like a thug lol.” the Dream Chasers Records founder replied.
When things started to heat up in the feud between the two rappers, as Drake released a diss track titled ‘Charged Up’. After the song came out, Kelly tweeted a screenshot of an iPhone at 100 per cent battery; he received thousands of retweets and favourites.
Four days later the Toronto MC sent another shot towards Meek by releasing ‘Back To Back’.
Again, Kelly reacted on social media by tweeting out a photo shopped image of Norm standing back to back with himself.
When Meek finally replied to Drake’s diss tracks with the publically acclaimed lack luster ‘Wanna Know’, Kelly once again had to made his opinion be heard.
“This is the reason why people hire ghost writers #WeDidn’tWannaKnow,” Kelly claimed.
A few weeks after, Drake and Meek sent a few jests at one another at their respective live shows as their rivalry cooled off. Norm still used his twitter account to post humours comments on the situation. However, it seemed that the Drake and Norm dynamic was a thing of the past – not until Ryerson University’s frosh week took place that is.
With rising star on the trap style hip-hop scene and close friend of Drake’s, Future was set to perform at Ryerson’s frosh event on September 11th 2015. The speculation of Drake making an appearance was at an all-time high, especially after Drake posted a photo of a banner at the Ryerson campus written in the font of his last mixtape cover ‘If You’re Reading This You’re Too Late.’
“If you’re reading this it’s your time to lead. Welcome Yonge 6 Gods,” the banner displayed
That night, not only did Drake make his surprise appearance, but later on in the show Norm Kelly came in to greet the crowd. It was the first time Drake and Norm met in person, and the crowd went crazy.
When Kelly finished speaking, Drake ran up and hugged him and they posed back to back together on stage, which has become one of the most iconic images in urban Toronto history.
After an Instagram photo of both the politician and the multi-platinum recording artist, the world (or just the GTA) finally got their wish.
With his new found fame, Kelly has become a star in the social media universe. Last month, he reached out to Chicago hip-hopper Lil B to “bless” the Toronto Blue Jays when they were down 0-2 in the ALDS against the Texas Rangers.
“Hey Norm your request is granted and remember I love you and Canada! That’s number one!” Lil B responded.
As a result, the Blue Jays became the third team in MLB history to have home field advantage and come back from a 0-2 deficit in the ALDS.
For Drake, he is still considered to be on top of the rap game. Right now, Drizzy is hearing the buzz from his newest and heavily parodied music video ‘Hotline Bling’, and is still perfecting his upcoming project ‘Views From The 6ix’.
With the two doing their own thing at the moment , people are not too worried as it is believed that Ryerson’s frosh event will not be the last time they will be seen together.
It just goes to show, when a politician in his 70’s and a hip-hop artist in his 20’s can get along so well it is definitely proof that it is a great time to be alive.