Drake: Who Is He?
In the teen drama Degrassi: The Next Generation, where he portrayed the wheelchair-bound character Jimmy Brooks for 7 years, Drake initially gained notoriety. He signed a contract with Lil Wayne’s company Young Money Entertainment while leaving the program, and soon after that, he rose to become one of greatest rappers on the planet. He is frequently in the news, whether it be for courting Rihanna or Jennifer Lopez, starting his own record company, OVO Sound, or serving as the global ambassador for the NBA’s Toronto Raptors. It’s not shocking that Jay Z referred to him as the hip-hop equivalent of Kobe Bryant.
Drake was born Aubrey Drake Graham on October 24, 1986, in Toronto, Canada, and has always been surrounded by music. Dennis Graham, his father, played drums for the late rock and roll icon Jerry Lee Lewis. Sly and the Family Stone’s bassist was an uncle named Larry Graham. Drake claims that Sandi Graham, his mother, comes from a “highly musical” family and that his grandma once looked after Aretha Franklin. Drake hails from a diverse and distinctive racial and religious background. His mother is a white Canadian Jew, while his dad is an African American Catholic. Drake says of his own identity: “At the end of the day, I regard myself the Black man because I’m more ingrained in Black culture than anyone else.
Drake was raised by his mom in Forest Hill, a wealthy and predominately Jewish area of Toronto, after his parents split when he was 5 years old. He went to a Jewish day school, celebrated his Bar Mitzvah at the age of 13, and kept the Jewish High Holy Days with his mother. Drake remembers that his mother “always made Hanukkah exciting.” When I was younger, she used to prepare latkes and give interesting things. Drake claims that despite coming from a Jewish family, attending the largely white Forest Hill Collegiate Institute made him feel alone. Being unique from everyone else strengthened him, he claimed, adding that “nobody realized what it meant to be Black and Jewish.
The following generation of “Degrassi”
One of Drake’s colleagues at Forest Hill was responsible for getting him his beginning in the entertainment business. “He said, “There was a boy in my class whose dad was an agent. His dad would say, ‘If there’s someone in the group that makes you smile, have them audition for me. He ended up representing me after the audition.
Drake soon after got a part in the Canadian teen drama Degrassi: The Next Generation. This was in 2001. Drake portrayed Jimmy Brooks, a character occasionally known as Jimmy Brooks, in the show, which followed the turbulent lives of a group of adolescents at Degrassi High School “Basketball star Jimmy, who is shot by a classmate and left permanently wheelchair-bound.
Drake only finished high school in 2012 after quitting school to focus on his movie career. He played the lead character on Degrassi for 7 years (2001–2009), winning a Young Artist Award in 2002 for the show’s best ensemble. Drake has stated that “there are only a few subtle Degrassi fans,” and the show immediately gained a fanatical cult following, catapulting him to celebrity status in Canada while largely remaining unknown in the US.
Career in Music
Drake started making an effort to enter the hip-hop scene when he was still featured on Degrassi. His debut mixtape, Room for Development, was published in 2006 and only sold a meager 6,000 copies. Then, in 2007, he released Comeback Season, another mixtape under his own imprint, October’s Very Own (later to be shortened to OVO). This contained “Replacement Girl,” Drake’s debut single and music video, which was presented as the New Joint of the Day on BET’s well-known hip-hop television program 106 & Park. More significantly, Lil Wayne appeared on the song’s cover of Brisco and Flo Rida’s “Man of the Year.”
When the cast of Degrassi was recast in 2008, Drake’s role was dropped. Drake was about to begin looking for a daily job because he had no reliable source of income and was still making just modest amounts of money as a musician. In his own words, “I was accepting the possibility that I could have to labor at a restaurant or anything simply to keep things running.” However, early in 2008, he got a call from Lil Wayne unexpectedly asking him to take a trip to Houston that evening to join his Carter III tour.
In February 2009, Drake’s third mixtape, So Far Gone, was released. This came after he went on tour and collaborated with Lil Wayne on several songs. It contained the catchy track “Best I Ever Had,” which reached at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. Wayne and Trey Songz’s collaboration “Successful,” which went gold, was included in Rolling Stone’s list of the “25 Best Songs of 2009.” Since then, Drake’s constant stream of infectious hip-hop songs with R&B influences has dominated radio airwaves.
Following a bidding battle for his services, Drake signed a record deal with Lil Wayne’s Young Money Entertainment in the middle of 2009. He had a rocky beginning when, in July of that same year, while on the America’s Most Wanted Tour, he fell to the ground and tore his anterior cruciate ligament, necessitating surgery. But after that, it would just go upwards through there.
Grammy Awards and “Thank Me Later”
Drake’s first complete studio album, Thank Me Later, which was released on June 15, 2010, debuted at No. 1 on both the American and Canadian album charts and was awarded platinum certification. His new identity as the arrogant hip-hop prince (“Last name ever, first name greatest,” he boasts on “Forever”) appeared to conflict with his upbringing as a middle-class Jewish man.
Drake nevertheless made an effort to combine these contrasting phases of his life into a single character. He wore a diamond-crusted Chai on the cover of Vibe magazine in December 2009 as a tribute to his Jewish heritage in hip-hop fashion. Additionally, he raps: “Who’s Drake? Where is Jimmy in a wheelchair? Who is Drake had to be “rap royalty,” as Jay Z and Kanye West both contributed to the album.
Take Care, his second studio album, was launched in November 2011 and featured the songs “Headlines,” “Make Me Proud,” and “The Motto.” The album was widely praised and received numerous awards, including the 2013 Grammy for best rap album. Drake, the melancholic hustler with a conscience, is back drunk-dialing previous girlfriends and lamenting the ones that got away, according to Greg Kot’s review in the Chicago Tribune. Kot also noted the subject matter distinction and soul-searching honesty that set Drake apart from his predecessors.
Chris Brown and Meek Mill fights
Drake’s personal life experienced a few tough patches even as his profession was flourishing. His rivalry with fellow entertainer Chris Brown for the attention of singer Rihanna led to a violent outburst in a New York nightclub in the summer of 2012 that injured several bystanders. Drake and Brown both found themselves in legal trouble as a result of their behavior. Those who filed lawsuits against the performers included professional basketball player Tony Parker, a male model, and two ladies who were injured in the altercation. Later, while making a guest appearance on a remix of Chief Keef’s song, Brown discussed the incident.
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