Whether you are a huge Drake supporter or if you would rather avoid anything OVO related, there is one thing that we all agree on – Drake has put Toronto on the map. Not that we need any extra admiration, I mean, Toronto is a beautiful city that is constantly thriving in its own right. But if anyone can make Scarborough sound glamorous, well it’s him.
Drake, aka Aubrey Drake Graham, has taken on the responsibility to promote Toronto any chance he gets and doesn’t take it lightly. Who can blame him? He is a homegrown Toronto boy who will do just about anything to show-off “The 6” in positive light. Drake is genuine about his love for Toronto. He didn’t have to do any of it. But he did, and now the city has its very own superstar rapper. Thank you, Drake.
1. Drake put “The 6” on the map, literally.
If you are not from Toronto, then you probably wonder why everyone calls the city “The 6.” The phrase can be interpreted two ways: representing the six regions that make up Toronto – Toronto, Scarborough, North York, York, East York and Etobicoke. Or, a combination of Toronto’s area codes (416 and 647). Either way, the nickname stuck and we can’t seem to refer to this city any other way.
2. He has made his mark all over the city.
Drake is this city’s very own hype man, oozing with exciting finds and creating trends everywhere he steps. For starters, he is now in the restaurant business, opening Frings with Susur Lee on King West. He brought Rihanna to the Real Jerk Restaurant to film a music video for “Work.” Also, let’s not forget the Summer Sixteen merchandise you were dying to get your hands on. If that is not enough, we are constantly reminded of Drake every single time we pass someone wearing the OVO brand. We hear (and see) you loud and clear, Drake.
3. Drake pushed The Weeknd into our lives.
Another Toronto musician that has stolen our hearts - The Weeknd. Did you know that Drake first featured The Weeknd’s mixtape “House of Balloons” on his blog? Since then, The Weeknd has been featured on a number of songs on Drake's album Take Care. So, thank you Drake for exposing us to this Starboy.
4. He made his love for Toronto permanent.
And I’m not exaggerating. Drake has multiple tattoos referencing Toronto on his body. Including an image of the CN Tower, the numeral 6 and even the area code “416” on his side.
5. He is full of surprise (concerts).
Not once, but TWICE Drake has shown up at Ryerson University, located in downtown Toronto to pull off a surprise appearance. The first time he showed up with Norm Kelly - who went "back to back" with Drake, and increased the city councillor's internet cred. In the spring, he managed to pull up right before a Game 7 win for the Raptors. Regardless, Drake has proven he knows how to give back to his community and truly show his appreciation for the young population in this city.
6. He is the Global Ambassador for the Toronto Raptors.
This past year alone, Toronto hosted the first NBA all-star game outside of the U.S. Okay, so maybe Drake wasn’t responsible for putting this together, but we all saw him coach Team Canada during the celebrity game and receive the key to the city from Mayor John Tory. So that counts for something, right?
7. OVO Fest is LIT.
Easily one of the most talked about summer hip-hop festivals this city has ever seen, and hosted by none other than The 6 God himself. Bringing international talent and superstars, like Jay Z, Kanye West, J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar. What would we do without him?
8. He is growing young Canadian rappers right on home soil.
October’s Very Own Sound (OVO Sound) is a Canadian record label founded by Drake, Oliver El-Khatib, and Noah “40” Shebib. It includes the current acts of Drake, PARTYNEXTDOOR, Majid Jordan, Roy Woods and DVSN. If you didn’t know, you can also catch the weekly radio program that airs on Beats 1, promoting new music from the label and overall good vibes.
9. His music is a constant reminder of where he came from.
Drake is, and probably always will be, a representation of Toronto. Just think of his latest album, Views, where he evokes the strong love and ties he has to The 6. Making references to the TTC, Weston Road, and most notably the album art of him sitting on the CN Tower. Sparking meme lovers worldwide to create their best Drake sitting impressions.
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