Regardless of the excessive criticism or the plethora of praise the Canadian artist, "Drake" receives for his brutally honest music, he has carved out a lane for himself that is undoubtedly incomparable to any competitor in the Hip-Hop arena. Aubrey "Drake" Graham was born in Toronto, Canada on October 24th, 1986 (hence Drake's crew: Octobers Very Own) Both of Drake's parents were instrumental to Drake's future success in that his mom always supported his dreams of being a musical artist when Drake decided to drop out of high school to pursue his musical dreams whilst acting in the television show Degrassi: The Next Generation as the character Jimmy Brooks. Eventually, between juggling his full time acting gig and doing music, he had to choose between both professions and he decided to choose to pursue his music career full time.
Drake would fully utilize this opportunity and would take his closest friend and outstanding engineer-producer Noah "40" Shebib with him on the journey to take over the world with their music. Drake's debut mixtape, "Room For Improvement" would release in 2006 and the title alone would solidify's Drake's honest trait within himself as the tape showcased a few solid tracks but mainly illuminated how much Drake needed to progress as an artist. The next year Drake would release his second mixtape in Comeback Season that spawned a hit single and music video, "Replacement Girl" with, "Trey Songs" that eventually would land on BET as the New Joint of the Day. J-Prince would be the person who would introduce Drake's music to legendary MC, "Lil Wayne" in 2008 and he would instantly contact Drake to tour with him and record music as well. During this time they would record the dope tracks known as, "Ransom" & "I Want This Forever" in which Drake would be inducted into Lil Wayne's Young Money crew. Drake's third project, which could've been his first sold album, dropped as a free mixtape. "So Far Gone" which is perceived by many to be his best work, would be downloaded over 2 million times in the first hours of its release on February 13th, 2009. This project would catapult Drake's career to international levels as it sparked his first tour around the country and two of the project's best songs, "Best I Ever Had" & "Successful". The project was so successful and received such high praise that Drake would be officially signed to Lil Wayne's label Young Money Entertainment. So Far Gone would later be released as a seven track EP with five of the songs being from the original mixtape and would go on to be a certified gold selling project with 500,000 units sold after its release.
This success would continue over the next four years for the Canadian Hip-Hop superstar as Drake would sign plenty of big name endorsements with brand name companies which included but not limited to Sprite, Apple Music & the Jordan Brand for his own sneaker. In the midst of this success outside of music, Drake would go on to drop three multi-platinum selling albums in, "Thank Me Later (2010)", "Take Care (2011)", "Nothing Was The Same (2013)", along with "Views (2016)" his albums sales recorded well over 8 million units worldwide. If one includes the sales of his two highly successful mixtapes, "If You're Reading This It's Too Late" & "What A Time To Be Alive" then his total sales are easily over 10 million units respectively.
Along with being one of the most popular mainstream artists in Hip Hop today, Drake has put on for his city of Toronto in any way he can, supporting charities, local teams, and setting up his main studio in the heart of the city. Toronto has never been known to be a hub for Hip-Hop talent but Drake has managed to shoutout his city on nearly every tape he drops.
Now known as the self-proclaimed, "6 God", Drake has lead a movement to put Toronto on the Hip-Hop map. The name 6 God comes from six smaller cities which have now been formed into one mega-city under the Toronto name. Drake continually details in his raps what it was like to grow up in a changing city and how this has helped transform his music. Pitchfork does an interesting analysis into how the actual Toronto fits into the storyline Drake has spoken on over his career.
Drake has cultivated his own record label, "OVO Sound" with his partner "40" and is constantly touring the world with his music that has made him a cornerstone in Hip-Hop. Check out his music below and be sure to check out his latest album, "Views".
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