Recently, I read a story that Trey Songz’ old manager posted on his Facebook page when they were celebrating the 5 year anniversary of Drake’s “So Far Gone” Mixtape. He mentioned that he should have taken Drake up on his offer to manage him when that opportunity was presented to him. He also mentioned that he took Drake to Atlantic Records and they didn’t sign him either. Now here is someone who had already had some success in the entertainment industry- just not in music (and especially rap) so they told him No….No….No…No. Drake would go on become one the most influential artists in hip hop today, he has several endorsement deals, and has even appeared acting in films and on television shows recently. Moral of the story- nobody may see what you see at first. You are going get a many “no’s”. But all it takes is one significant yes for the rest of the world to see what you have been telling them from the beginning. Don’t stop until you get that “yes.”
Drake kept at it, releasing one mixtape after another FOR FREE to anyone who would listen, and this is how he established a following. It wasn’t until 2009, when Drake released his highly anticipated third mixtape So Far Gone to critical acclaim and commercial success. Its lead single, Best I Ever Had, peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and has since been certified double platinum by the RIAA. The success of the track lead to a highly publicised bidding war between several record labels to sign Drake. The rapper eventually signed a deal with Young Money Entertainment in the summer of 2009 and released an official EP version of the mixtape soon after; eventually receiving Gold status for shipments of 500,000 units.
This astronomical rise to success continued into 2010 with the release of his major label debut album Thank Me Later. After several setbacks from its original October 2009 release date, the album was released on June 15th 2010 preceded by lead single Over, which peaked at #14 on the Billboard Hot 100 and at #1 on the Hot Rap Songs chart. The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard Album Chart and has since been certified Platinum by the RIAA for sales of approximately 1,100,000 copies in the US to date. It produced three further singles which attained chart success; Find Your Love, Miss Me (feat. Lil’ Wayne) and Fancy (feat. T.I. & Swizz Beatz).
Drake plans to release a 4th official mixtape consisting entirely of R & B material in December 2010, before releasing his 2nd album in 2011.
Drake released his second album ‘Take Care’ in November 2011 and it critically and commercially was very successful.The album spawned eight singles including the immensely popular The Motto which introduced the term ‘YOLO’ to the mainstream. With features from Lil Wayne, Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, Nicki Minaj and more the album went 2x platinum in the United States and in Canada, but only managing gold in the United Kingdom.
In November 2013 Drake released the highly anticipated ‘Nothing Was The Same’ which was also very critically and commercially succesful and has since spawned seven singles. Jay Z is the only other rapper to appear on the standard version of the album. Drake said about the album “Take Care was about connecting with my city and connecting with my past and sort of still feeling guilty that I’m not in love with one of these girls that cared about me from back in the day. Now, I’m 26, I’m with my friends, I’m making jobs for people, I’m making memories for people that will last a lifetime… I don’t need these things that I maybe once thought that I needed to feel normal and feel righteous about myself. I think for the first time in an album I’m content—not satisfied—but proud of where I’m at as a person.”
His last album sold 4 million records so far and he has accumulated more than 17 awards throughout his music career.