As many people love him, there are many more who seem to dislike him; but Drake remains grounded, strong and unwavering in an industry where most artists who have attained success early on haven’t been able to quite deal with the transition. Fame can change you, if you let it, and the day does come where you realize that the world outside your window is both more real and different than you could ever have imagined; nevertheless, Drake handles the fame quite well. I assume his early days of doing commercial work for GMC, Sears, M.A.C. and Toys ’R’ Us, as well as playing Jimmy Brooks on “Degrassi: The Next Generation,” both prepared and equipped him for this very moment as well as the path his life will later take.
Many people are saying, and I agree, that Drake’s music—simply put—is reality, and speaks for multiple generations: past, present, new and old. To emerge within a world where many believed that hip hop was dying; or, if you weren’t Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Eminem, Dre, or those who fall in between, that your chances of any real success were slim to none. The music industry is more than just a business. It is one of the oldest games in the world; however, playing it doesn’t always mean you’ll come out on top. Sometimes, the very nature of the game is knowing that you may not come out at all.
Next month’s entry for the “Insight” column will showcase the ups and downs of the music industry, as well as the path Drake creates for himself and all those who come after him as he navigates his way through this business. I would say “good luck,” but he won’t need it; he has nothing to prove to anyone. For all the naysayers and rock throwers, the truth is the truth; and, in Drake’s case, the truth is his music more than speaks for itself.
See you next month.