Toronto’s 50 Most Influential: #2, Drake
2His first mixtape came out in 2006. Most musicians of that era peaked and slid into irrelevance long ago. Not so for Mr. Graham. After a phenomenal 2015, he released Views, a 20-track opus that sold a million copies within a week, occupied the top of the Billboard charts for a full quarter of 2016 and became the first album to break a billion streams on Apple Music. Drake received a key to the city, emceed the NBA All-Star Game, broke ground on a Bridle Path mansion, threw the best music fest in town, turned the Real Jerk into a hip-hop tourist stop, released a whiskey, opened OVO flagship stores in Toronto and L.A. (plus pop-ups in N.Y.C. and Miami), shot a short film in South Africa and wooed Rihanna at the VMAs (or, at least, tried to). YOLO was even inducted into the Oxford English Dictionary—a sign of influence if there ever was one. Drake’s hyperactivity isn’t just good for his net worth, which is estimated at $100 million; it’s a boon to the city, too.
Friends in high places:
Rihanna, Kanye West, Justin Bieber, John Tory, Masai Ujiri and Susur Lee.