Aubrey Drake Graham (born October 24, 1986) is a Canadian rapper, producer and actor from the 6 (Toronto). "Aubrey Drake Graham" is the worst imaginable name for a rapper; only the middle name is salvageable, and that is what he goes by. Drake is the best-selling Canadian artist of all time, followed closely by Chad Kroeger of Nickelback. He has become influential in the music industry for being a squishy nerd who gets others to write scary lyrics for him. Inspired by other rappers such as Kanye West and Dr. Seuss, Drake enjoyed early success on Canadian TV show Degrassi, where he played a wheelchair-bound dork. No one in his entourage is allowed to mention Degrassi or else he gets really upset. The TV stint naturally led to various successful mixtapes.
The Degrassi years
Drake began his career in the media playing Jimmy Brooks in the hit show Degrassi: The Next Generation. His character underwent a traumatic episode when a classmate shot him in the leg and disabled him. As the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation was running a deficit due to cuts by then-Media Minister Stephen Harper, Drake was actually shot in the leg and rendered disabled. This was a controversial decision, as he rather liked being a biped.
After multiple seasons on the show, Drake found a new love in the form of rap. Understanding that a young wheelchair-bound Canadian rapper would be pretty lame, he made a deal with the Devil, travelling to Canada's northernmost reaches to sacrifice three baby seals by clubbing them to death in a bid to get his mobility back. In what is now known as the miracle at Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport, Drake was wheeled off the plane but triumphantly stood up and ran laps around the baggage carousels. When he returned to the set of Degrassi, the producers were enraged to see him standing up. They were about to shoot his legs again, but he quit the show to pursue his new career.
Drake began his career in rap by publishing short-form mixtapes and singles that gained acclaim from fellow rapper Lil Wayne. Recording many songs together, Drake became bigger and bigger in the rap world and was soon working on his debut album inspired by his Canadian manners, Thank Me Later, which included songs such as "No Problem Buddy", and "Sorry Aboot That Pal". This album took the mainstream music world by storm and Drake was earmarked for features by artists such as Kanye West and Jay-Z.
However, being a mild-mannered Canadian youngster, Drake grew insecure about his mild dispositions. To become a force to reckon with in the rap world, he hired ghost writers to make his songs sound scarier and tougher. This decision would shroud his career with controversy and gossip.
His next album, Take Care, began again as an ode to his good manners. Upon intervention by other rappers and members of his entourage he took up more tough-sounding lyricism on this album, with songs such as "You Better Watch Your P's and Q's", and "Wash Your Mouth Out with Soap".
Since then, Drake has become one of the biggest artists in mainstream music, inspiring a new generation of artists to be kind, eat their vitamins and say their prayers. Number one songs he has since released or featured in include:
- "Hotline Bling", which is about phoning his mother daily
- "One Dance", referencing his ability to gain super high scores on Dance Dance Revolution, and
- "SICKO MODE" by Travis Scott, wherein Drake exhibits his travel habits which include taking half a Xanax on a plane to help him sleep.
Drake tirelessly advocates responsible drug use, stating in many of his songs that you should always read the stated dose on the little leaflet you get in a medicine packet.
Drake is now one of the top streamed artists on Spotify, proving that doing it the kind way is still hip. However, it has not all been easy. Drake has routinely beefed with fellow rapper Kanye West, who often uses anti-Semitic remarks against Drake. Drake has responded with on-line petitions calling for West to go in timeout and think about what he has done.
Drake's career has been plagued by a plethora of internet memes. One variation of a classic playground jape that has been used on the internet to poke fun is the "Drake is the type of guy" meme, such as:
- Drake is the type of guy to eat spaghetti with a spoon
- Drake is the type of guy to say, "Is anyone there?" when he hears a noise in the night
- Drake is the type of guy to stop at a red light in Grand Theft Auto V
- Drake is the type of guy to say "Oopsie daisies!" when he drops something
- Drake is the type of guy to go into a pet shop and set the animals free
Drake turned to Twitter to appeal to reason:
|Drake @Drake · Apr 1, 2008|
|Listen, folks. I am not the type of guy to surprise my homies with a visit from the tickle monster, or say "GERONIMO!" when I jump into the pool. That crap is super uncool, guys.|
When the memes persisted, Drake recorded "Stop Clowning Around", in which he called for the memes to stop, as they were beginning to make him feel like a freakin' loser. The entire internet felt quite bad about Drake's upset feelings and stopped pestering him.
Drake has since proven that he can take a joke, by appearing on Saturday Night Live and poking fun at his sensitivities. In a sketch that some have described as the worst in SNL history (which is a pretty low bar to begin with), Drake played on a swing in a Toronto playground before being pushed off by some bullies. Drake, putting his rap skills to good use, started free-styling about love, acceptance and friendship on the spot. Drake and the bullies then joined arms and galloped down Yonge Street wearing daisy chains. Lorne Michaels claims that Drake would cry in the writers' room whenever his skits were rejected: "I didn’t know what to do. Andy Samberg told him to wipe that soppy look off your face. He started bawling and came into my office. I just gave him free rein that week. It wasn’t worth the hassle."
In one of Drake’s most publicised rap beefs, Pusha T, fellow musician and lyricist exposed Drake’s darkest secret. He had actually had premarital sex and forgot to wear protection, which led to the birth of a baby boy. Drake, embarrassed that his silly decision making had been made public to the world, snapped. In a moment of sheer madness, and what has been described as Drake's most out of character act of naughtiness ever, he used his Canadian privilege to dress in blackface and make fun of Pusha T. The world was rightfully shocked to see this and appalled at Drake's racist behaviour. For a reason yet to be determined famous Canadians seem to have a history of blackface, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is fond of the old face paint too.
Drake has also been accused of accosting underage girls using social media. Questions were raised when Millie Bobby Brown of Stranger Things fame admitted on a talk show that Drake was texting her regularly, while she was only 15. Drake denies these allegations and claims he just wanted to play a game of 8 Ball Pool with the young actress. His manager claims that akin to Michael Jackson, Drake bears no sexual affection towards young people, and is instead enthused by their childlike wonder and whimsy. Yeah, sure.
Awards and achievements
- 2003 Oscar award for Best Male Performance (Degrassi — Season Two, Episode Four: "Aubrey’s Tragedy")
- 2009—2022 Israel's Jewish Rapper of the Year award
- 2013 Grammy award for Best Rap Single with "Playground Gangster"
- 2015 Nicest Person in Canada award
- 2016 Grammy award for Nursery Rhyme Album of the Year with Drake's ABCs
- 2018 UNICEF's Positive Influence on Children award