Is Drake The Lady Gaga Of Rap?
It was only a few years ago when Aubrey Graham was still known as Jimmy Brooks from Degrassi: The Next Generation. Jimmy would swiftly swing and bounce on his wheelchair as he rapped on stage innocently as a young Canadian high schooler. But from Degrassi to Young Money, Lil Wayne's record company, the image of the artsy, sweet Brooks quickly faded. With a new name to go with a new attitude, Drake has become the new decade's hottest rapper, casting a giant shadow over the likes of Kanye West and Lil Wayne himself.
But just how did Drake become so big in so little time?
For one, it totally helps that he's got his child acting career's fan base lined up behind him. That's about eight years of viewers who followed Jimmy as he went from the charming basketball superstar to an inspiring school shooting survivor. The whole actor-turned-musician also helps dramatizes his music videos. Surely that is the case in his sophomore album Thank Me Later single "Find Your Love," where Drake compromises his life to pursue the woman of his dreams. What teenage girl out there doesn't like an attractive bad boy who can rap, sing, act and face death for love?
As for the dudes out there? MTV correspondent Sway believes Drake's appeal is in his willingness to be honest. "Just like 50 Cent has a certain authenticity to the truth, and the way his life was, that led him to become the person he was, Drake – the flip side of the spectrum – has the same truth about what his life was like growing up that made him the person he was," he said
Drake also has a giant list of collaborators and famous fans, from Jay-Z to Missy Elliot to Mary J. Blige. This gives him the credibility that most newcomers don't have the opportunity to exploit. Rumors of him being romantically linked with Rihanna is, of course, a nice bonus that likely helped boost his popularity.
With the combination of his gleaming smile and smooth swag, it's no wonder all the ladies love Drake and the boys want to be Drake. In an industry where one-hit wonders are often breezing through left and right (I'm looking at you, Asher Roth ... where'd you go?) Drake as a triple threat may just change the way rappers should market themselves. If you want to make it big, cool clothes and catchy beats might not be enough anymore to compete against this new, conglomerating superstar.
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