Drake’s security firm set up months after rapper was ‘freaked out’ by uninvited visitors to his home

Drake’s security firm set up months after rapper was ‘freaked out’ by uninvited visitors to his home

The security firm operating outside Drake’s Toronto mansion was established four months after a representative for the rap star said he was “freaked out” and required “heavy security outside” his home, according to public records reviewed by CBC News. 

In September 2019, the city granted Drake an exemption to have extra tall fences built around his property in the posh Bridle Path neighbourhood. City officials were told that despite multiple calls to police, security was being “left in his hands.”

A shooting outside the mansion early Tuesday morning — which left a security guard seriously wounded — has brought the global superstar’s home security arrangements into focus. 

The man who was attacked has not been identified and Drake has not spoken publicly about the incident.

A vehicle parked at the scene provides clues about the firm handling the rapper’s security.

The white Nissan Rogue stationed near the property’s front gates bears the name Jungle Lion Security. A neighbour and another man who works at a nearby property both told CBC the vehicle is parked there around the clock.

A white crossover SUV and a large black SUV are seen parked outside black gates.
A vehicle bearing the name Jungle Lion Security is seen parked outside the front gates of rapper Drake’s Toronto property in the prestigious Bridle Path neighbourhood. (Thomas Daigle/CBC)

‘Everyone knows where he sleeps’

Provincial company records obtained by CBC show Jungle Lion Security was incorporated on Jan. 30, 2020.

About four months before the security company was formed, a representative of an architecture firm then hired to work on Drake’s property laid out the rapper’s need to have guards on duty 24 hours a day in a public meeting with city councillors. 

At the time, Drake obtained an exemption from the City of Toronto to have a taller-than-standard fence installed around his newly-built mansion. The application included a request to build “fencing, columns, security walls and gates (that would) exceed the height permitted by the bylaw, between 3.0 and 4.42 metres.”

“Everyone knows where he sleeps, where he eats and that has really freaked him out, us out, and we need heavy security outside,” Brad Rafauli, vice-president of Ferris Rafauli Architectural Design Build Group, told Toronto’s North York Community Council on Sep. 16, 2019.

Rafauli said the number of uninvited visitors — fans and “people who think they’re meeting the client” — at all hours is “very, very significant.”

He said police were frequently called to the property but “nothing is really done, so the security is really left in his hands,” referring to Drake. 

In May 2009, Drake was reported to have been robbed at gunpoint after leaving a restaurant in Toronto’s Little Italy. The following year, he told the New York Times that he felt “unsafe” in the city “at all times.”

WATCH | Toronto police are investigate after a shooting outside Drake’s mansion: 

Police investigate shooting outside Drake’s Toronto mansion

Police are investigating the shooting of a security guard outside Drake’s mansion in Toronto’s Bridle Path neighbourhood but say it’s too early to know whether a feud with fellow rapper Kendrick Lamar played a role.

Security vehicle linked to Drake himself

It’s not clear whether Jungle Lion Security employed the unidentified security guard who police said was injured early Tuesday morning in an apparent drive-by shooting. 

Ontario Transportation Ministry records show the licence plate number associated with the Jungle Lion Security vehicle parked outside the mansion is registered to Drake himself, listed under his birth name, Aubrey D. Graham.

The vehicle features a Toronto phone number and the slogan “Canada’s #1 provider of security services.”

Multiple calls to that number were not answered and a voicemail message left on Wednesday was not returned. 

Jungle Lion Security does not appear to have a website. A message sent on Tuesday to a LinkedIn account registered in the firm’s name was not returned. The company’s name does appear in a registry of private security firms published by Ontario’s Ministry of the Solicitor General.

Two men embrace courtside at a basketball game
Drake, left, and Nessel (Chubbs) Beezer watch from the sidelines of the Toronto Raptors game against the Milwaukee Bucks in game 3 of the Eastern conference finals of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena. (Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters)

Nessel Beezer is the only person named in the firm’s profile report, provided by the province’s Ministry of Public and Business Service Delivery.

Known to Drake’s fans as Chubbs, Beezer is widely reported to be the rap star’s head of security. He has appeared with Drake in public and in the music video for the rapper’s 2013 hit, Hold On, We’re Going Home.

Provincial records show Beezer is also associated with multiple business ventures bearing the name Jungle Lion, including Jungle Lion Management, which operated the now-defunct Drake-affiliated downtown Toronto sports bar, Pick 6ix.

Jungle is also the name of a song by Drake from his 2015 album, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late.

Aerial (Drone) images of the mansion belonging to Drake on the Bridal Path, after overnight shooting. Police tape and TPS shown.
An aerial image shows Drake’s Toronto mansion after an overnight shooting that injured an unidentified security guard. (Patrick Morrell/CBC)

Several questions remain unanswered after shooting

A Toronto police spokesperson told CBC on Thursday morning that investigators had no update to provide on the case.

On Tuesday, the force said officers responded to a call at Drake’s address at about 2 a.m. after a security guard had been shot near a gate in front of the property.

“He was shot from a vehicle which then fled the scene,” the Toronto Police Service said in a media release. Earlier, a police source had described the incident as a drive-by.

Police said the victim was taken to hospital in serious condition. Investigators have since provided no update on the man’s condition.

Steve Summerville, a former Toronto police detective, told CBC Toronto’s Metro Morning that investigators will need to gather key details from the security firm.

The questions Summerville said police will be asking include whether guards “were on high alert,” and whether they were “provided any intelligence with respect to anticipated challenges.”

LISTEN | Unpacking Drake and Kendrick’s rap beef: 

The Current19:28The beef between Drake and Kendrick Lamar

A long-running feud between rappers Drake and Kendrick Lamar has spiralled into accusations of pedophilia and sex trafficking. We unpack the beef — and the speculation about whether a shooting at Drake’s Toronto mansion this week is related.

Drake has been embroiled in an escalating musical feud with California-based rapper Kendrick Lamar.

Toronto police Insp. Paul Krawczyk said on Tuesday he was aware of the beef, but that it was too early for investigators to establish a motive for the attack.

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