Drake was just a small name actor who turned into a Grammy award-winning singer and rapper. Plus, he has always been a very proud Canadian. You love him, and you jam out to all his hits in the car. Let’s break down some of Drake’s best moments of his career starting with his humble beginnings in the city he so famously made the ‘6six’.
Born on October 24, 1986, Drake’s full name is Aubrey Drake Graham. He was to a Jewish teacher of Toronto, and an African American musician from Memphis Tennessee. His parents Sandi and Denis Graham divorced when Drake was just five years old. Drake lived with his mother for a chunk of his childhood, often visiting his father in Memphis over the summers and going with him to his recording sessions.
While living in the Weston Road area of Toronto, Drake worked as a young model in commercials and print catalogs, as well as acted at the Young Peoples Theater. In his teens, Drake transferred to a school with predominantly white upper-middle-class students; this made it hard for him to fit in.
Things started looking up for the young model, as he was cast in Degrassi at age 14, where he played basketball player, Jimmy Brooks. Because of this role, he had to transfer to the Vaughan Road Academy Interact Program, which is a school program designed for students who are very involved in the arts. One of his classmates included Canadian actress Ellen Page.
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During his time on Degrassi, Drake landed other guest-starring roles in the early 2000s. His interest in making music sparked around the same time. He began writing lyrics and recording them in a studio in his basement, even pulling all-nighters and barely even making it to set on time. He started uploading his music to the social media platform, MySpace.
His first mixtape was released in 2006 and was called Room for Improvement. His song “City is Mine” got played a lot on the Toronto hip hop station Flow 93.5. He also began collaborating with other famous R&B singers. In 2007, he released the single ‘Replacement Girl” with singer Trey Songz, and he met another actor turned singer, Noah Shebib aka “40”, who became his main music collaborator. The two would go on to produce a lot of music together.
In 2008, Drake along with his other Degrassi castmates was written off the show after seven seasons, in order to bring in a new cast. He was expected to take part in small roles on CBC’s “The Border” and “Being Erica” in 2008-9, but instead Drake started to focus mainly on music.
As soon as Drake began making his music a priority, he started releasing new songs every year. Drake had connections to the son of Rap-A-Lot founder J Prince, he met Lil Wayne and was asked to join him on his I Am Music tour. Having an association with Lil Wayne and his label Young Money helped to create hype for his future mixtapes. ‘ So Far Gone” was his third album released in 2009 which was produced by himself and “40”. He then began to collaborate with R&B artists like Mary J Blige and soon he signed a record deal with Young Money/Universal. He released an EP retail version of ‘ So Far Gone” that won him a Juno Award for New Artist of the Year.
He released “Thank Me later” in 2010, with the hit single “Over”. His LP included collaboration with rappers like JayZ, Kanye West, Timbaland, and Lil Wayne, and received lots of praise for its rhythmic R&B sound.
Raptors and other endeavors
Drake has been able to expand his reach in the last decade, going far beyond music. Im 2013, the rapper became a global ambassador for the NBA and the Toronto Raptors. He was responsible for the rebranding of the team and the mind behind their famous “We The North” marketing campaign. In 2010 he started hosting the OVO fest in Toronto every long weekend in August.
Drake was able to lift spirits during the Covid- 19 pandemic with a video for his most recent son ‘Tootsie Slide”, where he shows off his Toronto Mansion