Drake’s rise to superstardom was one of the biggest stories of 2009. From his humble beginnings as Jimmy Brooks on “Degrassi: The Next Generation,” Drizzy (born Aubrey Graham) took the hip-hop world by storm, thanks to the success of his So Far Gone mixtape and subsequent partnership with Lil Wayne’s Young Money label. Drake collaborated with the biggest names in the game, was co-signed by everyone from Bun B to Kanye, and didn’t let a little thing like tearing the ligaments in his knee stop his climb. Grammy nominated, often-imitated, Drake came out of nowhere to lay the blueprint for success in ‘09. Now he knows G4 pilots on a first-name basis.
2009 Highlights: In February, he made his So Far Gone mixtape available for free on his MySpace page, and it all went nuts from there. Drake jumped on Lil Wayne’s I Am Music Tour soon after, and was quickly named a “Fire Starter” by MTV News’ Hip-Hop Brain Trust. Then, riding a wave of hype, he headlined a Hot 97 “Who’s Next Live” show at New York club SOB’s, wowing a crowd that included the likes of Eminem, Kanye West and Talib Kweli.
With fame came certified sex-symbol status, which meant whispers that he and Rihanna were an item (which he denied), and he tried to downplay it all by proclaiming himself not to be a ladies man, but rather, “An honest man.” Of course, it was kind of difficult to hear him over the throngs of squealing ladies who followed his every move. Continue reading