Drake’s dad is helping him sell whiskey
Of all the many inhabitants of the Drake extended universe, none is as colourful as Drake’s dad, Dennis Graham: he’s a moustachioed, three-piece-suit-wearing bon vivant who broke up with Drake’s Torontonian mother when Drake was a toddler and moved to Tennessee, where he’s a local celebrity. The Memphis Flyer once described Graham’s personal aroma as being like “a pine tree sprayed with Axe.”
Now, the elder Graham is the face of Virgina Black, the Drake-endorsed whiskey. In a series of short commercials released online over the past two weeks, Graham plays “the realest dude ever,” a self-conscious take on another famous alcohol pitchman. According to the Globe and Mail, Graham will reprise the “realest dude” role in a series of TV commercials, set to air over the next couple months.
Before this latest venture, though, Drake always seemed to have a hard time figuring out what to do with his dad, who shares his son’s penchant for the spotlight but lacks Drake’s smooth demeanour and rapping ability. Here’s a rundown of some of Dennis Graham’s previous cameos.
Drake’s dad featured prominently on the cover of More Life, Drake’s 2017 “playlist.” (Don’t you dare call it an album.)
Graham was a musician when he was a younger man, and he seems to have rediscovered his songwriting ambition in the years since his son’s rise to fame. Late last year, he dropped an R&B single called “Kinda Crazy,” complete with a music video where he sits on a throne and looks sad. (There’s a lot of stage fog involved.) The track is available for $1.29 on iTunes.
Arkells, the Hamilton-bred rock band, released a track called “Drake’s Dad” in 2016. The music video features Dennis Graham in all his fedora-clad glory.
Drake apparently has a tattoo of his dad’s face.
At the end of Heat of the Moment, a Drake track from 2014, there’s an audio excerpt from a conversation where Graham gives his son some life advice, including an ever-helpful admonition to “use a fucking condom.”
Graham, dressed in a blindingly white three-piece suit, takes the lead in the music video for Drake’s 2013 single “Worst Behavior.”