Started At The Bottom, Now He’s Here: The Rise of Drake

Drake is from Toronto, Canada, and he has often rapped about how he has ‘Started At The Bottom’ . While many are aware of his upbringing in what is perceived to be an affluent neighborhood in the city, Drake maintains that he came from very humble beginnings and is a self-made man. He has achieved worldwide acclaim for his musical talents and addictive sounds, and has gone on to receive an abundance of accolades and recognition for topping the charts and shattering records time and time again. So how did he make it to the top, and what were the steps that Drake took along the way? Unlike some stars that just shoot to fame with a quick hit or a lucky break in a movie role, Vulture reports that Drake really did seem to climb the rungs of the ladder one step at a time to make it to the top.

Humble Beginnings

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Drake was raised in the Jewish faith and sings the praises of his mother. She devoted her life to his happiness, but sadly she suffered from ailing health and an unhealthy lifestyle. She eventually passed away, and Drake recalls his childhood as being one that reflected his wealth status: poor. He was broke and truly didn’t have the luxuries of life that are now afforded to him through his success in the music industry.

U Discover Music quotes Drake as saying; “I grew up on Weston Road. That’s near the west end of the city. It’s not the nicest area in the world. I grew up there… I moved to Forest Hill in the sixth grade. So I didn’t grow up in Forest Hill.”

Some fans are stuck on the semantics when it comes to this topic. Many do believe that if Drake spent grade 6 onwards in Forest Hill, then he really did grow up surrounded by affluence, yet Drake associates his childhood and early life to the time he spent on Weston Road.

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Degrassi Dreams Turn Into Lyrical Focus

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Drake was eventually cast as Jimmy Brooks in Degrassi: The Next Generation, and this is when people first started to take note of his persona, as well as his skill. He seemed to enjoy this experience and GQ reported that Drake made $40,000 a year for acting his role on this show.

As Drake grew into his late teenage years, he started evolving alongside the Hip Hop era, and he quickly discovered that dropping lyrics was something he was truly passionate about. He claims that at this age, he started creating front to back songs, and kept jotting down ideas and developing his lyrics into music.

Choosing Music Over Acting

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Drake finally released his debut mixtape Room For Improvement in 2006 which was followed nearly immediately by Comeback Season. Vulture quoted Drake as saying; “Back then, I’d spend a full day on set and then go to the studio to make music until 4 or 5 a.m. I’d sleep in my dressing room and then be in front of the cameras again by 9 a.m. Eventually, they realized I was juggling two professions and told me I had to choose. I chose this life.”

This was the pivotal moment in which Drake truly committed to his musical craft, and it didn’t take long before he released So Far Gone which was created by Drake’s label October’s Very Own. Shockingly, up until this moment, Drake’s musical career hadn’t really taken off in the manner he expected or needed it to, and he was contemplating throwing in the towel and getting a ‘real job.’

Best I Ever Had shattered records and dominated the charts. This was one of the biggest songs of Drake’s career. Thank Me Later soon followed, and Hold On, We’re Going Home really catapulted Drake’s career in 2013.

Drake kept shining brighter and brighter with each new album release and single drop. He was invited to host Saturday Night Live in 2014, and also was the musical guest on that same night. 2015 saw the explosion of Hotline Bling, which was immediately embraced by fans of all ages and really became the song of the season.

Hotline Bling became the song that nobody could un-stick from their minds all summer, and then, Drake took his chances by stepping away from music and taking on the role of producers on a documentary called “The Carter Effect.”

While this may not exactly be a rags to riches story, it was to Drake. From his perspective, he went from humble beginnings on Weston Road in Toronto, to the Grammy stage.

READ NEXT: The Strange Drake Vs. Pusha T Feud Explained

Sources: UDiscoverMusic, Vulture, Insider, GQ

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