“Started From the Bottom, Now We Here”: A Detailed Look at Drake’s Early Career and Rise to Fame

by Caylen David

In this day and age, it is almost impossible to have never heard of the hip-hop powerhouse that is Aubrey “Drake” Graham. With accolades such as winning 4 Grammy Awards from 44 nominations, and having the most charted songs of any artist in history on the Billboard Hot 100, Drake has cemented himself as a mastermind in the music industry through his unparalleled sound and chart-breaking projects. Drake is also credited for bringing his city of Toronto to prominence in the music industry, and helped found the “Toronto sound,” inspired by Drake’s idols such as Kanye West and Jay-Z. He is part of a unique generation, along with the likes of rappers such as Wiz Khalifa and Kid Cudi, who gained prominence through the release of internet mixtapes. Since he self-released his first mixtape, Room for Improvement, in 2006, Drake has produced five studio albums, six additional mixtapes, three compilation albums, and over 130 leading singles with 84 music videos. Needless to say, Drake has created an immense amount of music, and his awards and recognition prove his versatility and success in the music world. Additionally, Drake has made his mark in other areas of the entertainment industry through ventures such as founding the production group DreamCrew and executive producing the hit HBO series Euphoria; being appointed to the executive committee of an NBA franchise through his appointment as “global ambassador” for the Toronto Raptors; and investing in co-ownership of the E-Sports organization 100 Thieves, a prominent force in the world of competitive gaming.

Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Drake has been on the forefront of pop culture and the entertainment industry for years, through his musical endeavors and beyond. With nearly all of his music immediately topping the charts, his style in 2020 is one of the most recognized and celebrated in the music world. However, Drake has not always been in the center of the public eye. This article will examine Drake’s rise to fame, starting from his early life back in Toronto, the city he still has endless pride in to this day. I’ll be sharing and reviewing Drake’s first three mixtapes, as well as his first two studio albums—projects that I’d argue shaped and refined the “Drake” sound. Additionally, I’ll be talking about Drake’s blooming experiences with fame that he experienced in the early 2000s—not from the profile of Drake, but simply as Aubrey Graham.

2001-2008: Early Life and Career Beginnings

Born on October 24th, 1986 in Toronto, Ontario, Aubrey Graham lived a hard life growing up. In his childhood he lived on Weston Road in Toronto’s working class West End. He later moved to the more affluent Toronto neighborhood of Forest Hills in 2000. Graham’s father, Dennis Graham, is Black and a practicing Catholic from Memphis, Tennessee who was a drummer for American rock and roll musician Jerry Lee Lewis. His mother, Sandra “Sandi” Graham, is a Jewish Canadian who worked as an English teacher and florist. 

Aubrey Graham faced lots of challenges even after he moved to a more stable living situation. In school, he was bullied for both being biracial and being Jewish. He attended a public high school that was largely Jewish, however, Graham still felt like he didn’t fit in. In 2010, Graham told Heeb Magazine that “Nobody understood what it was like to be black and Jewish.” Despite this, Graham speaks proudly of his Jewish heritage. He had a Bar Mitzvah in the basement of an Italian restaurant due to his financial situation, and told himself that if he ever became rich, he would throw himself a “re-Bar Mitzvah.” This dream would eventually become a reality, as the music video for “HYFR,” a song from his 2011 album Take Care being filmed at this re-Bar Mitzvah.

His life changed when he had his first taste of fame at 15, but it wasn’t through music. Graham had a friend in school whose father was an acting agent, and he thought that Graham would be well suited for acting due to his charismatic personality and good lying skills. Shortly after, the agent found Graham a role on the Canadian teen drama series Degrassi: The Next Generation. Graham played the role of basketball player and eventual paraplegic Jimmy Brooks, and was making about a $40,000 salary for his involvement with the show. Between 2001-2008, Graham appeared in 100 episodes, and cited his acting career as a way that he helped his mother, who was very sick and poor at the time. Drake dropped out of high school to pursue his career in acting, but he would retroactively graduate in 2012. Graham started to write rap music while he was still in the midst of his acting career. Graham’s exposure to rap music started when his father’s cellmate in jail would rap to him over the phone. Eventually, Graham started to get into it and decided to write his own lyrics in response. His love of music grew, and he had notebooks full of lyrics in the makeshift studio that he made in his Forest Hills basement. 

