Drake Reflects: Mom’s The Word

Drake Reflects: Mom’s The Word


Drake reflects on what it was like for his mother to raise a rap star

This is a must read interview. One of Drake’s best.

My dad used to play these little hole-in-the-wall gigs, and to prove himself as a father, he’d take me to his shows. That was the first kick I ever got out of music. Part of his routine became bringing me up onstage and letting me sing Ride, Sally, ride. It was a hard time for my family: What mother would want her child in dive bars performing for money? I was nine or 10 years old and I’d see people letting their emotions out through this outlet. That’s when music became intriguing to me.

My mom signed me up for dance classes, piano lessons. She was trying to do anything to keep me occupied. Her main objective was keeping me from being aimless, just wandering the streets. She signed me up for hockey, basketball, music, dancing. I tried piano, I tried guitar and I couldn’t stick with anything – until acting became my main focus.

When I landed Degrassi, I dropped out of high school. My calling had nothing to do with mathematics or history lessons. I felt like I was already capable of talking my way into or out of anything, and that was good enough.

At a certain point, acting became like a nine-to-five job. Actually, it was more like 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., and it became a task, as music became my passion. I’d spend my nights in this studio in Scarborough (a suburb of Toronto) and everyone on-set knew you could find me in my dressing room, fast asleep, if I didn’t have a call time. In between breaks or when they’d cut for lunch, I’d hustle my music. I was working myself hard. I was 17 or 18 and I’d just met (producers) Boy Wonder and 40.

When they pulled the plug on our generation of Degrassi, that was the moment my life changed. I called my agent and said, “Look, man, I know you’re getting me lots of auditions, but I’m going to do this music thing.” I had met Lil Wayne.

My relationship with my mother at that point was changing. Today, she doesn’t trip about what I buy or what I’m riding in or what I wear – now I can afford it – but back then, after Degrassi, I was living way beyond my means at a time when my family had very little. I felt like part of being a rapper was to portray this facade. It’s like, “Everyone knows I’m out with Lil Wayne; I better get rich quick. If not, no one will believe me.”

I rented a Rolls-Royce Phantom from this old dude looking for loose money and my mother was upset. She had friends who were genuinely wealthy and thought it was embarrassing. She’d say, “Everyone can tell this isn’t real.” I thought I had to show people I was something I wasn’t. That was a hard time in my life: lots of yelling, lots of crying, lots of screaming. When I made So Far Gone, my family was in a very dark place.

I was never around Lil Wayne with a frustrated mindset. I was observant around him, watching everything that goes right and everything that goes wrong. I’ll never forget riding in his tour bus: Wayne being asleep, watching ESPN, and I’m looking at him like, “That’s actually Lil Wayne and I’m actually on his bus. I’m just a kid from Toronto.”

I didn’t get frustrated, though, like thinking that it had to happen real fast. I believed talent had led me to this moment. I believed my story wouldn’t stop on that bus.

There were a bunch of artists around Wayne at the time, looking for an assist, but I decided to prove myself first. I made a commitment to doing the mix tape and forgot about getting signed and a million-dollar advance. I didn’t know if it was going to work.

So Far Gone was an all-encompassing project. Its success was what I hoped for, but not what I expected. The mix tape turned into a commercial release. You could turn on a radio anywhere and hear my song. Now it was time to make an album.

My mother was with me when Thank Me Later debuted at No. 1. We’d been through so much: my dad trying to share some of the responsibility with her and us running out of money and me constantly spending. A lot of yelling and fighting went into this self-expression, but now, the surreal feeling’s turned into something different.

I refuse to celebrate this album. I’m happy for myself and the people around me, but I want success to last. When Thank Me Later came out, I wasn’t thinking about Thank Me Later. I was thinking about the next album. I sold 480,000 copies. I want to sell 800,000 copies like Eminem. I want to record another big single. I want to make the next Best I Ever Had.

I don’t feel like I did it on this album, and now I’m addicted to the feeling of people loving my music. I’m addicted to turning on the radio or going to a club in New York or Atlanta or Jackson, Miss., and hearing my record or seeing constant cars pass playing my song. When you do it, it’s euphoric – all I can think about is going back in the studio and getting that feeling again.

Drake, 23, is the first Canadian rapper to reach No. 1 on the Billboard pop charts.

Source: PostMedia News

  • WOW. And that is why I love him.
    He’s different and simply incredible.
    This is an amazing article, thank you for uploading<3

  • awwe drizzy <3

  • Emily

    Amazing article. Knowing some of his background gives a whole new insight into his music.

  • And this is why people clamor to Drake. He’s just so real and down-to-earth. Great article. Thanks for posting!

  • UMMMM….He dun been thru it all,shoot outs and fistfights! THAT’S WHY WE LUV HIM:)

  • Jazzmine

    I love reading Drake’s words, I love how he expresses himself.

  • BritneGraham

    OMG Aub! Thats y its so easy to love you…i can sympathize with u easily too. <3 !
    U gotta struggle b4 u succeed but it was hard on you :( At least ur at this point now where u dont hav 2 stuggle anymore. Im just a kid from Jamaica :) <3

  • Kenza Drizzy Janjua


  • Wow

    Dance classes? : )
    At least he’s not a dumb ass.


    I hated when he and those other people left Degrassi. It got HORRIBLE after that.

  • ilove drakkkkkkkkkkkkkkeeeeeeeee

    he’s such an inspirationnnn!!!!
    ommmggg i love him like twice as much as i did before!!!!! i dont know if thts even possible but ohwelll!!!

  • Nondumiso Sibeko

    U knw wt,…. i wont say musch coz yol r gonna call me obsessed*cutely shying away* already have a ristraining order of havin ma fone, coz all i do z listen 2 hm,
    sooooo, i just gona say: “Dude you r truli appreciated,loved n supported all the way, keep releasin dat musiq, I’ll b listenin all da way”
    Much Love _ Ndumi >>>>Sweetmilk<<<<<

  • Mamakekos

    This is why my daughter looks up to him, his ways. He is a positive role model for kids. Someone asked, ” What if you ever met him and he was an asshole or what if he acted all conceited? I just dont think its in his nature. But hey, Id really hate for him to get caught up in all the bad stuff that comes with being a superstar, cause he seems like a good person. I wish him all the best, and that he succeeds in everything. At 15, my daughter is truly a #1 fan, and I am too.