OCCUPATION: Television Actor, Rapper, Singer
BIRTH DATE: October 24, 1986 (age 31)
PLACE OF BIRTH: Toronto, Canada
ZODIAC SIGN: Scorpio
Who is Drake?
Multi Grammy award winning rapper and singer, Drake, famous in Canada for playing wheelchair-bound Jimmy Brooks on ‘Degrassi: The Next Generation,’ and for his smash hit songs like ‘Take Care,’ ‘One Dance’ and ‘Hotline Bling.’ has had two shots at fame and nailed them both.
Drake who initially became known after he appeared in the teen soap Degrassi: The Next Generation in the role of Jimmy Brooks, a wheelchair-bound character he played for seven years after quitting the show became one of the greatest rappers in the world after signing a record deal with Lil Wayne’s llabel Young Money Entertainment.
Drake who is always in the news when he is dating American singer, Rihanna or Jennifer Lopez, establishing his own record label, OVO Sound, or fronting the NBA’s Toronto Raptors as the team’s worldwide ambassador was labeled the Kobe Bryant of hip hop by famous American rapper and businessman Jay Z for these reasons.
Drake’s upbringing in Toronto
Drake who was born Aubrey Drake Graham on the 24th of October, 1986, in Toronto, Canada, grew up with music in his blood. His dad, Dennis Graham, was a drummer for the Legendary rock’n’ roll star Jerry Lee Lewis. While his uncle, Larry Graham, was known to have played bass for Sly and the Family Stone. According to Drake, his mom, Sandi Graham, also came from a music family and his grandma kept an eye on Franklin. Drake originates from a mixed and unique ethnic and religious background. His father is an African-American Catholic while his mom is a white Canadian Jew.
Drake whose parents got separated when he was just five years of age, was brought by his mom in Forest Hill, an affluent and overwhelmingly Jewish neighborhood in Toronto, where he also went to Jewish day school, had a Bar Mitzvah at the age of 13 and watched the Jewish High Holy Days with his mom. Despite his Jewish childhood, Drake says he felt separated at Forest Hill Collegiate Institute, that’s practically all-white high school. Drake who said that no one comprehended what it was to be dark and Jewish,” however added that being different from everyone else just made him a lot stronger.
Drake’s ‘Degrassi: The Next Generation’
According to Drake, it was one of his schoolmates at Forest Hill that gave him his start in the entertainment industry.
“There was a kid in my class whose father was an agent.” “His father would state, ‘If there’s anybody in the class that influences you laugh, have them audition for me.’ After the tryout he turned into my specialist.” Drake said.
Later on in 2001, Drake landed a role on the Canadian teen drama series Degrassi: The Next Generation, that took after the dramatic lives of a group of teenagers at Degrassi High School, in which Drake played the role of Jimmy Brooks, sometimes dubbed “Wheelchair Jimmy,” a basketball star who became permanently tired to the wheelchair after he was being shot by one of his colleagues.
Drake who dropped out of school to pursue his acting career and only graduated from high school in 2012, starred on Degrassi for seven years (2001-2009), procuring a Young Artist Award in 2002 for best ensemble in a TV series, among other awards. The show immediately built up a dedicated following for him and these launched him into celebrity status in Canada, even while he remained anonymous in the United States.
Drake’s Signing From ‘Degrassi’ to Signing With Lil Wayne’s Music Label
While Drake was still featuring on Degrassi, he started trying to cross over into the universe of hip hop with the release of his first mixtape, Room for Improvement, in 2006, while achieving amazing sales of around 6,000 copies. He followed that with the 2007 release of another mixtape, Comeback Season, on his own October’s Very Own imprint (later to be abbreviated to OVO), that included Drake’s first hit single and music video, “Replacement Girl,” that was featured as the New Joint of the Day on BET’s popular hip-hop TV show 106 and Park. More importantly, the song contained an adaptation of Brisco and Flo Rida’s “Man of the Year,” that featured Lil Wayne. Drake chose to leave Wayne’s verses and snare in place while he gave whatever is left of the verses himself. This caught the attention of Jas Prince, son of Rap-A-Lot Records founder James Prince, who decided to play Drake to Lil Wayne himself.
In 2008, Drake landed a role on the Canadian teen drama Degrassi: Next Generation, wiping out Drake’s character. Without his consistent wellspring of pay, and not yet profiting as a rapper, Drake was very nearly searching for a normal everyday employment. “I was grappling with the way that … I may need to work at an eatery or something just to keep things going,” he recollects. However, ahead of schedule in 2008, he got a startling call from Lil Wayne, who requesting that he load onto a flight to Houston that night to join his Carter III visit.
After touring and recording a number of songs with Lil Wayne, Drake released his third mixtape, So Far Gone, in February 2009. It featured the infectious single “Best I Ever Had,” which crested at No. 2 on Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart, while “Successful,” a joint effort with Wayne and Trey Songz, went gold and made Rolling Stone’s “25 Best Songs of 2009” rundown.
A bidding war for Drake’s signature followed and in mid-2009 he inked a record deal with Lil Wayne’s Young Money Entertainment. Though the start wasn’t auspicious after he took a tumble on stage during the America’s Most Wanted Tour in July the same year, tearing his anterior cruciate ligament and requiring surgery. However, it would only be onwards and upwards from then on.
On June 15, 2010, Drake released his first full studio album, Thank Me Later, that debuted at No. 1 on both American and Canadian album charts and was certified platinum. His new persona as the cocksure prince of hip-hop (“Last name ever, first name greatest,” he brags on “Forever”) seemed to clash with his middle-class Jewish upbringing and former career as a teenage soap star.