The Rise of One of Music’s Biggest Stars in History

From his wheelchair on Degrassi to his Hip Hop throne, Drake’s unprecedented and ongoing success has surely placed him in music’s history books. The Toronto rap superstar has reached levels of success unrivalled by his contemporaries, and only a handful of his predecessors have achieved similar feats.

 

After coming under the tutelage of one of the most successful and talented rappers of the late 90’s and the 00’s, Lil Wayne, Drake was almost destined for success. After signing to record label, Young Money, the rising star released his star making mixtape, So Far Gone. With the tape’s release eyes from all over the Hip Hop community began observing Drake and debating whether or not he can fulfill his potential and become rap’s next big star. Two years later after releasing his 2nd album, Take Care, it was certain the Drake was one of the better rappers leading into the new decade. Building up on what Kanye West did with his 2008 album, 808’s and Heartbreak, Drake showed a much more melodic and heartfelt side in rap music, something that would end up becoming a trend a few years later. Take Care also received a high critical reception, scoring an 8.6/10 at Pitchfork, something he would do again with his follow up album, Nothing Was The Same. Despite critical acclaim and influence, Take Care is also one of the highest selling Hip Hop albums of the decade, going 4x platinum and spending over six years on the billboard top 200 charts.

 

Seven years have passed  since Take Care’s release and Drake has not slowed down at all, Nothing Was The Same and Views have joined Take Care as some of the highest selling Hip Hop albums of the decade, making Drake the most dominant artist of the 10’s. The Toronto rapper has also broken several records such as beating Jay Z to become the rapper with the most amount of songs to reach the billboard top 10. Previously, Jay Z held the record with 21 songs, but with Drake’s career being far from over, it was only inevitable that he would dethrone one of his former mentors. Drake managed to snatch the record from Jay after releasing his two track EP “Scary Hours” back in January. God’s Plan and Diplomatic Immunity both debuted in the top ten, making Drake the first musician to debut a pair of songs in the top 10 twice.

Drake also holds the record for the solo artist with the most amount of songs to reach the Hot 100, passing his own mentor, Lil Wayne, and music Icon, Elvis Presley. After the release of More Life back in 2017, Drake beat his own record as the artist with the most amount of songs simultaneously appearing on the Hot 100 chart. Featuring on Gucci Mane’s Both and Nicki Minaj’s No Frauds, plus having every single one of the songs from More Life reach the Hot 100, Drake’s 24 songs, made up nearly a quarter of the charting songs.

 

With all these incredible accomplishments, perhaps Drake’s most impressive one was maintaining an eight year streak on the Billboard Hot 100 songs. Making his first entry back in 2009 with Best I Ever Had, and lost it in 2017 when Passionfruit dropped from the list. This totals to a 431 consecutive weeks on the charts, over a hundred weeks ahead of the artist in the 2nd spot, Lil Wayne, who maintained a 326 week streaks.

 

Drake’s presence and influence on music culture as a whole has been ubiquitous all throughout this decade, many artists have tried to emulate his persona and sound, but none managed to capture what makes Drake really special. Generally viewed as the paragon of what a mainstream rapper should be like, Drake’s true talent lies in his ability to remain true to himself. Unlike many other Hip Hop artists who constantly try and fake their personality, or put on a gimmick, Drake’s ability to remain faithful to himself and his fanbase is something rather admirable.

 

“He’s an exceptionally talented, overhated artist who understands the extent of his abilities very well and rarely tries to be something he’s not like many hip hop artists do, and that’s why i personally find his music so genuine and entertaining, ” said Rhys Halkidis, a huge Drake fan.

 

While Drake may have millions of supporters, it’s practically impossible for someone as famous as him to not have any haters. Many believe that despite his influence, he doesn’t deserve the position that he holds today.

 

“Although Drake is one of the most, if not the most influential hip hop and R&b artists working today, and has released at least two albums the hip hop community would deem as ‘classic’, in my opinion he has relegated himself as an inferior artist by doing the same exact songs since 2015.” Said former Drake fan, Goran Orescanin. “Much of his work since this time has had little variation on sound, song structure, and lyrics, often being differentiated by a feature or one or two memorable lines. That, coupled with the fact that he has gotten away with theft from multiple artists, both visual and audio, has led me to the conclusion that Drake is not a quality artist anymore” he added.

 

Drake doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon, however. He announced his next album is to be released in June 2018. The project will be titled Scorpion, and fans are eager to see what type of sound he will be incorporating on this LP.

 

Click the photo below to watch a video about Drake’s outstanding 2018

Screen Shot 2018-05-06 at 12.54.12 PM

 

Photos credit: Drake’s Instagram

Video by Rebal Abdul Rahim

 

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