On February 14, 2006, Aubrey Graham released his first mixtape, Room for Improvement, and also officially adopted the stage name of Drake. This was a self-released mixtape under the label All Things Fresh, which would eventually become Drake’s self-founded label October’s Very Own, or OVO. The mixtape sold 6000 copies in 2006 and features 23 tracks, most of which were produced by Canadian producer Boi-1da, a producer who is a long-time companion and musical partner of Drake. The remix was re-released in 2009 with a shortened tracklist of 11 songs and a remix to the popular Boi-1da produced track, “Do What You Do.” The mixtape also has inspiration from the likes of Kanye West and 9th Wonder.

Room for Improvement is what partially created the hype that preceded Drake’s rise to fame. Before the Grammy nominations, Lil Wayne co-signs, and pop-cultural Drake icons such as the “Hotline Bling” dance, Drake was showcasing his lyrical talent in an underground rapper fashion during the golden era of mixtapes and CDs, something that he did to brand himself as “hip-hops next Fresh Prince spitting with everything he’s got.” Still being in the midst of his acting career in Degrassi, Drake used this tape to showcase his bigger ambitions as a rising MC. He was arrogant and flashy, and possessed confidence as if he was already at the top when this debut project was released. As I’ll say several times in this piece, Drake’s confidence is what I think has carried him as far as he’s made.

There are several standout tracks on the mixtape. On “Make Things Right,” Drake is rapping to those who think life is all about having the flashiest cars or being the most famous one in the club, telling them there is more than a superficial lifestyle, all over a soulful beat from Boi-1da that complements the lyrics and voice. This soulful and cohesive production is consistent throughout the entire tape, and even features two features from another rising star at time, Trey Songz. While the production is stellar on Room for Improvement, the mixtape’s title does appropriately attest to Drake’s lack of consistency in voice. In several tracks, Drake’s voice sounds a bit labored and forced against the beat of the song, indicating his inexperience in the rap game. The mixtape is a compilation that he is using to develop his style, setting the precursor for the development of the lethal bars and melodies that we hear on Drake tracks today. In fact, new Drake fans would be taken aback by the stark difference in the polished productions of today’s Drake versus what can be found on Room for Improvement. However, despite lacking the “Drake” flow that is known to so many, Room for Improvement is a mixtape that, while rough around the edges, delivered and acts as a solid foundation for the legacy that would become of Drake and Toronto rap, a young phenom in the making that would dominate the music landscape in the coming decade.

On October 24th, 2007, Drake released Comeback Season, the second of the three mixtapes that defined Drake’s early career. This tape was released under Drake’s October’s Very Own label, and was the last project that Drake released as a solo artist. The tape features 24 tracks, most of which were produced by the same makers of tracks on Room for Improvement such as the likes of Boi-1da, 9th Wonder, and Noah “40” Shebib, an individual who would become Drake’s main producer for his entire career. The tape gives us a more polished and confident version of the Drizzy that can be heard on Room for Improvement, where Drake is now sounding comfortable in his quest for stardom. Still balancing two careers, he alludes to his sudden rise into the Toronto rap scene on tracks like “‘The Presentation:

“…I came out the blue, / They like, ‘Damn who’s Drake, where’s wheelchair Jimmy at?” 

The standout track for the mixtape was the single “Replacement Girl” featuring Trey Songz. The track was one of Drake’s first hit songs and gained immense popularity when the music was featured on BET’s “New Joint of the Day” on April 30th, 2007. This feat further proved Drake a force to be reckoned with in the emerging Toronto rap scene, as he was the first unsigned Canadian rapper to have a music video featured on BET. This mixtape, while still far from the Drake that dominated charts in this past decade, has more consistency in his voice. On tracks like “Going in for Life,” Drake pays homage to his heroes like Jay Z, Lil Wayne, and Kanye West by modeling his flows similarly to them, and it works. Here we have the Drake that is gradually taking off his training wheels, working to establish himself as the Greatest of All Time (G.O.A.T.) before his “time” has even begun. Interestingly, this album lacks the R&B pop-focused music that we can see in Drake today from popular songs like “One Dance” or “Hold On, We’re Going Home.” While the tracks lack in quality, they achieve one thing, and that’s helping the mixtape establish an outline that Drake would come to fill in the following years. As a rapper that thrived balancing between Hip-Hop and R&B music, the gaps that are evident in that balancing act within Comeback Season are simply kinks that Drake will eventually work out as his music evolves. Compared to his newer projects, Comeback Season—like Room for Improvement—is honestly a forgettable project, however, it still creates a character profile for the Drizzy that would blow up in the near future.

