Aubrey Drake Graham (Born known by his stage name Drake, is a Canadian-American rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, actor, and entrepreneur. He originally became known for playing character Jimmy Brooks on the television series Degrassi: The Next Generation.
In June 2009, Drake signed a recording contract with Lil Wayne's Young Money Entertainment. In November 2009, Lil Wayne released a statement announcing that Drake's first studio album, Thank Me Later, had been completed. The album was released on June 15, 2010, and debuted at number one on the Billboard200. The album has since gone platinum. He will release his seond studio album in March or April 2011 titled Take Care. Drake will release an R&B mixtape sometime in the future and will release a collaboration album with Lil Wayne.
Drake has worked with several other hip-hop artists such as Lil Wayne, Young Jeezy, Kanye West, Eminem, and Jay-Z. With the success of his mixtape turnedEP So Far Gone, Drake has been nominated for several awards including Grammys, even being selected to perform at the 2010 Grammy award ceremony. Drake has also won several awards, including two Juno Awards in 2010 for Best New Artist, and Rap Recording of the Year.
Contents[edit | edit source]
Early life[edit | edit source]
Aubrey Drake Graham was born on October 24, 1986, in Toronto, Ontario. He is the son of Dennis Graham, a drummer who worked with Jerry Lee Lewis, and Sandi Graham, an educator. Two of his uncles, Larry Graham and Teenie Hodges, are also musicians. Drake's father is an African American fromMemphis, Tennessee, and Drake's mother is a white Jewish Canadian. He attended a Jewish day school and had a Bar Mitzvah. His parents divorced when he was five years old, and he was raised by his mother in Toronto's wealthy Forest Hill neighbourhood. Drake attended high school at Forest Hill Collegiate Institute, where he began acting, but did not graduate. He spent most summers with his father in Memphis. Drake stated that his parents' divorce greatly affected him as a person, saying, “I had to become a man very quickly and be the backbone for a woman who I love with all my heart, my mother."
Acting career[edit | edit source]
In 2001, Drake began his acting career, playing the role of Jimmy Brooks, a character on Degrassi: The Next Generation. In the show, Brooks is a basketball star who became physically disabled after he was shot by a classmate. His role on the show ended in 2009, when his character graduated from Degrassi. He appeared in 138 episodes. He also appeared in the 2008 television movie Degrassi Spring Break Movie. Drake is mentioned in the 2010 television movie Degrassi Takes Manhattan, making him one of two Degrassi actors (along with Shenae Grimes) who exist within the series' fictional universe independently of their characters.
In late January 2011, Indiewire announced that Drake was in negotiations to join Eva Green and Susan Sarandon in the cast of Nicholas Jarecki's forthcoming feature-film "Arbitrage.". However in April 2011, it was announced that Drake will no longer be starring in the movie as his plan is to focus fully on his sophomore album Take Care instead. 
Music career[edit | edit source]
2006–09: Career beginnings and mixtapes[edit | edit source]
In February 2006, Drake released his first mixtape Room for Improvement. It was made available via his website and official MySpace page. In 2007, he released another mixtape, Comeback Season, spawning a single and a music video for "Replacement Girl" featuring Trey Songz. Also in 2007, Drake became the first unsigned Canadian rapper to have his music video featured on BET when his first single, "Replacement Girl" was featured as the "New Joint of the Day" on April 30, 2007. It also contained a freestyle over a song with Lil Wayne, a remix of "Man of the Year" originally by Brisco and Flo Rida. In 2008, Lil Wayne was given some of Drake's music from Rap-A-Lot founder, J. Prince's son, Jas Prince, and he immediately called Drake to invite him to fly to Houston and tour with him. Drake and Wayne recorded a couple of songs during this time, including "Ransom", the original version of "I Want This Forever", and the remix to Drake's song, "Brand New". Though now part of Lil Wayne's crew, Young Money, Drake was not signed.
On February 13, 2009, Drake released his third official mixtape, So Far Gone, for free download on his blog site which included Drake's mentor Lil Wayne, Bun B, Omarion, Lloyd and his friend, Trey Songz. It received over 2,000 downloads in the first 2 hours of release. It was extremely successful in the underground and eventually made its way to radio. Due to the success of the mixtape's two singles, "Best I Ever Had" and "Successful", it was released as an EP featuring only five songs from the mix tape and one new song. MTV named it "The Hottest Mixtape of 2009 (So Far)". Since So Far Gone, Drake worked with DJ Khaled, Young Money, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Eminem, Young Jeezy, Mary J. Blige, Timbaland, Birdman, Trey Songz, and Jamie Foxx. Drake has also written for Alicia Keys, and Dr. Dre.
