If only we knew back in the early aughts that Jimmy Brooks would grow up to become Drake: the Jamaican — oh, sorry, Canadian — award-winning rapper worth, well, a lot. But how rich is he, really?
Drake, whose real name is Aubrey Graham, grew up in Toronto. He first came onto the scene at age 15, portraying Jimmy Brooks in the Canadian teen drama series Degrassi. At the time, Drake says, his early acting career was born from necessity. "My mother was very sick," Drake said in 2011. "We were very poor, like broke. The only money I had coming in was off of Canadian TV."
Flash-forward a few years, and Drake is now, at 33 years old, one of the most-recognized names in music and the fifth-richest rapper in the world. He first started by making mixtapes in 2006, featuring artists like Lupe Fiasco and Trey Songz. His third mixtape, So Far Gone, received over 2,000 downloads in the first two hours of release, and quickly found commercial success.
Since then, Drake's musical career has skyrocketed. He signed with Lil Wayne’s label, Young Money Entertainment, in 2009 in a $2-million USD deal. A decade later, he's got six studio albums under his belt: Thank Me Later, Take Care, Nothing Was The Same, Views, Scorpion and (if you count this one) Care Package. In 2018, Drake topped the Billboard Hot 100 for 29 cumulative weeks with the singles “God’s Plan,” “Nice for What” and “Feelings,” all from Scorpion. This achievement broke previous records set by singles on Usher’s Confessions and The Black Eyed Peas’ The E.N.D. Oh, and he's also won four Grammys.
One of the things that set Drake up for success was the way he optimized his music for streaming from the very beginning. In 2015, he inked a $19-million USD deal with Apple Music and has seen huge payoffs: His 2017 mixtape, More Life, was the most-streamed on the platform in 2018, and Views exceeded three billion streams in 2017. His live shows also bring in some pretty big pay cheques. His 2018 Aubrey and the Three Migos tour grossed $79 million USD and sold over 600,000 tickets. This May, he kicked off his 10-show Las Vegas residency at The Wynn hotel’s XS nightclub — a gig reportedly paying him $10 million USD.
Another pillar in Drake’s ever-expanding empire is his record label, OVO Sound, which he launched in 2012, alongside co-manager Oliver El-Khatib and go-to producer Noah “40” Shebib. October’s Very Own — which is a nod to his birthday month — boasts a roster of artists, including PARTYNEXTDOOR, Majid Jordan, Roy Woods, Baka Not Nice and producer Boi-1da to name a few. OVO Sound Radio launched in 2015 with Apple Music, but as of July the successful radio show has found a new home with SiriusXM Pandora.
According to Business of Fashion, OVO’s biggest source of revenue is its clothing line of owl-branded merch with reported earnings of $4.3 million USD. Drake has also signed with Nike's Jordan brand, releasing an Air Jordan OVO sneaker. He has also had collaborations with Roots, Timberland and Canada Goose. And we can't forget OVO Fest, the always-sold-out, annual music festival that started in 2010, where artists such as Kanye West, A$AP Rocky and Kendrick Lamar have taken the stage.
Music isn't Drake's only revenue stream. The Toronto Raptors global ambassador (a role he reportedly doesn't get paid for) has a stake in Virginia Black Whiskey. He’s also launched Mod Sélection Champagne, which sells for about $300 a bottle (or $400 a bottle if rosé is more your thing). And because drinks and food go hand-in-hand, of course he's a Toronto restaurateur. Although Frings closed in June 2018, Drake kept his hospitality kick going with Pick 6ix alongside Montreal chef Antonio Park. According to Vice, a market analyst gave Drake credit for 5% of Toronto's $8.8-billion tourism industry (that’s about $440 million) while the branding of Toronto as “The Six” is estimated to be worth at least $3 million. Always one to diversify his portfolio, his most-recent venture includes teaming up with Canopy Growth Corp. to launch the cannabis brand More Life Growth Co. It’s reported that he holds a 60% stake in the brand.
Drizzy isn't exactly discreet about his wealth: The artist reportedly owns an $8-million USD mansion in Hidden Hills, CA, where his neighbours include fellow Canuck Justin Bieber. He boasts flashy jewelry, watches, a clothing collection, a line of luxury cars and private jet that he humbly named Air Drake. The jet is worth $200 million and was part of a partnership with Ontario company Cargojet Airways. It's decked out with wood panelling, bougie gold fixtures, a bedroom, lounge, and food catering. Oh, and remember his Bridle Path mansion in Toronto? The $6.7-million home is by no means a humble abode (to give you an idea, it has a full basketball court with the OVO logo on the floor).
To be fair, though he is rolling in dough, Drake has given a lot of his money away. Since 2010, he has supported organizations including the Union Gospel Mission of Portland, the Jamaican Learning Centre in Toronto, and has donated millions to programs in his role with the Raptors. This includes $1 million donated to refurbish community basketball courts as well as an additional $2 million to the Welcome Toronto Initiative to help promising athletes work towards the Olympics and professional-sports careers. In 2018, he gave away $1 million USD ($996,631.90 to be exact) to families and communities in need, which was documented in the "God's Plan" music video shot in Miami.