Drake being brought up by his English teacher mother in Toronto, Canada, he developed a way with words. His ability to use metaphors enabled him to grow a love for the rap game. Before being noticed for his ability to use his words, he was known for being the infamous actor on the teenage sensation show “Degrassi.” He differed from a lot of artists being that he was already on a platform before getting a deal. His inspiration to rap came from Kanye West and Andre 3000. Though West and Andre 3000 did not have much “street cred,” they grew up in tough environments. They made it possible for Drake to rap, but Drake made it possible to come from any environment and be successful as a Hip-Hop artist. His mixtapes made him popular because it was a different sound from other Hip-Hop artists at the time. Drake’s style was unheard of because he incorporated himself both rapping and singing, and used his many techniques successfully.
Drake’s upbringing was much different from any other Hip-Hop artist out at the time. Early 2000s artists consisted of Jay-Z, Ja Rule, 50 Cent, Ludacris, Eminem, etc. These rappers were brought up listening to rap of the 90s and got their influence in a time period that was based heavily on crime. Speaking more on the generation of our time now, “The Global Hip-Hop Diaspora: Understanding the Culture” by Halifu Osumare discusses how similar to other popular music cultures such as punk rock and heavy metal, the global appeal of the hip-hop aesthetic “has led to its being productively used in new social and linguistic environments.” Rap music is slowly becoming a medium for resistance. Hip-Hop music is now a platform for more than rap music; it is becoming the door to open up different social aspects of life. Hip-Hop is an outlet for not only artist to bend the rules of what is accepted in this music community, but for fans as well. By Drake coming in the game and offering a different sense of style relating to appearance as well as sound, he is able to break down barriers that were automatically placed on a rapper entering the game.
Due to Drake’s unique style, he was able to earn accolades for Grammys, American Awards, etc. He was able to do things a fan of Hip-Hop at the time would have never expected. He took risks on what he should or would not share with the people who listened to his music. In a verse he said, “I’m hearing all of the jokes/I know they tryna push me/I know that showing emotion doesn’t make me a pu**y/I know I don’t make music for ni**as that don’t get pu**y/ so those the ones I always count on to diss me or overlook me.” “The Work of Representation” by Stuart Hall discusses how communication through a topic is always open for change. By Drake going against the norms of the rap game, he created a pathway for someone to join his lane of freely writing. The artist could be writing freely on similar subjects as Drake, such as heartbreak and love, or he could go beyond these new expectations and create something unexpected. Drake is aware that he has always been different from the usual rapper in reference to showing his emotions, and comfortable enough with himself to know that it does not make him less of a man. Being comfortable with his place in the Hip-Hop game has always given him the creativity to express however he feels when bringing up any topic, whether heartbreak or being that small town kid from Toronto. But a further look into Drake’s music is the understanding of opportunities he creates for other rappers or singers of any genre, and also fans or critics of the rap game. Nowadays, artists are able to venture out and try a variety of genres without being judged. Through Drake, a new sound in Hip-Hop was created. Softer tracks were now considered hard, and an aspiring rapper with no “street cred” was able to be successful in the game.