2008 was the year that Drake finally reached a crossroads in his careers. He was still playing Jimmy Brooks on Degrassi, but was gradually pouring more and more hours into his music. Throughout his career even today, Drake keeps himself packed to a tight schedule, and that hustle mentality shined through in his early career as well. Fresh off the release of Comeback Season the previous year, Drake reflected to W Magazine: “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.”

2009: A Star is Born

2009 was a monumental year for Drake, and the expression “Third time’s the charm” couldn’t be more fitting. On February 13th, 2009, Drake released his third mixtape, So Far Gone, once again under his October’s Very Own label. Prior to its release, the money from Drake’s time at Degrassi was dwindling and he was on the verge of pursuing a “regular” job. However, So Far Gone was received to critical acclaim as a masterpiece, and Drake became an overnight sensation. Gone is Aubrey Graham, the amateur MC that fights the dueling consciousness of “Jimmy Brooks by day, emerging Toronto rapper by night.” All that remains in its wake is Drizzy Drake, the new prince of hip-hop music that had just made Toronto a musical hotspot. Additionally, the success of So Far Gone also helped jumpstart the careers of Boi-1da and 40, both of which heavily contributed to the musical direction and engineering of the tape. The tape has 18 tracks, and was primarily influenced by Kanye West’s 808s & Heartbreak, which had released months earlier in November of 2008.

This mixtape is personally one of my favorite projects from the Canadian rapper. Drake effortlessly switches personalities in a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde style: on “Houstatlantavegas,” a standout track for the album, Drake complains about a stripper who is stuck in her job, unable to receive the love that he has for her. On another standout track, “November 18th,” Drake takes a very different persona, one of a selfish celebrity that gets what he wants, when he wants it—he’s rapping about the spoils of newfound fame over smooth samples from the Notorious B.I.G.:

“I sent ya girl a message, said, ‘I’ll see ya when I can’

She sent me one back, but I ain’t never read it

‘Cause p***y’s only p***y and I get it when I need it”

– Drake, “November 18th,” So Far Gone https://genius.com/Drake-november-18th-lyrics 

This tone of dismissiveness can be seen in Drake’s later projects, such as in “Star67” off of his surprise 2015 mixtape, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late. It’s interesting to see him evolve the double personality early on in his career, balancing lines about lost love with the unforgiving tracks of fast-rap that cemented Drizzy as an emerging superstar. The mixtape was critically and culturally acclaimed. In this tape, Drake continues to evolve that confidence that he’s possessed since his first, amateur mixtape. However, now he has the experience and refined voice to back that confidence up in a very powerful way. Basically, So Far Gone just works, and it doesn’t have that awkward and almost forced inexperienced voice of Drake’s first two mixtapes. Houston rapper Bun B, who collaborated with Drake on So Far Gone, spoke on his ambition to Billboard:

“Drake is very talented. There’s a difference between trying to be an artist and being one. Drake has the confidence to go very far and the chance to make history.”

The two standout tracks are “Successful” featuring Trey Songz and Lil Wayne, as well as the song that ignited Drake’s reign over all top charts, “Best I Ever Had.” The tracks became certified Gold and 2x Platinum (respectively) by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). “Best I Ever Had” was nominated for two Grammy Awards (‘Best Solo Rap Performance’ and ‘Best Rap Song’) and peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Drake’s first top-ten single. The song was complemented by an equally popular music video and was directed by Kanye West. “Best I Ever Had” spent 24 weeks on the Hot 100, and was also the song that launched Drake’s campaign to eventually become the first-ever artist to log eight straight years on Billboard Hot 100. This run ended in 2017 with 431 consecutive weeks. Other standout tracks from the tape include “Ignant S**t (feat. Lil Wayne),” Kanye-produced “Say What’s Real,” and “Uptown (feat. Bun B & Lil Wayne).”

