Near the middle of the blog era, Drake emerged as hip-hop's premiere double-threat—an artist who could deliver apex R&B and rap hits. Over time, he blended the styles like few others before him as he became the most dominant rapper of the 2010s.
Raised in Toronto, Drake began his entertainment career as an actor, serving as a star of teen soap opera, Degrassi. While he was on TV, he'd always wanted to be a rapper, and with his 2006 mixtape, Room for Improvement, he began making serious progress toward his goal. While the debut didn't propel him to superstardom, he showcased a knack for nimble flows, memorable hooks and incisive bars.
In 2008, he met Lil Wayne, a connection that would lead him to sign with Young Money in 2009. Before that, he released So Far Gone, a mixtape that crystallized his all-around songwriting abilities while showcasing his rapper-producer chemistry with Noah "40" Shebib. Blending introspection with icy, atmospheric soundscapes, Drake and 40 began to change the way large swathes of hip-hop sounded. "Best I Ever Had," a single from the mixtape, peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, cementing Drake as a burgeoning hit-maker.
Between 2010 and 2018, he became arguably the most dominant force in hip-hop, landing several No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200 albums chart while selling millions of albums. A Drake guest verse became so potently marketable that virtually any new song he decided to remix or lend a 16 to became a Hot 100 hit. In 2022, he broke the Beatles' record for most top five Hot 100 hits.