Naomi Osaka’s Boyfriend: Who is Cordae & What To Know About Their Romance

After about three years together, tennis player Naomi Osaka and Cordae's relationship is still a grand slam. Here's everything you should know about Naomi's rapper BF.

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Image Credit: JASON SZENES/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Celebrated tennis player Naomi Osaka and boyfriend Cordae’s relationship can be likened to a grand slam — one filled with a ton of support and wins. While the couple first went public with their relationship in late 2019, the tennis player, 23, and her musician boyfriend, 23, got together about a year before their romance became public knowledge, as revealed in their joint GQ interview published in February — they just preferred to have kept it guarded, media blitz and all.

“We were dating for almost a year before people knew about us,” Cordae told the outlet. “So we kind of move very reclusively.” With joint magazine interviews and public affirmations of love and support for one another, however, fans of the athlete and musician have been offered more (albeit, still guarded) glimpses into the relationship. Below is everything you should know about Naomi’s boyfriend Cordae.

Naomi Osaka And Cordae 

naomi osaka and cordae
Cordae joins Naomi Osaka at the 2020 U.S. Open. (Seth Wenig/AP/Shutterstock)

Cordae, full name Cordae Amari Dunston, is a rapper, singer, and songwriter who grew up in Suitland, Maryland. He has performed under other monikers prior to landing on his current one, including YBN Cordae and Entendre. He gained prominence after releasing remixes of popular songs, including “My Name Is” by Eminem. Cordae released his debut album The Lost Boy in 2019 — and it received critical acclaim: the album received two Grammy nominations at the 2020 Grammy Awards.

As mentioned above, Naomi and Cordae began a relationship sometime in 2018 prior to going public. While the two will occasionally gush about each other in interviews, they don’t really post about each other on social media. Cordae explained the reason behind this in their joint GQ profile: “We don’t really post intimate moments, because I feel as though they’re sacred,” he said. “A relationship is really a sacred thing. Once you let outside influences get into it, it becomes less sacred.”

How Did Naomi Osaka And Cordae Meet?

During an interview on HOT 97 in 2019, Cordae confirmed his relationship with Naomi and called her “my girl.” He also revealed that they met at a Los Angeles Clippers game — and claimed that he didn’t “even know who” Naomi “was” because he did not have much tennis knowledge. “I know Serena Williams,” he said. “When you think about tennis, I just know Serena Williams.” Skip to the 17:49 mark of the video above for Cordae’s admission.

Naomi Osaka Top Moments With Her Current Boyfriend

The two have shared a series of great moments ever since. Last September, Cordae joined his tennis player girlfriend at the 2020 U.S. Open in New York. In their joint GQ profile, Naomi revealed that her rapper boyfriend flew out to be with her amidst a rough quarantine.

“I’ll always have my dad with me, because he’s sort of like the guy that keeps me calm and he tells one-liners to keep me happy and stuff like that,” Naomi recalled. “He was unable to travel with me there. During the whole New York thing and with everything that was going on, I started to feel really depressed. Sometimes I would call Cordae, and maybe in some of the calls I would cry.”

She continued, “And he flew out, even though he was really busy. I really appreciated that. I’m not sure if I’ve told him that. I feel like he actually really helped me win just, like, keeping up the motivation.” Her boyfriend looked pretty excited to be there. In a clip captured by ESPN (above), the rapper can be seen jumping up and cheering for Naomi after she secured a win.

That support has not wavered. When the tennis player announced her withdrawal from the 2021 French Open on Instagram in May and cited the need to maintain her mental health, her BF commented on the post: “No need to apologise to ANYBODY!”

On July 10, Cordae and Naomi enjoyed a date night at the 2021 ESPY Award, where the tennis player received a best female athlete award. The private couple did not appear to walk the red carpet, but Naomi did share a rare snapshot of the two on IG (above) the following day, conveniently burying a photo with her boyfriend on the very last slide. Additionally, Cordae has even referenced his GF in a few of his songs, rapping, “My girl would forfeit a tennis match to meet my grandmama / Man, she truly a keeper” in his 2021 song “Dream in Color” from his EP Just Until…

Moving Forward

naomi osaka and cordae
Naomi Osaka and boyfriend Cordae at the 2020 U.S. Open. (JASON SZENES/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

Naomi and Cordae appear to be a game, set, and match. While they haven’t offered much insights on their future together publicly, the rapper reflected on what made Naomi his match in their GQ profile. “I can’t really be with someone who doesn’t have any substance or doesn’t act or think on the same frequency and wavelength as I do,” Cordae said. “Like, you know, Naomi was born in Japan. So she has a very worldly perspective. My perspective has always been being a young Black man in America.”

He continued, “But she thinks more worldly. I’ve only been traveling the world the last two years. We’d be recommending each other books and movies all the time. So, you know, just always feeding the brain.” Moving forward, fans should surely expect to see more of Naomi and Cordae cheering each other on — and being extremely low-key on social media.