Drake’s success in 2009 certainly did not end with the release of his mixtape. Following the release of So Far Gone, Drake—who was still an independent artist—started to catch the attention of major record labels, quickly resulting in a bidding war for the young star. Eventually, Lil Wayne’s label Young Money, distributed through Universal Music Group (UMG) offered Drake a $2 million advance and signed him in June 2009. Drake is often labeled as Lil Wayne’s protege and the two have maintained a close friendship ever since Drake emerged in the rap scene. For the rest of the summer, Drake joined his Young Money associates Young Jeezy, Lil Wayne and Soula Boy for the Young Money Presents: America’s Most Wanted Music Festival tour. 

In August, Drizzy teamed up with Kanye West, Lil Wayne, and Eminem to produce “Forever” for Lebron James’ “More Than a Game” documentary. This track rapidly became Drake’s highest debut on the chart and is still one of his most recognizable songs to date. Every verse on the single is fire, and all the artists even rewrote their verses after hearing Eminem’s in the studio. It’s that good. Drake begins his verse on “Forever” with the same confidence that brought him to this point:

“Last Name ‘Ever,’ First Name ‘Greatest’/Like a sprained ankle, boy, I ain’t nothing to play with”

The hit single became Drake’s second number one on the Billboard Rap Chart, and was certified 6x Platinum by RIAA. Needless to say, Drake’s music was gaining popularity very fast by the time this single was released, and he hadn’t even released his debut album yet. Drake was a rising star that had no signs of burning out.

2010: Thank Me Later 

By 2010, Drake was a more than rising star in the rap game, and there was much anticipation for his debut studio album, Thank Me Later, which he had first announced while touring with Lil Wayne and Young Money. The breakout success of “Best I Ever Had” paired with the massive record deal with Young Money made Thank Me Later one of the most anticipated albums of 2010, and it lived up to the hype. Thank Me Later was released on June 15th, 2010, and was certified platinum in Canada in less than a week. In the introductory track “Fireworks,” Drake raps about his rapid success—a string of successful mixtapes, his hit singles, the Lil Wayne co-sign—being symbolized by fireworks popping all around him. Alicia Keys sings the chorus on the song over a smooth R&B style beat produced by 40. Other notable features on the album include T.I., Swizz Beatz, Young Jeezy, Jay-Z, and fellow Young Money stars, Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne.

The introduction sets the precursor for the debut album: Drake is coming to terms with the overnight sensation that he has become, but is also being cautiously optimistic. In the track he raps about the consequences of fame, such as the fear that his sudden success would drive a wedge between him and his mentor, as well as the sudden, uninviting welcome into the world of Hollywood gossip and paparazzi. The next standout track is the fourth song of the album, “Over.”

If you asked me what my favorite song of all time is, I would tell you it’s “Over” by Drake. The song just kind of speaks to me: I’ve overcome a lot of adversity in my life, and when I listen to the song I just think: “Look around, take in all that you’ve achieved so far, and be proud. But also know that you’ve come too far and overcame too much to stop now. Keep going, Caylen.” Over is also the lead single for the album, and the lyrics also convey the theme of newfound stardom over a mid tempo orchestral beat engineered by Boi-1da. In the accompanying music video, Drake is reflecting on his rise to fame, struggling with the adjustment from his old life to the new one. This battle within the artist’s mind is something that I think is what makes Drake’s sound real. Anyone can turn on hip-hop music and listen to an artist rap about money, girls and cars. However, how many rappers take the time to open up with their audience? How many artists genuinely illustrate their worries over fame and life at the forefront of the public eye? This is something that Drake keeps in his music over his career, however, as the years go on he raps about the drawbacks of fame less. In Thank Me Later, he warns his fans about fame, but also reassures them that despite rising to the highest ranks of the rap game, he won’t let the lavish lifestyle change who he is.

As for the album itself, straight fire. It has a cohesive sound throughout the entire production, something that was not as evident as Drake was finding his voice in his earlier tapes. In tracks like “Show Me a Good Time” and “Up All Night (feat. Nicki Minaj),” Drake takes the time to acknowledge him making it with the same people he was recording with on Room for Improvement. Drake is a loyal man, and he selflessly wanted to share the wealth with those that helped him get to where he was, such as 40 and Boi-1da.  In his midst of the 2009 bidding war that Drake found himself in the middle of, he told Billboard:

“I am very happy with my situation now…The most important thing thing for me is being around my team – they are stronger than any label.”

