Actor. Singer. Recording artist. Rapper. Songwriter.
Aubrey Drake Graham, who goes by the name “Drake”, is an incredibly versatile artist. He was born in Toronto, Ontario and first gained fame from his appearance on the TV series Degrassi: The Next Generation.
Drake released a number of mixtapes before finally signing to Young Money Entertainment. His first studio album, Thank Me Later, was number one on the Billboard Top 200. This CD spawned hit singles such as “Over” and “Fancy”.
His biggest influences are famous artists such as Kanye West, Jay-Z, Lil’ Wayne and Aaliyah. His musical abilities are often compared to Kanye’s, and he takes pride in that.
“He was an artist, in every sense, from his cover art to his music… He is a great competitor, and friend. I don’t want to be as good as Kanye, I want to be better,” he says.
Drake’s lyrics are usually filled with emotion, although he describes himself as “closed off emotionally”. His musical style is introspective and thoughtful, discussing previous experiences and social commentary.
His recent single, “Girls Love Beyonce”, discusses many different topics. He discusses his struggle with fame when he says, “Feels like my love life is finished/ I’ve been avoiding commitment/ That’s why I’m in this position.”
He also looks down on the mentality of men in this generation: “All my young boys ‘round me saying, ‘get money and..’/ Where we learn these values? I do not know what to tell you.” He isn’t afraid to criticize what he sees around him.
Drake is such a successful artist because his lyrics seem universal– everyone feels as though they can sing the lyrics and relate to them. He discusses struggles within himself, relationship issues, family problems– all things that people today can relate to.
“I’ve seen a lot of man, and I’ve seen a lot of life,” he says to Neon Limelight. “I’ve seen things that didn’t make me happy.. I speak from a place that’s just human emotion.
He is considered a unique and versatile artist because he incorporates singing into his rapping. Songs such as “Find Your Love” and “Karaoke” have him both rapping and singing on the track. Drake also collaborates closely with singer The Weeknd on songs such as “Crew Love” and “Trust Issues”.
“I’m one of the few artists who gets to be himself everyday,” he says. “That’s one of my favorite parts of my life–I’ve done this by purely being myself.”