Did you know Denzel Washington and Drake have a history? It starts when Washington met the Canadian rapper and actor as a young kid and gave him some advice that’s still stuck with him. 

The 68-year-old actor was a guest on Good Morning America, celebrating the opening of the Boys and Girls Club’s 5,000th location. Washington is one of the organization’s national spokespersons. 

He spoke about the clubs’ impact on the youth and told a story about meeting a young man in Toronto.

“You just never know who you touch,” the American Gangster actor said. “I met a kid in Toronto who came up and was fascinated because I was like this star, and he wanted to talk to me, and he couldn’t believe that he met me.”

He finished the memory, sharing a shocking revelation, adding, “Well, 10 or 15 years later, he came up and he said, ‘You don’t remember when you met me.’ I said, ‘No.’ His name is Drake. And he said what I said to him, he never forgot.”

While Washington didn’t reveal the words of wisdom he shared with the rapper, it left a lasting impression. In 2017, the Grammy Award winner revealed a tattoo of Washington. The portrait of Washington is him in his role as jazz trumpeter Bleek Gilliam in the 1990 Mo’ Better Blues.


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The actor spoke about the tattoo when he did an interview with Jimmy Fallon.

“Now you got me wondering where is that [on his body],” he said in reaction to seeing the ink. “That’s crazy. But I think he got some other people he admires.”

Outside of the chance encounter with one of rap’s biggest stars. Washington sang the praises of the organization and how it changed his life.

“I was that 6-year-old kid that was nervous,” he said. “What am I now? I’m still that 6-year-old, wide-eyed kid who’s curious about life. I was being taught about grace, about winning with grace and losing with grace, and being a leader and all of these things.”

The latest Boys and Girls Club location is located in Elgin, Illinois.

According to the official news release, the new location “is 20,000 sq. ft. and sets a record for the legacy youth-development organization, marking the largest scope and scale the nonprofit has ever reached in its 163-year history.”

Washington was hand to celebrate the new location’s opening and his 30th anniversary as the organization’s National Spokesperson.