Another Road to Hip Hop

Aubrey “Drake” Graham

To quote Oscar Wilde, “There is only one thing worse than being talked about and that is NOT being talked about.” Another way to put it is “No publicity is bad publicity.” Such would seem to be the case earlier this week when a brawl broke out in a New York nightclub between the entourages of Chris Brown and Drake. Thus, the rapper/singer Drake remains in the headlines of media outlets around the world. Of course, I am sure Drake did not intend to bring trouble upon himself and his companions, but here we are and I am sure he hopes everything will work out and he can go back to his music making headlines. As news of the incident continues to unfold, I started to think back to my initial awareness of Hip Hop artist Drake. I happened to see a photograph and immediately I stated, “That’s Jimmy Brooks!” Yes, the character played by Aubrey “Drake” Graham from the Canadian television show Degrassi: The Next Generation. You must understand that I regularly watched the original public television show, Degrassi Junior High, in the 1980’s and the newer version as it started to air in 2001. Now here is Aubrey “Drake” Graham, rising up the charts and becoming an international rap star. Of note is not the fact that Drake has become an iconic artist, but more intriguing is how he made it to the music industry. I submitted a post a while ago about the success rappers have found gravitating to television and the big screen. Countless rappers are still making what now seems like a pilgrimage into the acting community. However, Drake actually started a successful acting career initially, and then made his way to Hip Hop. This move is different from most artists but not out of the ordinary considering Drake’s background. The Toronto born artist father, Dennis Graham, is a drummer who worked with Jerry Lee Lewis. In addition, he has two uncles who also are musicians: Teenie Hodges and the master bass player Larry Graham of Sly and the Family Stone fame. Throughout history, we have seen multi-talented entertainers break into the business acting, but later getting the opportunity to display their singing and dancing talents. Maybe Drake got his break acting but now is showing us another facet of his talent. Hip Hop artists are a very diverse group coming from a variety of beginnings, and I think we might be witnessing another road traveled toward a successful Hip Hop career.

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