Drake is one of the most awarded artists in music history. He stands as one of the best-selling artists of all time with over 170 million worldwide record sales and is widely considered one of the most successful artists of the last decade. Despite the success, he had some public controversies, feuding with other rap artists and appearing in tabloids every now and then for a wild story.
While he’s always in the spotlight, most people know very little about him or his personal life. Let’s go over plenty of interesting facts and stories about the rapper.
Drake Isn’t His Real First Name
Drake’s real name is Aubrey Drake Graham. He was born in Toronto, Ontario, in 1986.
“Started From The Bottom” Was the Real Story
Drake went through quite a lot of problems when he was a child. At five years old, his parents got divorced, and he went to live with his mother. Unfortunately, his mother was unable to work due to extreme problems with rheumatoid arthritis. They had to live off disability checks and assistance from his uncle. During his childhood, they moved from place to place, renting several apartments and even living in a basement for a while.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, she admitted that the family was poor, stating that Drake knew “that he didn’t have an inheritance he could depend on, and that he was going to have to do it himself.”
Drake’s Career Didn’t See Him Start As A Rapper
Drake came from a musical family, with one of his uncles being a bass player for Prince, but his career as an entertainer didn’t start in the music industry. While he definitely tried his hand at creating mixtapes and rapped early in his life, he got his first break as an actor.
On the Canadian TV series Degrassi: The Next Generation, he played Jimmy Brooks, a basketball player who ends up in a wheelchair after being shot in the back. His appearances on the show would run from 2001 to 2009, but he was dropped from the show in 2008 after having problems with the producers. He said he didn’t want to come back in a wheelchair because his rapper friends were calling him soft, telling producers to heal his character or write him off. They wrote him off.
Drake Isn’t From The US
Drake is from Canada, born and raised in Toronto, Ontario. His mother was Canadian, while his father was an American. And while he does spend most of his time in Los Angeles now, he still owns property in Toronto and does everything he can to promote the city.
Lil Wayne Got Drake His Start In Music
When Drake was dropped from the show, he wasn’t sure about his next move. He had a few normal jobs as a server before he got a call from Lil Wayne. Thanks to the mixtapes he sent to Young Money Entertainment, the American rapper was impressed by Drake’s musical aptitude. After listening to Drake’s early single Replacement Girl, Lil Wayne flew him out to Houston and had him perform alongside him on his The Carter III tour.
It started a long and beautiful relationship between the two, with Drake eventually signing with Young Money Entertainment and remaining involved with them despite creating his own record label later on.
Drake’s First Album Was A Huge Success
Drake released his first real studio album in 2012. Thank Me Later quickly launched him to musical fame, topping the album charts in both the US and Canada.
Recommended: Top Drake songs
Like Other Great Artists, Drake and the Grammy’s Beefed It Out
Drake has earned a ridiculous number of awards and accolades throughout his music career, setting records across the music industry. But not all of that adulation came in the way the rapper wanted. His beef with the Grammy Awards in 2017 was a well-documented feud.
His single, Hotline Bling, was up for several awards at the prestigious ceremony, winning two Grammys that year. He, however, felt insulted by the awards because “(they) shoehorned him into a specific category.”
Hotline Bling was only placed into the rap categories for the award ceremony, despite not particularly being a rap song. While it won two awards, he took umbrage with the track’s placement and said that his race played a factor in it being labeled a rap song. In fairness to him, it definitely qualified for other categories and likely would have won other awards had it been included outside of the rap genre it was “forced” into.
He’s The Current Record Holder For The Most Number-One Rap Songs
Drake is already one of the best-selling artists of all time with over 170 million worldwide record sales. His impressive resume includes 12 number-one albums on the Billboard 200, 11 number-one hits on the Billboard Hot 100, and 25 number-one singles on both the US Hot Rap Songs and US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts. The latter two of those are unquestioned records in the music industry, placing him far and away as the most successful artist in the history of those charts.
Drake Is Much More Than A Rapper
We already went over Drake’s time as a television actor on Degrassi: The Next Generation, but outside of those years and his rap career, the rapper has been active in other spheres as well.
Before starting his own business ventures, he partnered with several brands on endorsement deals, helping change the way endorsements worked for music artists. His most notable one came with Sprite after one of his songs mentioned him drinking purple drink.
He would then go on to partner with other brands like Burger King and Whataburger. In total, the rapper earned nearly $100 million pre-tax for his endorsement deals between 2016 and 2017. Today, his partnership with gambling website Stake.com nets him that figure each year.
While Drake is still signed with Lil Wayne’s label, he started his own music label in 2012, OVO Sound. The point of the label is to give him a place to release some of his music on his own terms while also nurturing young artists that he takes an interest in. Right now, the label is distributed by Warner Records.
The basketball-loving Toronto native ended up becoming heavily involved with the NBA team the Toronto Raptors. He is the official global ambassador of the team, helping promote the team and offering consulting services in terms of branding, designing their products, and extending fan involvement.
He is also involved in food, fashion, professional gaming, and television production.
Drake Has Been In More Rap Feuds Than Almost Anyone
Drake has famously feuded with some of the biggest names in the music industry, and most of the time, it doesn’t end up going his way.
In 2012, Drake and Chris Brown were allegedly involved in a physical altercation in a nightclub in New York. The reason for the incident was likely Drake’s prior relationship with Rihanna and Brown’s later involvement with her. It saw bottles thrown across the nightclub and Brown dissing Drake’s music on Twitter and in a single titled R.I.P.
Drake didn’t respond publicly, but the two apparently made up as they appeared in a comedy skit at the ESPY’s together and would later collaborate on No Guidance in 2019.
