Renowned hip-hop artist Drake was created into a mixed-race couple in Canada in 1986, and raised Jewish. He came to fame playing wheelchair-restricted Jimmy Brooks in seven seasons of the most popular teen soap Degrassi: The Next Generation. In 2006, Drake started circulating mixtapes of his raps, and signed a record deal in 2009.
Drake comes from an diverse and distinctive racial and spiritual heritage. His dad is an African-American Catholic and his mom is a white Canadian Jew. Speaking about his personal identity, Drake says, “At the close of the day, I consider myself a black man since I am more immersed in black culture than just about any other. Being Jewish is kind of a trendy turn. It makes me unique.”
Drake’s parents divorced when he was 5 years old, and he was raised by his mom in Forest Hill, an affluent and mostly Jewish Toronto area. He’d a Bar Mitzvah at age 13 and observed the Jewish High Holy Days together with his mom. “My mother has always made Hanukkah pleasure,” Drake remembers. “When I was younger, she gave great presents and she had make latkes.” Drake recalls, “Nobody realized what it had been like to be black and Jewish.” Yet, he also adds, “being different from everyone else only made me a lot more powerful.”
“There was a child in my class whose father was an agent,” Drake would later describe, including, “His dad would say, ‘If there is anyone in the class that gets you laugh, ask them to audition for me personally.’ Following the audition he became my agent.”
Soon later, in 2001, Drake got a part on the Canadian teen drama show Degrassi: The Next Generation. The show follows the remarkable lives of several teens at Degrassi High School, and Drake played the part of Jimmy Brooks, occasionally dubbed “Wheelchair Jimmy,” a basketball star who becomes permanently wheelchair bound when he’s shot with a classmate.
Drake starred on Degrassi for seven years (200109), earning a 2002 Young Artist Award for the best ensemble in a TV series, among other honours. The show quickly developed a loyal cult following—“There are really few subtle Degrassi fans,” Drake has said—propelling Drake to star status in Canada, even while he stayed comparatively anonymous in the United States.
While still staring on Degrassi, Drake started trying his transition to the world of hip hop. He released his first mixtape, Room for Improvement, in 2006, reaching small sales around about 6,000 copies. He followed that with the 2007 launch of some other mixtape, Comeback Season.
In 2008, the producers of Degrassi passed the cast, removing Drake’s character. Without his steady revenue stream, rather than yet making considerable cash as a rapper, Drake was on the brink of searching for a day job. “I was coming to terms with all the reality that … I might need to work in a restaurant or something just to keep things going,” he recalls.
Since that phone call, Drake has enjoyed a fast rise to the very best of the music world. Since that time, Drake’s barrage of catchy, R&B-infused hip-hop songs have controlled radio airwaves. His hottest singles only at that time comprised “Every Girl,” “Forever” and “Money to Blow.”
Drake’s new character as the cocksure prince of hip hop (“Last name ever, first name best,” he brags on a single track) appears to clash together with his middleclass Jewish upbringing and former profession as a teen soap opera star.
However, Drake tries to fuse these apparently incongruous phases of his life into one character. About the December 2009 cover of Vibe magazine, Drake sports a diamond-crusted Chai, a hip hop design yell out to his Jewish origins. And in his tune “The Presentation,” he raps, “Who Is Drake? Where is Wheelchair Jimmy at?”
The record met with wide acclaim, winning the 2013 Grammy Award for the best rap record, among various other honours.
Despite his huge successes on the music charts, Drake has hit a couple of rough spots in his private life. Recently, he and fellow entertainer Chris Brown have become competitors over singer Rihanna. The pair’s bitter feud erupted in violence throughout the summertime of 2012 at a Brand New York club. Several people were injured as an outcome of Drake and Brown’s fight.
Professional basketball player Tony Parker, a male model and two girls—all harm in the brawl—are among those who’ve filed suit against the performers. Additionally, Drake and Brown started legal proceedings against each other in court in early 2013 over who’s in charge of beginning the grisly battle.
Around now, Drake settled another legal issue from court. He reached an understanding with former girlfriend Ericka Lee over her contributions to the tune “Marvin’s Room.” Lee had sued Drake in 2012 seeking credit for cowriting the track.