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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
“Everybody dies but not everybody lives.” – Drake
“I’m trying to do better than good enough.” – Drake
“Pain makes you stronger. Fear makes you braver. Heartbreak makes you wiser.” – Drake
“The moment I stop having fun with it, I’ll be done with it.” – Drake
“I’m not confrontational, but if someone challenges, I’m not going to back down.” – Drake
“Always felt like my vision been bigger than the bigger picture.” – Drake
“Sometimes it’s the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination.” – Drake
“Life can always change, you have to adjust.” – Drake
“Strength isn’t always shown in what you can hold on to, sometimes it’s shown in what you can let go of.” – Drake
“It’s never too late to realize what you want in your life and it’s never wrong to fight for it.” – Drake
“Jealousy is just love and hate at the same time.” – Drake
“Before you give up, think of the reason you held on so long.” – Drake
“Patience is key for getting over a breakup. That, and trailing off your interaction after the breakup.” – Drake
“Never let success get to your head and never let failure get to your heart.” – Drake
“Haters will broadcast your failures, but whisper your success.” – Drake
“I was born to make mistakes, not to fake perfection.” – Drake
“When writing the story of your life, don’t let anyone else hold the pen.” – Drake
“Everybody has an addiction, mine happens to be success.” – Drake
“The good ones go, if you wait too long.” – Drake
“Careful what you wish for, you just might get it all.” – Drake
“Tables turn, bridges burn, you live and learn.” – Drake
“I learned working with the negatives could make for better pictures.” – Drake
“Make the most out of tonight, and worry about it all tomorrow.” – Drake
“I sit and eat with some of the hardest working people in the business. And I observe and I try to apply it to my own craft.” – Drake
“Live for today, plan for tomorrow, party tonight.” – Drake
“I always want the truth, but it’s dangerous.” – Drake
“Accept yourself. You don’t have to prove shit to no one except yourself.” – Drake
“Wish you would learn to love people and use things, and not the other way around.” – Drake
“A goal is just a dream with a deadline.” – Drake
“When you look ahead and darkness is all you see, faith and determination will pull you through.” – Drake
“All I want to do is work. I just want to make this album as incredible as I can. That’s really the best way to put it.” – Drake
“I’m in control of my destiny, never in doubt” – Drake
“I’m always going to work like I have something to prove.” – Drake
“They say take the good with the bad, I’ll take it without” – Drake
“I get to wake up and be myself.” – Drake
“I don’t have relationships. I don’t have a family. I work. And at this point in my life I’m happy with that. In 10 years, who knows, we might be having a different conversation.” – Drake
“I don’t want to be number 2. I think that would be a weird thing to say. I want to make this city proud. That’s the main reason for me.” – Drake
“Sometimes I wake up and I wonder if this is the right stuff for me to be doing, but then I take a long flight and end up in a place like London and I realize I don’t give a … about what anybody has to say about me.” – Drake
“I wasn’t hiding my kid from the world, I was hiding the world from my kid. From empty souls who just wake up and look to debate. Until you staring at your seed, you can never relate.” – Drake
“Judge me, and you’ll have no time left to love me.”– Drake
“Know life is just a game in which the cards are facing down. I’m in the world where things are taken, never given how long they choose to love you will never be your decision.” – Drake
“I push myself in a lot of aspects.” – Drake
“Life is too short, I got to get it before they blow the whistle.” – Drake
“My life is mine to remember.” – Drake
“You know a wise man once said nothing at all.” – Drake
“I think I’m addicted to success. I’ve already sacrificed so much of my time that I have to push it as far as I possibly can because I’ve ten up a lot of years.” – Drake
“When life comes at you from all angles and sides, it really boils down to how you plan to survive.” – Drake
“I think the details of my background came after. What caught first was the music. And what became more appealing was like…’This is the guy?’ I remember those moments.” – Drake
“I’ve always been observant. I watched my parents go through a lot. I guess that’s why I’m this semi-emotional guy who even cares about love. Most 23 year-olds in my position would be out like her like, ‘Man, I’m just doing whatever’. But because I saw my parents go through the ups and downs, I’m scared man, I don’t want to be alone.” – Drake
“I always felt like an outsider.” – Drake
“Boys will break your heart. Real men will pick up the pieces.” – Drake
“A girl should have two things: a smile, and a guy who inspires it.” – Drake
“As people get older you think that they don’t really need you anymore. But what they’re probably doing is sitting at a wall thing about life and thinking why this person hasn’t called me yet.” – Drake
“It was my father who told me that there is no rapper who is singing and rapping. He told me that in order to be successful you’re going to have to do something different than what everyone else is doing.” – Drake
“The greatest advice that Wayne ever gave me, is actually a constant reminder, and he said ‘Just be yourself. Just please be yourself. Don’t go and get tattoos. You don’t have to dress any different.’” – Drake
“If I could tell you one thing about this album it’s that I’m extremely proud of it and it’s an extremely concise body of work. Is it my best album? No, my best album will be my next album and I will continue to say that for the rest of my career.” – Drake
“Do I feel like I’m getting enough respect? No. But that’s that keeps me going. When I feel like I’m getting enough respect I don’t know what kind of music I’ll be making.” – Drake
“Kill them with success and bury them with a smile.” – Drake
“Aubrey Drake Graham is a man that is constantly learning about himself, and is sharing his learning process with the world.” – Drake
“I use my music as a method to update people on my life, I’ve done huge media blitz this past week but I don’t really like to get in the media and talk. Because I feel like people who talk in the media only become known for that and look forward to that. I just want people to look forward to my music.” – Drake