Drake is a Canadian singer-songwriter, rapper, and actor. He started out as a TV star in the teen drama “Degrassi: The Next Generation,” but later on switched to making music. From releasing his own mixtapes, he has emerged as one of the best rappers in modern music — winning numerous awards for his work.
Childhood and Early Struggles
Born Aubrey Drake Graham, the Grammy-winning singer was born on Oct. 24, 1986, in Toronto. He is the son of Dennis and Sandi Graham, who got divorced when he was just a small child. Although he grew up with his mother, he also spent a lot of time with his father — who was once the drummer of iconic musician Jerry Lee Lewis.
Being a child of a white Canadian Jew mother and African-American Catholic father, Drake has a unique religious and racial background. He attended Forest Hill Collegiate Institute, as well as Vaughan Road Academy for his secondary education. He dropped out of school but was eventually able to complete his high school diploma in 2012.
Drake had his own share of troubles early on in his life. He saw his sick mother struggle to make ends meet while his father got arrested for attempting to cross the border. He also dealt with bullying for being the only black Jew in a predominantly white school.
Rise to Popularity
Drake first entered the entrainment industry as an actor. He played basketball star Jimmy Brooks on the acclaimed Canadian series “Degrassi: The Next Generation” from 2001 until 2008. Although he first came into public notice as a TV star, his true interest was making music.
He started rapping when he was on the series, using his middle name as his rapper alias. He self-released “Room for Improvement,” his first mixtape, in 2006. The record was followed by “Comeback Season” just a year later.
It included a single he did with Trey Songz entitled “Replacement Girl,” which later on became highlighted at BET’s music-video show “106 & Park.” The song helped increase Drake’s exposure and made big music producers notice him. Drake successfully gained support from rap icons such as Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, and Kanye West.
Drake’s big break arrived in 2009 when he launched the “So Far Gone” mixtape, with the “Best I Ever Had” single. He made his mark with his combined lyrical rapping and singing, alongside the raw vulnerability he shows every performance.
After gaining a large following, Drake signed with well-known record label Universal Motown Records. Drake was then named best new artist in 2010 at the Juno Awards.
That same year, he released his first full-length studio album entitled “Thank Me Later.” It was followed by the 2011 track “Take Care,” which was the same title of a collaboration between him and Rihanna. He bagged the Rap Recording of the Year Award at the 2012 Juno Awards and Best Rap Album at the 2012 Grammy Awards for that studio album.
The following year, Drake came up with his next album called “Nothing Was the Same,” which as expected, took home another Juno Award. After getting many awards for his music, Drake decided to establish a Toronto-based collective known as October’s Very Own (OVO), which turned into a full-fledged record label in 2012.
The term “YOLO” was popularized by Drake in his studio album “Take Care.” The accompanying tour for that album grossed more than $42 million in 2012, making Drake one of the best-selling artists that year.
At the height of his career, Drake also dabbled in voice acting. He lent his voice for the animated character Ethan in Fox Animation’s 2012 hit “Ice Age: Continental Drift.”
Drake always credits his father for introducing him to rap music. While behind bars, his father reportedly shared a cell with a rapper who went by the name Poverty. He used to swap lyrics with him via phone calls.
2012 was not only a year of victories for Drake. That year, he got into a huge fight with fellow hip-hop singer Chris Brown. It was believed that they were feuding over Brown’s ex-girlfriend Rihanna, who had a brief relationship with Drake.
The two rappers even had a heated exchange on social media, with Brown releasing a diss track targeting Drake. The twosome performed in a comedy skit at the ESPY Awards in 2014, hinting that they had already put the past behind them.
At the end of “Look What You’ve Done,” a voice recording of Drake’s grandmother is played. She has since passed away.
One of Drake’s greatest attributes is his extreme passion for music. Life may be very tricky but thanks to people like Drake, we are reminded that music can help us understand the truth of living in this kind of society.
Here are quotes and lyrics from Drake that will inspire you to have a fun-filled and genuine life.
“If you think I’mma quit before I die dream on.” – Drake
“They ain’t make me what I am, they just found me like this.” – Drake
“I swear this life is like the sweetest thing I’ve ever known.” – Drake
“People like to build their own story about my life. I don’t know if it makes them feel better, or if it makes it okay for them not to like me. But the last thing I grew up as was rich.” – Drake
“The girl that I want to save is like a danger to my health. Try being with somebody that want to be somebody else.” – Drake
“When it comes to knowing what to say, to charm, I always had it.” – Drake
“Count your blessings, not problems.” – Drake
“Live without pretending, Love without depending, Listen without defending, Speak without offending.” – Drake
“It’s funny when you coming in first but you hope that you’re last, you just hope that it lasts.” – Drake
“All in all I learned a lesson from it though, you never see it coming you just get to see it go.” – Drake