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As Jay Z once said, “a rapper isn’t a businessman, they are a business, man”. Many may argue that drake is not a true entrepreneur but more of a musical artist. However, by definition of entrepreneurship, an approach to any problem or need that is creative, innovative, original or circumvents traditional ways, Drake is very clearly and entrepreneur. From starting a record label to creating a brand of bourbon, then furthering his ventures and starting a very successful clothing brand there is no stopping him. Born on October 24, 986, in Toronto, Aubrey Drake Graham, also known as Drake is a Canadian rapper, singer, songwriter, actor and entrepreneur. He started writing songs when he was just at the tender age of ten.
Drake originally started fame on a Canadian television series called Degrassi. But in 2008 the producers of the show decided to eliminate Drake character. He did not give up on his dreams of becoming big in the entertainment industry, as he stayed determined and dedicated constantly releasing music on music streaming site. Later in 2008 Drake received an unexpected phone call from fellow rapper Lil Wayne, founder of Young Money Entertainment, who asked him to be part of his Carter III tour (Rathore, 2018). In 2009 drake signed to Young Money Entertainment, his first steps to commercial fame. In this time, he released his EP ‘So Far Gone’ and it reached number 6 on the US charts. Forward to 2010, he releases his debut album ‘Thank me Later’, he featured household artists such as Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, Nicki Minaj and many more. This album really showcased the talent he had been curating for the past few years and gave the people an outline of what to expect on later albums to come. In 2011, he realised another album called ‘Take Care’, and to date it is still a globally loved album featuring some of his best work. Also, in this year, he decided to make an impact on pop culture and popularised the word YOLO. In 2013 he won his first Grammy for best rap album with ‘Take Care’. Later he won two more Grammys, 15 Billboard Music Awards, three Junos, two Mobos, two VMAs and numerous other lesser awards (Embly, 2018).
OVO Sound was a record label started by Drake and 40 in 2012 after the success of his album ‘Nothing Was the Same’. OVO clothing was launched in 2011 during his second OVO Fest. The clothing was originally only seen on family and friends, he collaborated with roots and released tour varsity jackets retailing at $500 USD and was exclusively available to select retailers, garnering a following of fans and collectors alike wanting more and more of his merchandise. This later led to him opening a flag ship store in Toronto, and then the US. Now on his online website mostly everything is always sold out no matter what time of the year and the prices for his merchandise is far from cheap. Drakes business plan was not to use cheap quality fabric and sell it at Macy’s to make millions, but to represent a clothing brand with high values and standards as its still a brand he represents (Babcock, 2015). Virginia Black Whiskey was the first venture in liquor by Drake. A bourbon created by Brent Hocking with Drake having some shares in the company, this was his way of making even more money as a goal of his is to be recognized in Forbes magazine.
Throughout his career to this date drake demonstrates the characteristics and concepts understood by entrepreneurs. As a young boy from the age of ten drake had a dream to peruse singing, rapping as well as acting. He never stopped himself from achieving his goals and remained dedicated to achieving fame, wealth and success through different ventures in his career. Weather it be through music, OVO Sound record and OVO brand clothing, as well as his liquor venture. Drake was not born into riches and fame, he had to stand out and make a brand out of himself and his music, looking at the timeline of his career it plays out just like the start-up lifecycle: The S Curve. In the early beginnings of his career before being getting signed to Young Money Entertainment, he released an album on his own with his personal fund and threw a private listening party (Khan, 2012). The people that came to support him recognized that with some work he would move on to become a big name, but he never really gained any recognition from other artists from the first self released album. Drake believed strongly in the product he was producing, himself as an artist, and always went all in to make it a hit taking huge risks in the process. Drake realized that he ran into a problem, people weren’t recognizing his talents on the global scale he dreamed of, so he had to solve this by broadening his scopes. His solution came to him when he got picked up by Young Money Entertainment, this would fall into the second stage of the S model. While releasing music under Young Money Entertainment Drake garnered his first Grammy and started to steadily climb to the upper ranks of fame. Now Drakes net worth is $100 million dollars (Ahkter, 2018). He continues to spend money to make money even though he says he does not need to but wishes to but wants to climb to the top will continue to do so by getting involved in more new ventures to further his success through all his defining characteristics he posses.
Drake demonstrates many entrepreneurial traits and continues to be not only a global sensation but an inspirational Canadian changing the world. He continues to earn riches by taking risks, achieving his dreams along the way. Through numerus failed attempts dedication, determination, and devotion he keeps on breaking records after records. His strategies he used were effective in making himself a huge success, but I believe that they would only work for Drake personally, since his strategies are a result of his surroundings. If I could take away anything from his methodology it would be his absolute determination to become the very best. He has impacted not just the music industry but popular culture with his music, clothing and lifestyle.
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