In 2014, Drake was involved in another altercation, this time with Diddy. He was allegedly punched by Diddy in Miami, Florida, outside of a nightclub.
Apparently, the reason for the altercation was Drake’s use of the instrumentals of 0 To 100 / The Catch Up, a song produced for Diddy before Drake appropriated the use of it. Drake spent a bit of time in the ER after aggravating an arm injury during the altercation.
Tyga and Drake would have a short feud that started because of Tyga’s negative comments about Drake in an interview with Vibe magazine. Several tracks from Drake addressed the issue and he was allegedly involved in Tyga’s removal from Young Money Entertainment.
The year 2015 saw one of Drake’s biggest feuds, this time with Meek Mill. Mill alleged that Drake used ghostwriters for several songs on his single RICO, also stating Drake didn’t help promote the album. Drake responded with two diss tracks: Charged Up and Back To Back.
Mill responded with the single Wanna Know but removed it from SoundCloud fairly quickly. The two would continue to go back and forth until Drake rallied for Mill’s freedom from his prison sentence. It’s the most publicized feud of recent years for Drake, but many believed Mill won the rap battle.
In 2018, Pusha T decided to diss Drake, alleging the same things Mill did but taking it even further. His criticism began on the track Infrared, causing Drake to release the single Duppy Freestyle. Pusha T then released The Story Of Adidon, one of the best diss tracks in recent history. It presented several claims about Drake’s son and his prior relationships, and the person in question never responded to the single.
That same year, Drake and Kanye West would begin feuding after collaborating for years. This one was mostly full of tweets at each other, just like Drake’s 2016 feud with Joe Budden.
Over the years, Drake has also had beef and feuded with others like DMX, Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd, Ludacris, XXXTentacion, Tory Lanez, Jay-Z, Common, and Anthony Fantano.
His Pseudonym Is Champagne Papi
We know Drake uses his middle name as his rap moniker, but he uses a completely different pseudonym for his production career. When working as a producer for his OVO Sound record label, he is credited on songs under the name Champagne Papi.
Drake Is The Originator of the Term “YOLO”
Drake’s song The Motto is widely considered the reason why “YOLO” became such a huge term in popular culture. While the “You only live once” sentiment has existed for thousands of years, “YOLO” as a term was popularized by him and the track.
He Was Accused of Grooming Minors
Drake is a high-profile star, so naturally, everything he does is watched and judged with a certain level of scrutiny. People began noticing his interactions with teenage female stars bordered on the inappropriate, but it was in 2018 that allegations began appearing that he was grooming those underage women. Those involved allegedly included Millie Bobby Brown, Billie Eilish, Kylie Jenner, and several other notable names.
People began referencing Drake as a “groomer,” despite no concrete evidence of any sort of sexual exploitation or harassment being found. The vast majority of “evidence” came in the form of observations by fans and media.
A detailed look at the rapper’s behavior started in 2010 when he pulled a 17-year-old on stage and began hugging her and smelling her hair—creepy regardless of age. He stated that he got carried away but pointed out that 17 was the age of consent in the state so he couldn’t get in trouble.
Rumors swirled about Drake and Kylie Jenner being romantically involved while Jenner was dating Travis Scott, an observation that becomes a bit sketchy when you realize he visited her on her 16th birthday in 2013. Other reports in the same vein involved him dating 18-year-old Bella Harris, though their relationship—though perhaps not romantically—began when she was 16 as well.
While you can describe his interactions and messages with girls like Billie Eilish and Millie Bobby Brown as creepy, weird, or inappropriate, each of those girls has defended Drake on multiple occasions and stated nothing improper was going on. Social media was the biggest critic of his behavior in spite of having no hard evidence of wrongdoing. In the end, it’s up to the individual to judge what was actually going on, as there was no confirmation either way that I could find at least.
The Hot Sauce Fiasco Was Wild
Drake is never far from some sort of controversy, whether it be a rap feud or his alleged grooming of underage girls. But one of the wildest and weirdest stories about him began in 2022.
Apparently, he and an Instagram model had sex when she stayed at the rapper’s hotel in 2022. She decided to take his condom out of the trash bin and try to impregnate herself without the rapper’s knowledge while in the bathroom. Unfortunately for her, he apparently tried something strange to kill the sperm.
After trying to impregnate herself she was met with a burning sensation in her lower area. She claims the rapper poured hot sauce into the condom after the deed to kill his sperm and even admitted to doing so after he ran into the bathroom to discern why she was screaming in pain.
While this seems like him being a weirdo again, he’s said in songs that he goes out of his way to ensure women can’t collect his sperm. Frankly, her trying to impregnate herself is despicable, and there’s a sense of karmic justice to her ending up putting hot sauce inside of herself.
And I’m not sure why she would feel comfortable going to the media with a story that shows herself as awful just to embarrass the rapper. But, this wild story ended up getting both the model and him in trouble on social media, with both being made fun of relentlessly by fans.
He’s A Harry Potter Fan
Drake is a huge Harry Potter fan, who’s likely more diehard than you are. The rapper has a tattoo of Mr. Potter and Hedwig on his back, forever etching his love for the series on his skin. During an interview with Billboard, he admitted that he wanted to purchase a first edition of The Sorcerer’s Stone, a copy that was going for $16,000 at the time.
He Owns A Whiskey Brand
Drake developed a fairly prestigious whiskey brand that was released in 2016. Available for purchase worldwide, the Virginia Black sold 30,000 cases during its first year on the market.
As a contributing writer for Music Grotto, Dakotah writes and produces professional music/media content. He works closely with editorial staff to meet editorial standards and create
quality content for the Music Grotto website. Dakotah is passionate about music in a wide variety of genres, from hip-hop to country and lo-fi to metal, and he enjoys creating music pieces for Music Grotto.