Singer/rapper Nicki Minaj and rappers Drake and Lil Wayne accept the award… (Kevin Winter / Getty Images )
By now you’ve heard lead single “Started From The Bottom” somewhere in the neighborhood of 900 million times. So, what? It’s a great song. Here’s the “bottom” Drake started from, and how he got to “here.”
Started from the bottom
Born Aubrey Drake Graham in 1986 in Toronto, he calls the city’s Weston Road home, which he told Complex magazine was “not the nicest area in the world.”
His parents divorce. His father moves back to Memphis, where he is sent to prison twice.
Moves to Toronto’s heavily Jewish Forest Hill neighborhood. He told Complex magazine that even though it was a nice neighborhood, “I lived in the basement, my mom lived on the first floor. It was not big, it was not luxurious. It was what we could afford.”
Is Bar Mitzvah’d. According to an interview with Heeb magazine, the song of the night was “I Want It That Way” by the Backstreet Boys. Hey, it was 1999.
Cast as Jimmy Brooks on “Degrassi: The Next Generation.” His character, a basketball star, is shot in Season 4 of the show and ends up in a wheelchair.
Releases his first mixtape, “Room For Improvement.”
Becomes part of Lil Wayne’s crew, Young Money, but isn’t signed with his Young Money entertainment until the following year.
Releases his debut album, “Thank Me Later.” To celebrate its release, he performs a free concert in New York with Hanson. It nearly causes a riot, which we’re totally going to blame on Hanson.
Releases “Take Care,” which debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 200. One week later, “The Motto” was released as the album’s third single, thereby introducing America to the phenomenon that is YOLO. Also forms OVO Sound label.
Wins his first Grammy—best rap album for “Take Care.” The same night, he announces “Nothing Was The Same,” which leaked last week, and released the video for “Started From The Bottom.” Now he’s here.