Drake is the quintessential rap superstar at the moment. His albums go platinum, he's got another sure-seller on the way, and his Soundcloud page alone might be the best hip-hop LP of 2014. He's every artist's go-to feature for a hit single and it's proved to be a working formula for everyone from YG to Lil Wayne.
But as public of a figure as he is, Drake has some secrets, too. Sure, he played Wheelchair Jimmy in 'Degrassi: The Next Generation' and of course he's dated Rihanna, but what about tales from the studio? Past beefs in Canada? And what's up with calling Toronto "The 6ix"?
As the Toronto spitter continues to be one of the biggest rappers on the planet, we dug deep into Drizzy's history to uncover some stories from his past, including getting robbed on a date and sleeping in a basement as a child. Read up to find out 25 Facts You Probably Didn't Know About Drake.
‘Take Care’ was about him “feeling guilty that I’m not in love with one of these girls that cared about me from back in the day.”
Drake didn't let go of any specifics, but in typical Drizzy fashion, he told XXL the true motivation behind 'Take Care.'
Rick Ross initially didn’t think Drake should be on ‘Stay Schemin.'
In the same XXL article, Drake says Rick Ross wanted him to be on “the Stalley record” -- presumably 'MMG the World Is Ours,' the only record from ‘Forever Rich’ that featured the bearded Midwest rapper. Instead, Drake asked to hear more of Ricky's new music, and the Toronto rapper thought he'd sound better on 'Stay Schemin.'
Drake made the decision to give A$AP Rocky ‘F---in’ Problems.’
The song was inspired by a line from a song Drake and 2 Chainz were originally working on, but the Toronto rapper stopped Tity Boi in the middle of recording when he heard him spit the line that would become the chorus.
The first time Drake met Wayne, Weezy invited him to the studio and the '0 to 100' rapper said he needed 40 to come with him.
Even at his very first meeting with the Cash Money superstar, Drake knew what he needed to be a formidable YMCMB player, too -- and it was 40.
Drake’s father was a drummer who played for Jerry Lee Lewis. His uncle played bass for Sly and the Family Stone.
Dennis Graham is the man, forever flexing on Instagram.
Rap-A-Lot founder J. Prince’s son, Jas Prince, found Drake’s music on MySpace and sent it to Lil Wayne.
It's hard to believe that the founder of Rap-A-Lot's son was listening to Drake on Myspace, but entrepreneurship must run in the family.
The rhymer has done some voice acting, most notably as Ethan the kid mammoth in ‘Ice Age 4: Continental Drift.’
Only Drake would do voice acting for 'Ice Age' ... And maybe Ice Cube.
In the summer of 2012, documents leaked that allegedly claimed Drake was suing Cash Money Records for owed royalties.
Drake later publicly denied the lawsuit, but this is the basis for Hov's slick "No I'm not missing no royalty statements" jab on 'We Made It.' You can read the alleged legal documents right here.
His single mother, who lived off disability checks, raised Drake in Toronto.
His father was constantly in trouble with the law when Drake was young, and with his mother unable to work due to physical pain, they moved from one apartment to the other before they ended up renting a room in a basement. In other words, Drake didn't grow up rich.
His father was the one who first advised him to develop his singing talents as well as his rapping.
Drake’s dad Dennis, a Memphis native, used to drive Drake South for the summer and play him classic soul and R&B on the radio. This explains Drake's connection to Houston and Atlanta.
Drake has a tattoo of Aaliyah on his back.
Drake's obsession with Aaliyah is well-documented, even on his own body. Timbaland, who worked with Aaliyah during her career, was pissed when the MC was announced as the executive producer of the singer's reworked music.
‘Started From the Bottom’ was inspired by Jay-Z and Kanye's ‘N----s In Paris.’
Drizzy told Rolling Stone that 'N----s In Paris' was so good, it made him want to so a song with a hook that was just as catchy. Hence, 'Started From the Bottom.'
The 'Nothing Was the Same' creator once rapped on ‘Degrassi.’
Most people know he was a child actor on the corny ‘Degrassi,’ but did you know he actually spit some bars for an episode that included Jimmy performing in a talent show?
He was the first unsigned Canadian rapper to have a ‘Joint of the Day’ on BET’s ‘106 & Park.’
It was ‘Replacement Girl' with Trey Songz back in 2007.
While on a date in 2009, he was robbed.
According to a Rolling Stone piece, he’s rolled with security ever since.
Drake used Marvin Gaye’s ‘Here, My Dear’ album as a guide for ‘Nothing Was the Same.’
Drake told GQ Marvin Gaye's 'Here, My Dear' break-up album was a huge inspiration for 'Nothing Was the Same.' He even recorded for the album in Marvin's Room, Gaye's old studio.
The artist met 40, his trusty producer, at the video shoot for ‘Replacement Girl.’
40 didn't even charge him for their first recording session. The rest is history.
“All of Drake’s music -- every beat, every vocal, every bite of studio banter -- goes through .”
That's from a Fader interview with 40, who has become Drake's consigliere regarding all things musical. Everything has to pass through 40 first.
When he started his career, he set a goal to make $25 million by the age of 25 -- and he did.
Now he has his eyes set on $250 million by 29.
'The Calm' was written by Drake after having a vicious fight with his uncle.
He told The Fader, "I remember I had this vicious fight with my uncle on 40’s balcony. I had never said such cruel things to anybody; I had never had such cruel things said to me, especially by a family member."
The song '9am in Dallas' was actually penned by Drizzy at 9AM in Dallas.
He recorded it the day 'Thank Me Later' went off for mastering, and though he wanted it on the album, it was impossible at that point.
Early in his rap career, Drake had beef with a Toronto rapper named Aristo.
You can hear Drake discuss the beef right here, but it wasn't anything too serious for the up-and-coming rapper at the time.
Drake also had an issue with Kardinal Offishall.
Kardinal jumped on an early Drake song called 'City Is Mine' and Drizzy didn't really like that. Kardinal was dissing other Canadian rappers and kept Drake's verse at the end, so it sounded like it was sanctioned by the Young Money star, causing friction between him and others.
Toronto is divided into six municipalities, which inspired his new album title.
Hence why Drake has been recently referring to Toronto as “the 6” and why his next album is tentatively titled ‘Views From the 6.’
A new Drake record called 'Views From the 6' recently leaked.
Listen to it right here. It features a random rapper named E Batt, who's supposedly from Arizona, not Canada -- he claims he didn't leak the record. Sounds like Drake is talking to Rihanna on this one.