Drake is currently one of the best rappers in the world. His recent mixtape with Future has given him a cutting edge in the game. His video for “Hotline Bling” is the talk of town. Drake has come from far; he has faced endless rejections from record labels and artistes who would have supported him.
Recently, R&B artist Akon opened up about not having signed the Toronto native to his label Konvict Music.
“At the time when I passed on him, he wasn’t what he is today. He grew into the incredible artist. Everybody has a starting point,” Akon said. “At that time, he wasn’t ready, in my opinion.”
Akon is credited with discovering some of the top global musical talent of our recent times; think of T-Pain, Lady Gaga and Kardinal Offishall, who is also from Canada.
He also discovered Innoss’B, a young musician from DRC, whom I had an interview with. Read the interview to learn more about him. Akon recently partnered with Trace TV and Airtel to search for the next big talent in Africa, with Kenya’s Phy Ng’etich coming second in the Kenyan Charter.
So Drake is quite conscious of where he comes from and does everything he can to mentor young people in his hood. He’s even friends with Toronto Mayor John Tory.
On August 14th, 2015, Drake took to the October’s Very Own (OVO) blog to share his thoughts on the rising insecurity in Toronto. He said that despite the fact that he is supposed to be very careful with what he says and does as a public figure, he had to speak out.
Here’s his post…
“The last few days I have been in a moral bind.
I am used to the fact that my life and the things I say to my fans are closely watched. It’s tough in situations like this where there’s a tragedy and I consider the advice of my trusted advisors and counsel who worry that anything I might say could be misinterpreted.
However, today I am choosing to follow my heart.
I am plagued and pained by the violence that continues to escalate in our city. I stare into the eyes of so many young people and I wish to see them all shine as bright as they possibly can in this lifetime. I encourage my generation to show as much value and gratitude as you can for the lives we have been gifted.
My deepest condolences go out to the Navarro-Fenoy and Hibbert families for their loss of Ariela and Duvel. Along with them I send my condolences to all of the families that have lost loved ones to the senseless violence that has and continues to occur in our city.
Although Toronto is globally viewed as a major city, at the core we are still a small close-knit community, and it is our public responsibility to ensure the safety and wellbeing of one another. We need each other to further our communities for generations to come.
I pray for better times and better understanding.
You can read it on the OVO blog.