Over the last decade, Drake has dominated the hip hop world with his record-shattering stats, versatile rapping style and crossover pop appeal. He managed to go from a Canadian teen soap actor to one of the genre’s biggest stars ever. This article explores Drake’s complete biography, looking at his early life and career, rise to fame, blockbuster albums and mixtapes, high-profile feuds, relationships, business moves and cultural impact. Get the full scoop on the chart-topping life and career of Champagne Papi himself.
Step into the world of Aubrey Drake Graham, a multifaceted artist who has carved his name into the annals of hip-hop history. In this compelling biography, we will delve into the life and journey of the man behind the music. From his early beginnings to his rise to superstardom, this is the captivating story of Drake.
Early Life and Career Beginnings
Aubrey Drake Graham was born October 24, 1986 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. His father was an African American musician and his mother a Jewish-Canadian teacher. As a teen, Drake starred as Jimmy Brooks on the hit Canadian TV series Degrassi: The Next Generation.
On the side, he developed an interest in rapping and began releasing mixtapes such as Room for Improvement under the name Drizzy. Lil Wayne discovered these recordings and became Drake’s mentor, signing him to his Young Money label. The stage was set for hip hop stardom. Drake Biography.
Breakout Mixtape and Debut Album
In 2009, Drake released his third mixtape So Far Gone to great buzz, featuring soon-to-be hits “Best I Ever Had” and “Successful.” These songs showed his unique blend of rapping and singing.
So Far Gone peaked at #2 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, an unprecedented debut for a mixtape. This momentum cemented Drake as hip hop’s hottest up-and-comer.
Following his mixtape triumph, Drake dropped his major label debut Thank Me Later in 2010. It debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 with top 10 smash hits “Over” and “Find Your Love.” Drake had successfully transitioned from teen TV star to full-blown rap star. Drake Biography.
Multi-Platinum Success with Take Care
In 2011, Drake’s sophomore album Take Care shot to #1 led by the monstrous single “Headlines.” Songs like “Make Me Proud,” “The Motto,” and title track “Take Care” featuring Rihanna also dominated radio play.
Take Care showed Drake blending rapping and sung vocals to crossover pop audiences. Earning 4 Grammy nominations, the album went 4x platinum and established Drake as hip hop’s most bankable new superstar.
Over the next few years, hits like “Started From the Bottom” and “Hold On, We’re Going Home” kept Drake on top of the rap game. Drake Biography.
Mixtape Dominance and Chart Records
Even as he put out major solo albums, Drake continued his mixtape hustle. In 2015, he surprised dropped his mixtape If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, which broke streaming records and debuted at #1. It demonstrated his mixtape power.
In 2016, Drake’s Views album dominated the Billboard charts for months. But his next mixtape More Life in 2017 broke streaming records with over 385 million streams globally its first week.
Drake had mastered the mixtape model to build hype for his albums while breaking chart records in between. This prolific output satisfied his eager fanbase. Drake Biography.
Continued Success and Major Tours
Drake’s successive albums Scorpion, Dark Lane Demo Tapes, and Certified Lover Boy all continued his unprecedented chart domination, spawning massive hits like “God’s Plan,” “Laugh Now Cry Later,” and “Hotline Bling.”
He undertook major arena tours like Boy Meets World Tour and Aubrey & the Three Amigos Tour where he performed 150+ shows globally. Drake’s tours became the highest grossing hip hop tours, reinforcing his status as a premier live act.
In 2021, Drake made history by becoming the first artist to have ten #1 debuts on the Billboard Hot 100. Simply put, no rapper could match his stats. Drake Biography.
High Profile Feuds and Controversies
As Drake rose to the upper echelon of hip hop royalty, he engaged in various high-profile beefs with other rappers like Chris Brown, Meek Mill, and Pusha T.
He’s also received criticism for appropriating other genres and not acknowledging fellow artists that helped his come-up. But the controversies have not slowed down his success.
Entrepreneurship and Business Ventures
Beyond music, Drake has built an empire as an entrepreneur, partnering with brands like Nike and Apple. He founded his OVO record label and clothing line.
In addition to artist collabs, Drake has invested in numerous companies like food delivery startup 100 Thieves. He’s also delved into alcohol, cannabis, and high-end scented candles. Drake’s business savvy has earned him hundreds of millions.
Personal Life and Relationships
Drake has one son Adonis born in 2017 with artist Sophie Brussaux. Though not publicly, he co-parents with Brussaux in France.
Drake has been romantically involved with various high-profile women like Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez, and model Hailey Baldwin during his time in the spotlight. But he has never settled down, preferring to focus on touring and album releases.
Legacy as a Hip Hop Icon
With over 170 million records sold, Drake is statistically one of the most successful rappers ever. He holds the record for most Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hits with 59 total. His influence on 21st century hip hop and crossover appeal is undeniable.
Yet beyond just stats, Drake has impacted culture with viral catchphrases like “YOLO”, introspective lyrics, a flair for reinventing his sound, and putting Canada hip hop on the map. Still only 36, Drake’s reign shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. He continues breaking his own records and setting new high bars of success. Drake is undoubtedly one of the greatest hip hop artists of all time. Drake Biography.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some common questions that fans have about Drake’s prolific career and personal life:
1. Where is Drake originally from?
Drake was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and grew up there before getting into music.
2. How did Drake get his start as a rapper?
Early on, Drake starred in the teen drama Degrassi. He started rapping and releasing mixtapes which got him signed to Lil Wayne’s label.
3. What was Drake’s breakthrough single?
The 2009 song “Best I Ever Had” first put Drake on the map, peaking at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100.
4. What was Drake’s first #1 album?
His second studio album Take Care was his first to debut at #1 in 2011, spawning multiple top 10 hits.
5. How many total albums has Drake released?
Drake has released 7 studio albums, 4 compilation albums, and over two dozen mixtapes.
6. Did Drake star in Degrassi as a teen?
Yes, Drake starred as Jimmy Brooks on the show Degrassi: The Next Generation from 2001 to 2009.
7. Who has Drake feuded with in hip hop?
Some of Drake’s biggest feuds have been with Chris Brown, Meek Mill, Pusha T, and more recently Kanye West.
8. Is Drake Canadian or American?
Drake was born in Toronto and is a dual Canadian-American citizen. He frequently reps both countries.
In just over a decade, Drake has become the ultimate 21st century hip hop success story. His meteoric rise from Canadian teen soap actor to topping charts and breaking streaming records is unprecedented. Driven by his versatility, introspective lyrics, and pop instincts, Drake appeals to audiences globally. Though sometimes controversial, he’s earned respect through relentless output and entrepreneurial vision. Still relatively young with countless more achievements ahead, Drake’s reign as a hip hop legend is firmly cemented. He overcame the odds to become rap royalty and cement his eternal influence. Drake Biography.