From garnering popularity on the hit television show “Degrassi: The Next Generation” to morphing into a world famous rapper, Drake hasn’t left much “Room For Improvement.”
The rapper first debuted in the spotlight as an actor in 2001 when he donned the role of Jimmy Brooks on “Degrassi.”
But since then, Drake has transitioned into music and will perform at 8 tonight in the Bryce Jordan Center as part of his Club Paradise Tour.
Accompanying Drake on the tour are Kendrick Lamar and A$AP Rocky. This will be the second time Drake is visiting Penn State in less than two years.
Drake, whose full name is Aubrey Drake Graham, is a Canada native, born in Toronto, Ontario.
When his acting career ended in 2009, Drake had already taken care of his future in the music industry after he dropped his first mixtape in 2006.
Nate Vazquez said he has been a fan of Drake from the beginning stages of his music career, but first noticed him for his role on “Degrassi.”
Vazquez (sophomore-nursing) said he expects good things to come from Drake’s performance because he saw an interview the rapper where Vazquez said Drake said “he goes hard.”
“I’m really excited to see him because he’s pretty established as an artist now,” Vazquez said.
Drake’s popularity started to rise in 2007 when he released “Comeback Season.” The same year, Drake became the first unsigned Canadian rapper to have his music video and first single “Replacement Girl” aired on BET, according to Drake’s official website.
After the success of Drake’s third mixtape in Feburary 2009, “So Far Gone,” he signed with Lil Wayne’s label Young Money in June of that year. Drake shares the label with Gudda Gudda, Lil Twist and Nicki Minaj to name a few.
“So Far Gone” featured cameos from DJ Khaled, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Trey Songz and Jamie Foxx. Two singles from the mixtatpe, “Best I Ever Had” and “Every Girl,” hit the Billboard Hot 100 chart within the top 10 positions in July 2009.
That was the first time Drake had a top 10 hit, and he is the second musician to ever have two top 10 hits in the same week. The other artist was fellow Canadian Nelly Furtado, as mentioned on Drake’s official website.
Danny Villanueva said he is going to the concert tonight with a few friends and that he is excited to experience Drake live.
Villanueva (sophomore-nursing) also had an interesting experience when he was buying tickets to see Drake.
He said when he was waiting in line for tickets, he saw a girl crying because she didn’t think she was going to get a ticket, so he offered to buy it for her.
“She was so happy that she ended up buying my ticket,” Villanueva said.
Friend Jay Mathias witnessed Villanueva’s act of kindness while standing in line.
“Some people get pretty emotional over Drake I guess,” Mathias (sophomore-international politics) said.
Mathias was surprised to hear that Drake was coming to perform again at the BJC so soon, but when he heard the official announcement, he didn’t think twice about buying a ticket. He added that he is interested to see how Drake will perform in concert and his ability to blend singing and rapping together.
Villanueva said no matter what performer comes to the BJC, the students that attend the shows are always high energy and extremely responsive to the performance.
“I think more pressure is on Drake,” Villanueva said. “Penn State will bring Penn State, but will Drake bring Drake?”
Opener Kendrick Lamar isn’t as well known as Drake, but he is currently making his own way into the music industry.
Dr. Dre said in early October that Lamar was one of two rappers that he would be devoting all of his time to for at least the next couple of years.
Outside of featuring Lamar on his tour, Drake has also helped promote him in other ways. Lamar is featured on Drake’s upcoming album, “Take Care,” which will be released on Nov. 15. Lamar released his own album “Section.80,” this past July.
Vazquez said he has listened to the up-and-coming artist a few times and from what he has heard, he thinks he will complement the tour well.
A$AP Rocky gained his claim to fame this past summer in July when he released “Purple Swag,” on the internet. After his first hit, he dropped a bigger hit, “Peso,” which received credit on the radio, according to an article in Complex Magazine.
He is a 23-year-old rapper from Harlem, N.Y., who has scored a $3 million deal with RCA Records. The company also promotes Christina Aguilera, Alicia Keys, Ke$ha and a slew of other well-off artists, as reported in an article in the XXL Magazine, a hip-hop music news magazine.
A$AP has also gotten co-signs with Jim Jones and Drake, according to XXL Magazine. A$AP released his anticipated mixtape on Oct. 31 called “LiveLoveA$AP.”