He achieved success before signing to a major record label, according to his management Hip Hop Since 1978. In June 2009, it was revealed that an unauthorized album entitled The Girls Love Drake and credited to Drake was up for sale on iTunes. A lawsuit was planned against the label.
On the Billboard Hot 100 chart of July 4, 2009, both "Best I Ever Had", and "Every Girl" by Young Money Entertainment entered the top ten at positions 3 and 10 respectively. Drake is only the second artist to have his first two top ten hits in the same week. The first was fellow Canadian Nelly Furtado who entered the top ten in 2001 with "I'm Like A Bird" the same week as Missy Elliott's "Get Ur Freak On", aremix of which included a credited contribution from Furtado. On June 29, 2009, it was confirmed, that Drake signed a record deal with Young Money Entertainment. This followed what Billboard purported to be "one of the biggest bidding wars ever". Drake toured with Wayne and other rap artists on the America's Most Wanted Tour.
On July 31, 2009, Drake, who was performing on an already injured knee, fell on stage while performing "Best I Ever Had", with Lil Wayne in Camden, New Jersey. Drake underwent surgery on September 8, 2009 for a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee. He was currently undergoing rehabilitation and was able to walk.
On September 15, 2009, So Far Gone was released as a seven-track EP in which five of the tracks were from the original mixtape. It debuted at No. 6 on the Billboard 200. Since then the album was certified gold by the RIAA with over 500,000 copies sold in the United States. On April 18, 2010, the album won Rap Recording of the Year at the 2010 Juno Awards.
In 2011, Drake & TLC made a mixtape titled "The FanMail Mixtape" according to Datpiff.com, featuring some of songs from Thank Me Later and FanMail including other hits from TLC's other CDs.
2010–present: Thank Me Later and Take Care[edit | edit source]
Drake planned to release his official debut album, Thank Me Later, in late 2009, but the album's release date was postponed, first to March 2010, then May 25, 2010. Universal Motown then stated the album had been pushed back three weeks for a June 15, 2010 release. The album has confirmed collaborations with the likes of Kanye West, Jay-Z and Lil Wayne while forgoing planned duets withTrey Songz and Danny!. On March 9, 2010, Drake released the first single from his Thank Me Later album, also known as "Over". It reached No. 14 on the Hot 100.
On March 12, 2010, a version of K'naan's "Wavin' Flag" recorded by a collective of Canadian musicians known as Young Artists for Haiti was released. Drake is featured in the song, performing a solo verse near the end of the song.
On April 29, 2010, it was announced that Drake had finished Thank Me Later. According to reports, Drake announced the completion of the album to a crowd during his April 26, 2010, show at the University of Missouri in Kansas City. His camp has since confirmed that Drake was finished with the final track to the album and the next single from the album would be titled "Find Your Love". "Find Your Love" was released as the second single on May 5, 2010, and has become the most successful single from the album, as it has peaked at number 5 on the Hot 100.
Thank Me Later was finally released on June 15, 2010. On that day, 25,000 fans gathered at New York's South Street Seaport for a free concert by Drake and Hanson. A near riot ensued after police canceled the show due to over-flowing crowds.
The record sold 447,000 records in its first week, reaching No. 1 on the Billboard 200, his first release to do so. Due to his first week sales, Drake had sold the most records for any hip hop artist in one week in 2010. Eminem would pass that mark a week later.
Drake hosted the first annual Ovo (October's Very Own) Festival. In that festival he brought out the VIP list of rap stars including Jay-Z, Eminem, Rick Ross, Young Jeezy, Bun B and Fabolous. Drake kicked off his "Lights Dreams and Nightmares Tour" on September 20, 2010 in Miami, Florida. The tour traveled to major cities in the United States, winding down on November 6 in Las Vegas.
On November 17, 2010, Drake revealed the title of his next studio album to be Take Care. Birdman stated that Drake's second studio album will be released on September 13, 2011. Drake is working with underground producer 9th Wonder and now seeking beats from DJ Premier and some collaborations and background vocals from TLC members' Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins and Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas for his sophomore album. In a recent interview, Rapper/Producer Q-Tip said that he's "cheffing up some stuff for him right now". It is unclear whether the tracks Q-Tip have produced will be onTake Care. As Drake fans await the follow-up to debut album "Thank Me Later," the Toronto rapper has posted a new track, "Dreams Money Can Buy", on his October's Very Own blog morning May 20.
