Drake is a multi-talented singer, rapper, and actor from the Great White North of Canada. He is a business man, a record label owner, and an NBA Global Ambassador. He has had an on/off relationship with Rhianna, Cuddled with Jennifer Lopez, and was signed to Lil Wayne’s record label.
Drake is pretty awesome, and good at what he does. His fourth studio album Views has gone multi-platinum with single that will be stuck in your head for weeks. The guys seemingly has it all. We wanted to celebrate his good fortune and discuss 5 fast facts you need to know about Drake.
1. Drake got his Start on the Show Degrassi: The Next Generation
Drake started his career as an actor on the Canadian CTV show Degrassi: The Next Generation. Drake was on the show from 2001 – 2007 and portrayed the high school student Jimmy Brooks. Brooks was a basketball star who became disabled in a wheelchair after being shot by a classmate.
Drake appeared in a total of 145 episodes of the show and left the show in 2007. He returned sporadically until the character’s class graduated. Degrassi: The Next Generation received generally favorable reviews with Drake as one of the forefront characters during his time.
2. He Signed with Lil Wayne’s Young Money Entertainment in 2009.
Prior to becoming the big star that he is now, Drake released two mixtapes. Room For Improvement was released in 2006 and featured Trey Songz and Lupe Fiasco and was produced by Canadian stalwarts Boi-1da, and Frank Dukes.That mixtape sold 6K+ copies which is amazing for that media.
In 2007, Drake released Comeback Season, his second mixtape released on his October’s Very Own label. The mixtape showcased the single “Replacement Girl” once again featuring Trey Songz. That song garnered him a video on BET, the first ever by an unsigned Canadian rapper.
On “Replacement Girl” Drake sampled the song “Man of the Year” with verse from Lil Wayne. The song eventually made its way into the hands of Lil Wayne and he invited Drake to Houston to guest on his Tha Carter III tour.
His third mixtape So Far Gone was the one to put him over the edge. It was released through the OVO blog website and received 2,000 downloads in 2 hours. The mixtape included the songs “Best I Ever Had”, and “Successful and debuted at number 6 on the Billboard 200. Eventually Drake signed with Young Money Entertainment in June of 2009.
3. Drake owns a Record Label Called October’s Very Own Sound (OVO)
The record label was founded by Drake in 2012 and is a subsidiary of Warner Music Group. Current artists include PARTYNEXTDOOR, Majod Jordan, and Roy Woods.
The OVO record label has spawned OVO Fest, an annual concert hosted by Drake in Toronto. The festival began in 2010 held on the Civic Holiday Weekend. OVO Fest has featured performances by Eminem, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, and Nas.
October’s Very Own has gone onto get in the fashion game with a line of clothing and stores in Toronto, Los Angeles, and New York. OVO Sound Radio is a regular radio show on Beats 1.
4. Drake is the Global Ambassador for the Toronto Raptors
In 2013, Drake signed on as the “global ambassador” for the NBA franchise Toronto Raptors. In the role, Drake assisted in promoting festivities and events that the team endorses.
Drake was consulted on the rebranding of the team, and helped to redesign its image with a new clothing line to commemorate the franchise’s 20th anniversary.
Drake went on to speak with regard to his new position: “obviously, I won’t be able to be in the building every day but I am extremely dedicated to it.”
5. Drake’s father played drums for Jerry Lee Lewis
Drake’s dad, Dennis Graham, is pretty famous in his own right. Originally from Memphis, TN he obtained his first drum set from James Brown, and played in Jerry Lee Lewis’s Band.
Since his son has become uber-famous, he has shown up in pictures with Snoop Dogg, and was featured in Drake’s video for “Worst Behaviour.”
In late 2016 he released a single, “Kinda Crazy”, with an R&B Vibe to it and will be working with Jimmy Iovine’s son Jaime to release a full length album.