Photo: Image: AP
Once upon a time, there was a half-Jewish, half-black kid from Toronto who played a wheelchair-bound jock on a seminal teenage melodrama.Then that kid started going by his middle-name, Drake, and became one of the biggest rappers alive, proving that reality’s not only stranger than fiction—it also has a better narrative arc.
It should get even better for the man formerly known as Aubrey Graham.
His new album “Take Care” drops in a month (several singles, including today’s “Make Me Proud” with Nicki Minaj, are out already) and he’s reached radio-ubiquity.
Which means that, love him or hate him—and most people feel one way or the other—Drake’s blowing up. Watch the throne, indeed.
Following Degrassi, Drake's first attempts at hip-hop were bland, cocksure takes on the traditional tropes of girls and money, even though he didn't really have either yet.
But then he met Toronto producers Noah '40' Shebib and Matthew 'Boi-1da' Samuels, who helped Drake create his breakthrough mixtape, 'So Far Gone,' which he released as a part of Lil Wayne's Young Money Entertainment.
'So Far Gone' gave the first clear evidence of both Drake's pop sensibilities and his dark, emotional lyrics, which, by dealing with topics like the burden of fame, follow in the footsteps of introspective rappers like Kanye West. A few of the best tracks from that tape are the groggy 'Successful,' featuring Lil Wayne, and 'November 18,' which shows off Drake's surprisingly successful singing voice. Oh, and there's 'Best I Ever Had,' his first (of many) radio smashes.
Drake's has also extensively worked with, and been connected to, Nicki Minaj, who like Drake is a part of Young Money Entertainment.
Their two highest-profile tracks before today were 'Up All Night,' one of the best songs off 'Thank Me Later'--featuring this badass boast from Nicki: 'Which b**** you know made a million off a mixtape?/That was just a keepsake'--and 'Moment 4 Life,' from Nicki's 'Pink Friday.'
Whether he's joking or not, Drake has gone on record as saying, 'I'd marry Nicki. I think Nicki would be one of the only people that would understand me at the end of all this and be able to love me.' Womp womp.
Even when you take away his own songs, Drake is pretty much everywhere. Just this year, he's guested on tracks with Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, and Rihanna.
Drake doesn't fit the hip-hop mould that well, despite his success. For one thing, as Vulture pointed out: he's a sweater connoisseur.
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