Aubrey Drake Graham was born on October 24, 1986.

He found fame at a young age as one of the stars of the hit Canadian teen drama Degrassi. After his tenure playing Jimmy Brooks, he would transition from the screen to the booth, pursuing a full-time career as a musician.

Drake released a few mixtapes that were received well by fans and blogs, but it was the mixtape "So Far Gone" in February 2009 that would change his life and the course of music forever.

Since then, he would continue to shatter Billboard records, helping establish a sound that has since become the standard in Hip-Hop and has even transcended the genre itself. The keys to Drake's success are his talent, relentless work ethic, and his versatility as an artist.

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It is hard to imagine music without Drake.

For over a decade, he's been one of the most influential figures not just in Hip-Hop but in music period. He went from a child actor to Lil Wayne's protege to a G.O.A.T. in his own right. Drake's consistency and diversity are what keeps him at the top of the mountain.

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Culture Feature

12 of the Best Political Voices in Hip-Hop

There's a potent strain of leftist politics woven into the history of rap and hip hop, and these artists have been pushing it harder than ever in recent years.

A scene from Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” music video.

Via Vevo

With all the negative attention that Kanye West has been earning for himself in recent days...and months...and years, it's important to remember that he is a political outlier.

The vast majority of the time when rappers involve themselves in politics, they do not align themselves with figures like Donald Trump. There is a long tradition of hip hop artists using their platforms to call attention to important social movements and endorse liberatory left-wing politics.

These 12 artists are some of the most significant voices in hip hop and politics who have made serious efforts to spread important messages, and in some cases have done a lot more than that.

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Culture Feature

Kim and Kanye's Difficult Week: Meek Mill, Divorce, Abortion, and Mental Health

Kim Kardashian urges compassion as her husband's struggle with bipolar disorder becomes increasingly public.

'I almost killed my daughter:' Kanye West tells emotional story of nearly aborting first child

Kanye West is having a hard time right now.

His recent string of worrying behavior seemingly reached new heights in the early hours of Wednesday morning in a series of tweets that have since been deleted. In the tweets, Kanye accused his wife, Kim Kardashian, along with mother-in-law, Kris Jenner (whom Kanye nicknamed "Kris Jong-Un" after North Korea's infamous dictator), of attempting to have him committed: "They tried to fly in with 2 doctors to 51/50 me."

5150 refers to a California law regulating involuntary commitment to a psychiatric facility. In another deleted tweet on Monday, Kanye had compared his situation to the movie Get Out, saying, "Kim was trying to fly to Wyoming with a doctor to lock me up like on the movie Get Out because I cried about saving my daughters [sic] life."

Kanye Meek mill tweet

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Fred The Godson

Photo by MediaPunch/Shutterstock

Fred the Godson (born Fredrick Thomas), a beloved south Bronx rapper, has died at age 35 from COVID-19 complications.

As recently as Wednesday, The Source reported that Thomas was in intensive care and had experienced a fever has high as 105 degrees. Despite this, his heart and vital signs were supposedly showing improvement, though his kidney function was severely impacted by the virus. The MC had a history of asthma that put him at high risk of severe coronavirus.

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New Releases

Nicki Minaj's New Song Is a "Yikes" Indeed

The rapper's first song since announcing her hiatus falls flat.

Nicki Minaj - Yikes (Official Audio)

Remember last year when Nicki Minaj said she was retiring to "have her family," and how nobody thought her time off would last?

Well, we were right. After a three-month hiatus from social media, Minaj has returned with her first new single of the year, "Yikes." She teased the track on Instagram a few days ago, and received an onslaught of backlash over a certain disconcerting line: "All you b-----s Rosa Parks, uh-oh, get your ass up." Yikes, indeed!

TMZ reports that Anita Peek, executive director of the Rosa & Raymond Parks Institute, said the bus boycotter would be "extremely hurt" by the lyric if she were alive today to hear it. Fans were displeased, too, especially since the clip of the track first surfaced on Parks' birthday.

Controversy aside, "Yikes" is Minaj at her least compelling. With the exception of a feisty spoken introduction, her delivery is devoid of emotion. "Yikes, I play tag and you it for life / Yikes, you a clown, you do it for likes," she utters blandly in the chorus, over a minimalistic beat that could belong to any rapper. "Yikes" feels anonymous and tedious; it only affirms that the versatility of her Pink Friday days has run dry. It's time for Minaj to pass the torch.