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Only seven years into his illustrious music career and Drake has already hit some milestones that most artists only dream of. Recording more than 100 chartbusters on the Billboard Hot 100 and winning top honors at the award functions, Drake has made his reign in R&B and hip-hop clear.
Aubrey Drake Graham’s first step to stardom was through acting. He made the character Jimmy Brooks quite popular on the hit Canadian show “Degrassi: The Next Generation”. Appearing in 145 episodes, Drake later went on to work in several other television shows.
Eventually, music and rapping became his true calling. Bursting onto the music scene in 2008, Drake had a few songs on him that eased his entry into the industry. Considered to be a rapper on the rise, the track “Replacement Girl” was lauded as an ingenious piece and earned him immense recognition. His sampling of songs by Trey Songz, Lil Wayne and Flo Rida allowed him to capitalize on his growing popularity. He was soon called by Lil Wayne to join him on his 2008 Tha Carter III Tour.
At 31, Drake has already released four hit studio albums, latest one “Views” hitting the shelves in 2016. The album comes with a supporting tour called the “Boy Meets World Tour” that’s selling out Drake tickets in every city the star is scheduled to perform. In 2017, he also released a playlist titled “More Life” and it broke all streaming records on Apple Music and Spotify.
Early Life & Influences
At 15, Drake got his first break as a television star, landing a prominent role on the Canadian television series “Degrassi: The Next Generation”. When asked about his career preferences, the multitalented all-Canadian stated that it was more out of necessity. At the time when he took up acting, his mother was unwell and since his parents were divorced, Drake and his mother were practically broke.
It comes as no surprise that Drake cites Lil Wayne as his biggest influence. His Young Money label-mate, Wayne played an important role in shaping Drake’s career. Today, they might work as peers but Drake looked up to Lil Wayne’s style, covered his songs and eventually turned to him for guidance. The collaboration of Drake-Wayne has resulted in explosive hits including “HYFR”, “Believe Me” and “I’m On One”.
When Drake entered the industry, he required a surrogate “rap dad” and Lil Wayne happily stepped up.
Breakthrough & Recognition
From a television star to rap royalty, hard work has played a huge role in Drake becoming an incredibly successful artist. His music breakthrough came swiftly with his debut EP “So Far Gone”. With Lil Wayne and Trey Songz as his mentors, the EP spawned hits like “Best I Ever Had,” “I’m Goin’ In” and “Successful”. Peaking at number six on the Billboard 200, it earned the rapper a Juno Award for “Rap Recording of the Year”.
Mixing infectious rapping with good singing and adding ingenious beats to the compositions, Drake established himself as a genuine talent. He showed his versatility, his solid music aesthetics and was able to give the fans a collection they could easily put on a repeat.
“Best I Ever Had” earned him his first Grammy nomination and left the fans waiting for more. Perhaps the most astonishing part is that all this success and popularity came to Drake without being attached to any record label.
Notable Work & Album Releases
As much success as Drake enjoyed in 2016 & 2017, specifically in terms of charts appearances, his history of breaking through the charts go way back to 2009. He kick started his Billboard charts dominance with “Best I Ever Had” as it became his first top-ten track.
In 2011, Drake released “Take Care” and it topped all three – Billboard 200, Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and Billboard Top Rap Albums charts. The album brought him his first Grammy Award win for the “Best Rap Album”. Featuring contemporary R&B and rap, Drake proved his talent matched his hype. It featured collaborations with Nicki Minaj on “Make Me Proud” and Rihanna on the title track.
2013 came with another commercial hit “Nothing Was the Same”. Reaching number one on the Billboard 200, it won a Juno Award as well as the 2014 BET Hip Hop Award. Presenting an exciting change of pace in R&B, the songs hit home with the listeners. While Drake crooned about his own insecurities, the fans couldn’t help but see themselves in the lyrics.
After a gap of two years, “Views” came out in 2016 and it was another hit by the star. Tightening his grip on the hip-hop crown, the album topped the Billboard 200 and remained on the Top 5 for the first six months. Nominated for multiple Grammy Awards, its song “Hotline Bling” took home two trophies – the “Best Rap/Sung Performance” and the “Best Rap Song”.
“One Dance” was another hit on the album, hailed as Billboard’s 2016 Song of the Summer. It also became one of the bestselling singles of all-time and even made it to Rolling Stone’s list of 50 Best Songs of 2016.
Drake Tour Tickets
If you’ve always wanted to immerse into Drake’s world-pop lifestyle, his 2017 playlist “More Life” is the way to do it. Nodding the South African house scene, Drake stretched his boundaries but at the same time touched upon old-school rap form. Bursting with energy and expansive sounds, “More Life” is a call out to his sophisticated taste and ear for melodies. Guest vocalists including Young Thug, Quavo, Giggs, Travis Scott, Kanye West, 2 Chainz, Jorja Smith, PartyNextDoor and Sampha have featured in the album, resulting in a richer and fuller song-list.
With Drake on tour and a promise to return with more shows in 2018, the fans can listen to the live rendition of all these songs and more. Keep an eye out for Drake tour tickets as the phenomenal rapper and singer is likely to announce more dates for his “Boy Meets World Tour”.