Rihanna and Aubrey "Drake" Graham
Theo Wargo/WireImage; Scott Gries/Getty
05/21/2009 at 05:00 PM EDT
After being spotted smooching Rihanna
on Monday, actor-turned-rapper Aubrey "Drake" Graham says he and the singer are "just friends."
Appearing on New York's Hot 97 radio station Thursday morning, Graham confirmed that he and the 21-year-old Barbadian beauty were indeed hanging out in New York – but denied they are dating.
"I have the most utmost respect for her," he told the station's hosts. "I think she's so talented."
The rapper repeatedly shot down questions about any budding relationship between the two after being pressed for more details. "Nah, nah, nah, It's not like that at all," he said."I'm being honest, man. [She's] just a friend that's all."
Drake and Rihanna, who was honored Wednesday night at Island Def Jam's Spring Collection music preview with a plaque for selling 16 million albums worldwide, spent Monday bowling with a group of friends at New York's Lucky Strike.
"The two of them were stealing kisses here and there the whole night," according to a source. "They were very cute. Both of them were in really good spirits [and] she was having a great time."
With reporting by JENNIFER GARCIA