Overall, the album is packed with hit songs, even if they weren’t suited for an abundance of radio time. “Fancy (feat. T.I. & Swizz Beatz)” is a standout track where Drake is rapping about an independent woman who doesn’t need any man. Once again trying to make music that appeals to everyone, Drake made “Fancy” as “A dedication to the ladies who take pride in being the flyest and finest that there are out there to be noticed.” Genius classifies that song as “An ode to independent, self-respecting women with class, ass, and their own bank accounts.” In “Light Up (feat. Jay-Z),” the audience hears Drake talk about riches and celebrating his success, while also receiving advice about the rap game from Jay-Z, someone that Drake cited as a heavy influence on his music. “Miss Me (feat. Lil Wayne)” is a special track where Drake is rapping to the audience with a shared message. He told MTV News:

“It’s a pretty straightforward song. It’s a song about being away from what you love and hoping that when you’re gone, doing you, somebody out there misses you. It goes for Wayne in his situation and it goes for me in my situation, ‘cause I’m on the road for I don’t know how long right now.”

This track continues to go along with the notion and theme that fame is weighing heavy on Drizzy. However, I think the track is intended as a message for anyone, not just someone in Drake or Wayne’s situation. The uncertainty of life works in mysterious ways, and for those that take the chance to pursue a dream or new path to their life, they may lose those close to them in the decisions they make. Regardless, they should still stay true to themselves and the path they want to take, but they’re still allowed to think about those they left in the past and hope that they miss them a little.

The real gem from Thank Me Later is the Kanye West-produced hit single, “Find Your Love.” This track is the first true gem that features Drake’s singing voice, and including it on his debut album did wonders for showcasing his versatility. The sound is also diversified with the Jamaican-inspired reggae beat. The song finds the Canadian rapper singing about what he describes as his worst character trait: having the worst luck in picking the right woman:

“I look for love in the wrong people. It just always seems like the women I find are poison for me. I love women that can just walk into a room and stop the whole area. And I think that those qualities always end up getting me hurt, which is a crazy thing for a guy to say.”

“Find Your Love” is just an angelic record to listen to at any time of the day. Its smooth beat combined with Drake’s newfound voice in R&B makes for a great and emotional sound.  This evocative and “singing” version of Drake would explode in his next album, and I think that this type of sound is really what would take him to the next level as a diverse star. The single charted at number five on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified 3x Platinum by RIAA (The entire album was also certified RIAA platinum). After the release of Thank Me Later, Drake opened up about Kanye West being “the most influential person on his sound.” I think that part of what helped Drake’s success blossom is him not being afraid to learn from the greats. His biggest inspirations were the likes of Jay-Z and Kanye West, rappers that came up in the years before him. He openly takes pride in modeling his style after the greats, because it helps him find his greatness as well. Having the ambition to collaborate and learn from those that he credits with being the maestros of the industry is commendable, and makes Drake a very likable and humble artist. In fact, music enthusiasts compare the warm synthesizers and emotional transparency of Thank Me Later to Kanye West’s 808s & Heartbreak, the very same album that was cited as the inspiration for So Far Gone. Drake continued to build on his success for the rest of 2010, hosting his first ever OVO Fest in August. This inaugural festival, which would eventually become a staple in Toronto, featured a 90-minute set from Drizzy. He also brought out popular guests such as “Forever” collaborator Eminem, and Jay-Z.

2011: Take Care

This will be the most meaningful section of this timeline for me. Too many artists fall victim to the “sophomore slump:” They’re fresh off of a positive debut, and immediately want to put out new music. Regardless of how it sounds, the artist just wants to put out new music to keep the success train rolling. However, to this date Apple Music still recognizes Drake’s sophomore album, Take Care, as his “Essential Album” for listeners. The project was released on November 15th, 2011 and quickly rose to the forefront of pop culture due to its immense popularity. The album’s name comes from Drake wanting to create a quality project after he felt that Thank Me Later was rushed in its production. While the debut album experienced critical and commercial success, the Canadian rapper was left feeling disconnected about the album’s musical content. Take Care acts as a refined version of the themes that were in Drake’s debut album, themes that were concretely defined as Drake’s sound in this album. Such themes include minimalist R&B influences; alternating rap with singing; and a low-tempo, dark aesthetic. However, the album is so much more than a refined version of Thank Me Later. Drake is still fretting about lost love, the relationships in his life, and the perils of fame. However, rather than the cautiously optimistic raps of So Far Gone and Thank Me Later, in Take Care Drake is rapping about those things when he is already at the top. The cover art of the album shows him staring into his golden chalice, a lonely king that has nobody to accompany him at the throne. The lyrics of the album are highly emotional, and the emotion within each track is what earned this album the majority of its praise. The topic of women is a prevalent one throughout the album, with songs that address past, present and potential lovers (such as “The Real Her” and fan-favorite “Marvin’s Room”).