As composer[edit | edit source]
In addition to making his own music, Drake has also written for other artists in the industry such as Alicia Keys, Jamie Foxx and more. He also tends to feature or remix tracks that he has written for other artists such as Unthinkable Remix by Alica Keys. Lil Wayne also claims that he and Drake have both written for Dr. Dre's Detox album.
In the list of the songs written, "Yesterday", of Diddy Dirty Money featuring Chris Brown, written with Chris Brown, Cristyle, Kevin McCall and Mario Winans , from Diddy's fifth studio album, Last Train to Paris. Drake also wrote the song "Unthinkable", by Alicia Keys, also written with Keys and Kerry Brothers, Jr., Noah "40" Shebib, from her album The Element of Freedom. He is featured in the remix of the song. "I Get Lonely Too" by Jeremih is also written by Drake.
Drake also wrote his features and own songs, showing his skills in it.
Personal life[edit | edit source]
In 2008, Drake spoke about his past relationships on a song called "Deceiving" using each verse to address different women. In Verse 1, he spoke about video-girl Nadia Edwards. In Verse 3, he spoke about classmate Alisha Phillips.
He then spoke about his past relationship with Keshia Chanté on the Verse 2 of his song "Deceiving", referencing Chanté's mother, Tessa, stating "when I say I'm serious, you claim you're only teasing," and "What up Tessa? I love you like my own mama, and your daughters getting grown mama, and me, I'm just here working, waiting, patient for her to be ready for love and leave alone drama." In May 2009, Drake finally spoke with MuchMusic about his song "Deceiving" and addressed speculation of his past relationship with Chanté, "Would I call Keshia Chante an ex? I'd be proud to say she is an ex. I'm proud to say we had our time, when we were, like 16 years old. She's great. She's one of the first people in the industry that I met, we just connected." In June 2009, Drake did two remixes to Chante's song "Fallen" where he addresses his love for her; on Version 1 he raps "Keshia, Keshia, do you remember the old us? They said we'd never be together that's what they told us. Immature kids, to entrepreneur kids." On Version 2, he raps "you just hold it down for your boy until the plaques arrive, that's why I love you."
MuchMusic later asked Chanté on how she felt about Drake. She kept mum, later saying, "I will love that man unconditionally for the rest of my life. He knows what it is. We have history. I've known him since I was a little girl. We just have a love/hate relationship, so I prefer to love him from afar."
In 2009, online rumors swirled stating that Drake was in a relationship with Rihanna. Both parties denied that claim, with Drake stating "we're just good friends." Rihanna later revealed in 2010 that in 2009 they were in fact in a relationship but it was short and they now remain "really awesome friends."
Drake is a fan of the Kentucky Wildcats and a friend to head coach John Calipari. On October 16, 2009, Drake made an appearance at the University of Kentucky men's basketball event, "Big Blue Madness" at Rupp Arena. On January 2, 2009, Drake also attended Kentucky's game against the University of Louisville and accompanied Calipari to his post game radio show. Drake returned to the University of Kentucky on April 27, 2010, to perform a concert.
He is featured on Complex Magazine first issue of 2010. In the February–March issue he discusses his relationship with Lil Wayne, competition with new coming artist, getting inspired by ex-girlfriends, and the details on his debut studio album, Thank Me Later.
In July 2010, Drake postponed his entire European tour due to his mother's illness.
Discography[edit | edit source]
Main article: Drake discography
Filmography[edit | edit source]
|2008||Charlie Bartlett||A/V Jones|
|Mookie's Law||Chet Walters||Short film|
|2013||Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues||Himself||Cameo|
|2001||Blue Murder||Joey Tamarin||1 episode|
|Degrassi: The Next Generation||Jimmy Brooks||139 episodes|
|2002||Soul Food||Fredrick||1 episode|
|Conviction||Teen Fish||Television movie|
|2005||Best Friend's Date||Dater||1 episode|
|Instant Star||Himself||1 episode|
|2008||The Border||PFC Gordon Harvey||1 episode|
|2009||Being Erica||Ken||1 episode|
|Beyond the Break||Himself||1 episode|