Aubrey Drake Graham (b. 1986) was born in Toronto to a Jewish-Canadian mother and an African-American father from Tennessee. His parents divorced when he was 5 so Drake was raised by his mother in Toronto’s predominantly Jewish area of Forest Hills. It was in high school that Drake began to act, and at age 15 landed a role on the teen show Degrassi: The Next Generation, thanks to his friend’s father who was an agent. He appeared in 138 episodes until his character “graduated” off the show in 2009. Meanwhile, Drake was recording various rap mixtapes, one of which got in the hands of Lil Wayne, who later invited Drake to tour with him and record a few songs. In 2009, Drake released his third mixtape, So Far Gone, for free download on his blog. It would find huge success and was called the ‘Hottest Mixtape of 2009’ by MTV. Drake became only the second artist in history to have two of his songs in the Billboard top ten within the same week. Later in the year, he was finally signed to a major label. Since then, Drake has released three successful albums, working alongside Jay-Z, Kanye West, Rihanna, Eminem, Timbaland and many others, as well as writing songs for Dr. Dre, Jamie Foxx and Alicia Keys. He has won a Grammy and three Junos, and holds the record for having the most number-one singles of any rapper. Drake has also become famous for proudly displaying his Jewish and Torontonian roots, particularly in his videos. Most recently, Drake became the global ambassador for the NBA’s Toronto Raptors and a consultant for their 20th anniversary re-branding.
Words of the Week
When one looks truly at the good side of everyone, others come to love him very naturally, and he does not need even a speck of flattery.
– Rabbi Avraham Itzhak Kook