Drake's music video evolution starting from the bottom to the top
Right from 2007 when Drake let go of his Canadian high school drama to 2018, where he stands as the reigning hip-hop artist, we bring you his decade of rule, one music video a year
As the countdown to Drake's 'Scorpion' album begins, the 31-year-old rapper has already given us enough music and videos halfway through 2018 to feast our senses on. Drizzy's superstar status has pierced through his ugly controversies with Pusha T and fans are excited more than ever for the launch of, what may be, Drake's double album.
With his latest 'Nice for What' video that dropped two months ago, he has attained the high glory of a luminary rapper from playing the role of a wheelchair-bound Jimmy Brooks on 'Degrassi: The Next Generation,' a Canadian high school drama. He played the role for seven long years and since he literally started from the bottom and now he's here, let us take a quick walk down the memory lane of his musical journey.
With Drake's first single featuring Trey Songz, we not only saw the rapper stand up and rap but we saw him don an all-black baggy outfit complete with dark shades and rap about hot girls and happening places. The song was not a major hit but it was Drake's introduction to mainstream hip-hop, arguably. Little did he know that his Batman outfit would make him stay in hip-hop for good. It's been a decade already!
Drake went on to record 'Best I Ever Had' in 2008 and launched a video in 2009. It was this soft rock-sampling mixtape track that created a buzz enough to be hailed as number one on numerous charts. Drizzy aced it without a major label or record deal to back or claim his fame.
In 2009, to what may be Drake's biggest break was the legendary collaboration of all-star hip-hop artists including Lil Wayne, Eminem, and Kanye West. At that time Drake wasn't even on the same league as his video collaborators but his rap line included a proclamation that his last name is "ever" and first name is "greatest." But, it seems the world knew who Drake was going to be a decade down the line since now he has more Hot 100 entries than any of his three co-stars.
Unleashing the vulnerable side of the Toronto-based rapper, Drizzy rapped about heartbreak in a soulful R&B music with a Jamaican beat in 'Find Your Love.' The song was acclaimed by the critics and went out to bag a nomination MTV Video Music Awards for 'Best Male Video.'
Prior to the launch of Drake's LP (Long Playing) 'Take Care,', he released a single track titled 'The Motto' featuring Lil Wayne. The song was pretty much about making money and living the life of a baller while proclaiming the"Yolo" (You Only Live Once) slang. The song, which was a bonus track of his LP, went on to sell over three million copies in the United States and secure a nomination for Best Rap Song at the 55th Grammy Awards.
The album 'Take Care' sealed the deal that Drake is the powerhouse of talent with his poetic charm and groovy music. Despite the album leaking online nine days before its scheduled release, it witnessed no harm as 'Take Care' debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, selling 631,000 copies in its first week. This album went on to win the 2013 Grammy Awards for the 'Best Rap Album.' The song featuring Rihanna was a sky hit success becoming the season anthem of love and reassurance after having "loved and lost."
Drizzy's 'Started from the Bottom' is an immortal rap tune. The hit was resounding all throughout 2013 and is still the song Drake is identified with. Thanks to the authentic lyrics on self-awareness and to some extent, the memes, that has kept the phrase alive.
The lead single 'Hotline Bling' from his fourth studio album 'Views' witnessed over thousands views in days and even won the award for Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Song at the 2016 American Music Awards. The single reached number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it Drake's highest-charting single in the United States until "One Dance" reached #1 in 2016 as also "God's Plan" and "Nice for What" in 2018.
For a change, the actor-turned-rapper released a short film to accompany his 'Views' album. Titled 'Please Forgive Me,' the 23-minute video spurred the idea that music videos were out of fashion and music movies were in. The film was directed by Anthony Mandler, the music video director behind videos from Jay Z, Nicki Minaj, and Rihanna. Mandler co-wrote the script with Apple Music Head of Content Larry Jackson, who also produced the film and has been involved in many of Apple Music's exclusive releases this year. Though this wasn't anything groundbreaking, it did prove that music was in a transitional phase. Who better can say that other than Drake?
The 'No Frauds' music video is mainly credited to Nicki Minaj and was on the news for all the wrong reasons including featuring of the Westminster Bridge despite reports that the scenes would be cut following the terror attack. Drake was on the sidelines but nevertheless, he was spared the controversy to an extent especially the ugly feud between Remy Ma and Nicki Minaj.
2018 has been Drake's to own. Right from the starting of the year, dropping his record-breaking tracks such as 'God's Plan,' 'Nice For What,' and 'I’m Upset,' which reunited the Degrassi star with his former television classmates, we are here now anticipating Drake's fifth album 'Scorpion' launching on June 29.
His decade of rule has spawned with music videos one overshadowing the other and we already know that it only gets better with time, even if this could be the greatest year of all for Drizzy.