Dalton Higgins

Dalton Higgins is a contributor to Billboard.

Drake in 2016

Started From 'Degrassi': Drake's Ascent From Teen Soap Star to Pop Culture Titan

Drake's credentials have always flown in the face of traditional hip-hop star-making conventions. Bi-racial (Caucasian and black), Jewish, Canadian and former teen drama actor: perhaps not the kind of pedigree that A&Rs typically look for in a modern-day rap titan, but Drake became hip-hop’s ubiquitous multi-million earning inside man by wholeheartedly embracing his outsider status and consistently breaking Billboard chart records with R&B-tinged slow jams and gritty bangers in a music genre that lionizes street culture.