Drake is a Canadian rapper, singer and songwriter, who has emerged as one of the best rappers in recent times. He started his career as an actor in the Canadian TV series ‘Degrassi: The Next Generation’, but soon switched to music, which has been his passion since childhood. He began his musical journey with a number of self-released mixtapes. As he gained popularity, he released an EP titled ‘So Far Gone’. He later went on to release four studio albums, ‘Thank Me Later’, ‘Take Care’, ‘Nothing Was the Same’ and ‘Views’. His songs are marked by his egotistical lyrics, often dealing with his personal experiences and relationships with women. Drake, who had a different childhood than most other rappers of African-American origin, feels irritated at the notion that growing up in a neighborhood with guns and drugs makes his peers more “official”. According to him, his struggles were no less daunting, but he would prefer that people know him by his music, and not his upbringing.
In 2001, Drake started acting after the father of one of his friends, an acting agent, offered him a role in the Canadian teen drama series ‘Degrassi: The Next Generation’. He played the role of Jimmy Brooks, a wheel-chair bound former basketball player, for a total of 145 episodes.
He has acted in a number of other television series over the years, including ‘Soul Food’, ‘Being Erica’ and ‘Sophie’, and also made guest appearances on ‘Beyond the Break’, ‘Saturday Night Live’ and ‘Punk’d’. He did voice acting for the film ‘Ice Age: Continental Drift’.
Following his acting fame, he decided to self-release his debut mixtape, ‘Room for Improvement’. He followed it with another mixtape the next year, ‘Comeback Season’, which contained the single ‘Replacement Girl’ that earned him widespread recognition as a singer for the first time. He founded October’s Very Own label to release the mixtape.
He released his third mixtape ‘So Far Gone’ as a free download from the website of his record label. It consisted of tracks like ‘Best I Ever Had’ and ‘Successful’, featuring Lil Wayne, Trey Songz, and Lloyd among others, and became a commercial success. He released his debut EP by the same name following the success of the mixtape, which made it to No.6 on the ‘Billboard 200’.
His debut studio album, ‘Thank Me Later’, was released on June 15, 2010. The album, which was under production for the past two years, featured artists like Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, and Kanye West. The single ‘Find Your Love’ reached top-10 on the ‘Billboard Hot 100’.
On November 15, 2011, he released his second studio album ‘Take Care’. The album contained hit singles like ‘Make Me Proud’ featuring Nicki Minaj and ‘Take Care’ featuring Rihanna. He received his first Grammy Award for the album.
His third album, ‘Nothing Was the Same’ (2013), continued his journey to fame, opening to positive reviews like its predecessors. It was his first full-length album that was released from his own record label, OVO Sound. All of the seven singles of the album became commercially successful.
Drake has been romantically linked with a number of women from the entertainment industry. However, he is most known for his on-and-off relationship with the Barbadian singer Rihanna. They first met in 2005, following which he had a crush on her. They later became close and worked together a number of times. However, they apparently broke up after Rihanna rekindled her relationship with Chris Brown.
In June 2012, he got involved in a fight with Chris Brown, reportedly over Rihanna. Brown blamed him on social media and released a song criticizing him. Incidentally, the two later performed together in a comedic skit at the 2014 ESPY Awards, hinting at reconciliation.
In 2012, a girl named Ericka Lee revealed herself to be his ex-girlfriend and claimed that he used her voice in the song ‘Marvins Room’. She filed a lawsuit seeking credits and royalties; while Drake’s lawyer refuted the claims initially, they reached an out-of-court settlement in 2013.
He started dating singer, Jennifer Lopez, in late 2016. They often post pictures together on their respective social media accounts, however, it has been reported that his attempts at getting Rihanna back has affected his relationship with Lopez.