It would be easy now to look at Drake’s success and take his journey for granted, assuming that he was always destined for his current path and that it was always a given, but I can promise you that that is not the case. He has become the biggest rapper in the world and cemented his name in the history books dozens of times over, but that doesn’t mean that his rise to prominence was at all likely. In 2009 when Drake first released his third official mixtape So Far Gone, he was looked at as somewhat of the antithesis of what a rapper was at the time. He was mixed race when many were joking that it was “out of style”, he rapped and sung before it was cool to freely use melody in Hip-Hop, he was from Canada when their biggest rapper at the time was Kardinal Offishal, he was Jewish when no-one else could say the same thing and he was a teen actor when the stigma attached to them was unflattering, to say the least. The combination of all these things made even Drake himself doubt how his journey in music would go. His first two mixtapes Room For Improvement and Comeback Season from 2006 and 2007 respectively gained him traction locally but did next to nothing internationally. It wasn’t until he was flown to Houston by Lil Wayne that things started to take off for him. Wayne, fresh off of Tha Carter III, the biggest rapper in the world, took him on the I Am Music Tour where Drake gained invaluable performing experience. Crucially, on the tour he also made music like “Ransom” and “I Want This Forever” with Wayne which meant that people started to take him seriously as a rapper. Eventually in the middle of 2009, a bidding war broke out, but loyal to the soil, Drake chose to stick with Wayne and Young Money and the rest is history. But at the end of the day, what made label executives throw millions of dollars at him was his music.