Drake almost personifies the listener into his songs, with many tracks sounding almost conversational by blurring the lines between rhyming and singing. These qualities are evident in tracks like “Over My Dead Body,” where Drake is reminiscing on his last year and steady climb up the ranks of the music industry, and where that leaves him now; “Shot For Me,” where Drake addresses his exes from a figure somewhere between a boy with a fragile heart and that of an egocentric king that finds comfort in the fact that none of his exes will find another man like him; “Doing it Wrong,” a classic soft and low-tempo break-up song, where Drake woes about living in a “generation of, not being in love,” complemented by a harmonica solo from legendary musician Stevie Wonder; and “Look What You’ve Done,” where Drake gives a touching tribute to to his mother, Sandi, his Uncle Steve, and his grandmother—three individuals who all had a profound impact on his life.

The album has been certified 6x Platinum by RIAA, and was also a dominant force at the 2012 Grammy Awards, where Take Care was awarded the Grammy for ‘Best Rap Album.’ “HYFR (Hell Ya F***ing Right)” was nominated for ‘Best Rap Performance,’ and “The Motto” was nominated for ‘Best Rap Song.’ Take Care was a highlight at the Grammys, one of the things that led the album—and Drake himself—to cultural icon status. Some of my favorite singles include the album’s lead single, “Marvin’s Room,” which quickly became one of the staple songs for breakups, as it follows Drake calling his ex-girlfriend to rant about his loneliness and frustration. This song was very impactful in hip-hop music, as it showed how A-List artists could still open up and make songs from their hearts. In “Headlines,” Drake realizes his success and impact that he now has on the rap game—the word itself is never mentioned in the lyrics, but Drake knows that his music has now reached the level of big news, in the headlines. The album’s fourth single, “The Motto (feat. Lil Wayne),” became the most popular single from the album, and popularized the term “YOLO” (You Only Live Once).

“You only live once, that’s the motto n**** YOLO.”

“Take Care (feat. Rihanna)” was the album’s fifth single. It’s a club song about a couple acknowledging that they have been hurt in the past, but they will still look after each other in their relationship. Drake and Rihanna were on-and-off love interests from 2009-2016, and this song is one of many collaborations among the two. Another standout feature of this album is its inspiration from The Weeknd, as he assisted Drake in writing many of the album’s songs and also featured on the seventh single, “Crew Love.”

Take Care was the magnum opus of Drake’s career to date. As I previously mentioned, he had finally taken the time to refine his sound and give us something completely revolutionary. This is why Drake is now as successful as he is—he crafts his sound to help it reach where it needs to be. 

Picture this: it’s 2009. Drake had released two mixtapes, both were good, but nothing overly special. Far Gone was a hit: it was critically acclaimed, Drake had a grasp on his rap flow, while also giving a taste of the melodic Drake whose sound would evolve over the next few projects. Thank Me Later expanded on the dark and slow to mid-tempo beats, and was met with an equal amount of success following massive anticipation. Finally, Take Care was released and named as one of Complex’s “Albums of the Decade.” Drake could have easily done what many breakout artists do: recognize their success and roll with it, essentially flatlining and following up a big release with something that underperforms. This is because they see the success they had, and put in the same work ethic in hopes that their next project will be just as successful, regardless of whether it may sound redundant or not. Rather than doing this, Drake took his success and evolved it. Even when projects such as Thank Me Later performed very well on a critical and commercial standpoint, it was’t refined enough to meet the mark of where Drake wanted to take his success to. Since the release of Take Care, Drake has continued to pile on the accolades and award-winning projects. Drake has also since spawned various wildly-popular internet trends through his music, such as the “In My Feelings” challenge and the “Toosie Slide.” The release of his sophomore album took Drake to the forefront of fame, and he has not slowed down since. Even amongst controversy from the public eye and other artists, Drake has chosen to seize every moment of his career and just keep winning. One of his most famous lyrics is “Started from the bottom, now we here.” For Aubrey “Drake” Graham, it seems that the ceiling is nowhere in sight.

via @champagnnepapi/Instagram