The breadth of Drake’s fame knows few bounds. He’s one of the best-selling solo musicians in pop music history. His records have gone multi-platinum on multiple occasions and he has sold nearly 200 million albums worldwide. He’s the founder of a wildly successful record label, an accompanying clothing line, and his own brand of top-shelf bourbon. He’s the “global ambassador” of last year’s title-winning Toronto Raptors, is one of the leading figureheads of the streaming platform Apple Music, and has broken chart-topping singles records held for half a century by The Beatles. He’s even been the face of Sprite.
But Drake’s ambitions haven’t always been musical. He started as the star of screen and stage—and his slowly rising fame as an actor over the course of the last decade made him seem destined for a life as a thespian, not a rapper. Of course, his career transpired much differently, and now that he’s confirmed as one of the biggest artists in the game, he doesn’t look super eager to headline movie marquees in the spirit of other rapper-turned-actors such as Ludacris, Ice Cube, or Marky Mark. Nevertheless, whenever he’s occasionally called on to flex his theatrical chops, The Boy can still bring the goods.
So today, on Champagne Papi’s birthday, let’s look back at Drake’s first love—acting—and talk about his most memorable screen performances.