There are a lot of people out there who hold it against Meghan Markle that she has a sh-tty relationship with her father, Thomas. Like she should forgive him simply because “family comes first”. Family SHOULD come first. But then again, life doesn’t always work the way it “should”. Not every human is a good parent. Not every human being is a loyal, supportive family member. If you’ve never experienced family betrayal – first of all, congratulations – this is hard to understand. And so you might say things like, “I could never ignore my mother/ father/ brother/ sister/ uncle/ aunt/ whatever. I can’t imagine not speaking to my mother/ father/ brother/ sister/ uncle/ aunt/ whatever”. If you have experienced the trauma of family betrayal, however, you 100% can relate to why certain people, even if they’re family, are not in your life.
Last week, British author, journalist, and broadcaster Hannah Beckerman wrote a piece about how many people in the UK are judging Meghan of House Sussex for her fractured relationship with her dad:
Culturally in the United Kingdom, the “family is family” refrain still has incredible potency. No matter how toxic the relationship, or how damaged the parent, plenty of people still believe that you should stick by your relatives whatever the cost to your personal well-being.
She goes on to note that:
Meghan’s acrimonious relationship with her dad — as well as with other members of her wider family — is a public rift many British people find distasteful, as the commentary in many newspaper articles attests, not to mention social media. It is an affront to so-called traditional family values, and neglects the Biblical commandment to “honor thy father and thy mother;” indeed, in [the] Daily Mail, Piers Morgan accuses Meghan and Harry of being “heartless” in the way they’ve “banished” Thomas Markle from their lives. Whatever the private context for the rift between Meghan and her father — and none of us know what that context is — it is invariably Meghan who bears the brunt of the blame.
Hannah then writes about her estrangement from her own father, empathising with Meghan’s situation, as she herself has been judged for not burying her pain to uphold the “family is family” ideal.
Drake’s situation is not exactly the same, but there are certain similarities. Drake’s parents were also divorced when he was quite young and he has talked a lot about being raised by a single mother, Sandi, in Toronto while his father, Dennis Graham, was in Memphis. He’s rapped about feeling abandoned by his dad when he was growing up and what it was like for him, feeling like at times in his life his dad wasn’t there for him.
Drake’s relationship with Dennis has improved over the years. Dennis is often seen at Drake’s parties. He’s been at award shows with him, surrounded by beautiful women, dressed like a boss. Here he is in June after the Raptors’ NBA championship victory parade, talking to TMZ, while flanked by two babes, about how much money he won and all his Hollywood plans.
Dennis is still talking. He went on Nick Cannon’s radio show recently and when asked about his son and their relationship, he claimed that Drake made it all up, made up the sh-t about him not paying child support and being an absentee father, not because of the truth but because it was a better story for his image:
"I had a conversation with Drake about that. I have always been with Drake. I talked to him if not every day, every other day and we really got into a deep conversation about that, 'I said Drake, why are you saying all this different stuff about me man like this is not cool'. He goes 'Dad it sells records,' and I said 'Okay well cool.'"
So now people are wondering if Drake’s a liar, wondering if he sold out his dad for street cred, for the sake of his career. Drake has responded on Instagram:
Look. There are a lot of reasons to dump on Drake if you want to. He was a prick in Rio last week. He keeps working with Chris Brown. He’s a master troll. He has many flaws. But he’s not lying about his dad. Anyone who’s been following Drake from the beginning, in Toronto, can tell you he’s not lying about his dad.
I live in Toronto. I work in the entertainment industry in Toronto. We’ve known about Drake before he became the 6ix God. And if you ask anyone here, anyone who knows Aubrey’s Toronto pop culture history, they’ll tell you that his dad was NEVER a thing. Sandi would pop in from time to time during Degrassi, even when the kids were old enough that their parents didn’t have to be around, but nobody saw Dennis. Sandi was the one Drake always talked about. Sandi was the constant, Dennis wasn’t mentioned or seen.
In the years since, for sure Drake and Dennis have obviously worked on their relationship. That doesn’t, however, change the past. Dennis might be trying to rewrite it but enough people were there that their memories can’t be wiped and replaced.
As for what their relationship is like right now…
It was better – and then this happened. For Drake to post that message on Instagram, with those words, basically calling his dad an opportunist, that’s a LOT of hurt. Especially for someone who’s already wary of enemy fire, to the point where it’s almost pathological.
It's a lot of bad things
That they wishin' and wishin' and wishin' and wishin'
They wishin' on me
In Drake’s mind then, with this message on Instagram, it probably feels like being stabbed from the inside, from where he least expected it – and he’s always expecting it.
So do you think Dennis is groveling now? Or will he take another page out of Thomas Markle’s playbook and go back to the media?