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From Degrassi debut, Drake grows up

Drake, the singer-rapper whose debut album went platinum this year, finished second in our Toronto newsmaker of the year poll. But he doesn’t rhyme about a hard-knock past, the fodder of Biggie Smalls, one of his lyrical idols.

Drake, the singer-rapper whose debut album went platinum this year, finished second in our Toronto newsmaker of the year poll. But he doesn’t rhyme about a hard-knock past, the fodder of Biggie Smalls, one of his lyrical idols.

The Forest Hill native is an unlikely icon to throw into the mix with Lil Wayne, who helped Aubrey Drake Graham get his first album launched.

We first met Drake as a TV actor, playing a boy in a wheelchair on high school drama Degrassi, The Next Generation.

Now, 24 years old, he’s been called one of today’s most seductive voices in rap music.

Nominated for four Grammys, including best new artist, Drake started outside in the music biz but has worked hard to get in. Or as he rhymes on Forever: “Everybody got a deal, I did it without one.”

Thank Me Later, his first album, was released in June. He led the pack with seven MMVA nominations including International Video of the Year by a Canadian, and took home two pieces of hardware, including MMVA for Hip Hop Video of the Year.

Drake is also two-time Juno Award winner, and will host the 40th Junos here in Toronto next year.

 
 
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