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Less than four years ago, he was just Aubrey Drake Graham, a high school dropout and former child actor writing rhymes in the basement of his mom’s house in Toronto, stopping only to trip out on text messages from girls or find out where that night’s party might be. Drake’s parents split up when he was 5, and he lived in a bifurcated world, between everyday life with his mom—affluent, white, and Jewish Canadian—and the special visits and occasional summers with his father, who’s black, from Memphis, and a bit of a ne’erdo-well.

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