Rihanna and Drake’s real-life romantic relationship has been compared to that of Friends’ characters Rachel and Ross for its constant on-and-off character. Regardless, that doesn’t make their portrayal of a romantic encounter in What’s My Name? any less convincing. The two are filmed flirting in a grocery store in what become Drake’s first ever number one and Rihanna’s second from the Loud album, as well as her 9th one overall.
But unlike many pop collaborations, the pairing of the two was not suggested by their management. The Barbadian singer personally played the song to the rapper backstage at a concert, inviting him to add his own lyrics. Drake accepted and within 3 days had a whole verse completed. In an interview with MTV, Rihanna detailed on the reasons behind making that choice: “Drake is the hottest rapper out right now and we’ve always been trying to work together. He’s the only person I thought could really understand the melody of the song, and the minute he heard it he said, ’I know exactly what I’m going to do. I love it.’
The collaboration was initially planned to be just a remix that would not appear on the final track-list of Loud. As of 2016, Rihanna and Drake made two other songs together, Take Care and Billboard’s current number one, Work. In addition, Drake’s Fireworks single is said to address the relationship of the two with its second verse. Without directly mentioning Rihanna’s name, one of the lyrics contains the place where the two first met – Lucky Strike Lanes & Lounge, a famous New York nightclub.
What’s My Name? spent 1 week at number one in Billboard Top 100, before being dethroned by Far East Movement’s Like a G6 (featuring The Cataracs & Dev).