Drake started out as Aubrey Graham. He was born in Toronto in 1986 on the 24th of October. Spending summers with his father in Memphis, Tennessee, he gained an appreciation and understanding of music that would influence his signature sound in his later years. Drake’s numerous accomplishments include holding the record for the most number one hits in the R & B/Hip-Hop category on Billboard’s chart. After releasing his mix-tape So Far Gone in 2009, the creative world considers him a trailblazer. In the hip-hop and contemporary music space he has garnered massive influence and market space and there seems to be no stopping him. His role on the highly successful television series DeGrassi: The Next Generation and going on the road with rap star Lil Wayne was the impetus for Drakes early recognition. In the summer of 2008, Lil Wayne became a fan of Drakes after hearing his music. In the last few decades, hip-hop has had many victories to its credit and Drake’s success is considered to be a major one.
Drake is thought to be very versatile. He raps about the soft things and he sings about the harder things. His expectations are confounded. He is unusual, decadent and emotionally complicated and he binds together urban radio as a whole. And there are many who consider Drake to be “soft.” What, too soft to be a hip-hoppin’ rapper? He doesn’t seem to mind the teasing and being the butt of jokes. They make fun of him for being Canadian, being Jewish, overly emotional and having played the part of a teenager in a wheel chair on a popular Canadian television show for teens. There are also GIFs and MEMEs that mostly show him crying alone in his room over something inconsequential. Maybe it’s his ability to feel things so deeply that make him someone with such universal appeal and influence. Yeah, I bet he cries all the way to the bank. Funny side note( Drake actually worked doing landscaping in Waterford, Michigan for one summer in his teens when his father was in jail.)
The divorce of Drake’s parents greatly affected him as I’m sure it does most children of divorce. He lived two completely different lives and had many life-changing experiences. With his father in Memphis, Tennessee he lived the “hood” way. He witnessed his father being arrested twice and says not having a father, when his father went to prison, was character building but it didn’t make him happy. His father was from a musical family and as a session drummer; he once played for Jerry Lee Lewis. It was his uncle (on his father’s side) who first told Drake to develop his singing ability. He felt this would give him an edge on the competition.
Living with his mother in Canada was a life in the other extreme. She is white Jewish Canadian and Drake actually had a Bar Mitzvah, attended Jewish Day School and played hockey. He always felt like an outcast attending an all-white Jewish school. He had to tolerate daily Yiddish slurs aimed at blacks and being the last picked for team sports and not being invited to parties. Despite this treatment Drake is proud that he’s Jewish and celebrates the Jewish holidays with his mother’s family. His mother wasn’t affluent and their life was not considered luxurious but she wanted the best for her family. The neighborhood they lived in was where the upper-class called home, but they shared a small house with another family. His mother claims to have been fairly hard on Drake, always pushing him to do and “be” more. Their home contained four thesauruses and his mom was always telling him to try and find other
words to express himself. I think this would be a natural foundation for anyone becoming more in touch with their feelings, a trait that Drake would later in life be ridiculed for. His mother’s only source of income was her disability checks and it was actually Drake who took on the responsibility of providing for the family with the money he made being an actor. But, he said, Canadian television doesn’t pay much. I wasn’t making as much as a school teacher. They also received some financial help from Drake’s Uncle. He ran the family business (on his mother’s side) manufacturing items for infants.
What I find the most interesting with Drake is the lifestyle brand he has created with “October’s Very Own.” Starting out as a small blog about how the music scene in Toronto is thriving plus the antics of his crew, has turned into a clothing line, a record label and an annual OVOfest. He creates AND influences the global market. In fact, the popular acronym “YOLO” (You Only Live Once) is from one of Drake’s singles. Drake considers himself to be “still evolving” and wonders about the next chapter of his success. He has dominated the global market and soared to great heights in his most recent years. As a testament to his popularity, on Friday, March 11, 2016, Drake joined the long list of celebrities who have been named in the recent string of celebrity death hoaxes. The rumor started with a Facebook page that attracted nearly one million fans. Some were skeptical because there was no news about his death, in Canada. Surely his home country would be reporting this on every channel, right? It just isn’t funny, these death hoaxes and thankfully Drake is still alive and doing quite well. And hopefully he will be for a long time to come.