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Drake Covers Billboard

Drake Covers Billboard

Drake lands a cover on Billboard magazine as “the new face of Hip-Hop” and shows no signs of slowing down. Currently on tour, Billboard catches up with Drake on one of those nights during the tour in the cover story of this issue: Check out an excerpt for this story below:

On a clammy Saturday afternoon in May, thousands of nose-ringed, suburban teens are crammed into the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, N.J., to catch their favorite emo, dance, punk and emo-dance-punk acts at the two-day Bamboozle Festival. While middle-aged chaperones waited patiently in the “parents” tent, barely clothed diehards bounced from stage to stage, panting at the sight of Ke$ha, Matt & Kim, MGMT, OK Go and headliners Weezer and Paramore, among others.

But one of the night’s unexpectedly large turnouts was for 23-year-old hip-hop sensation Drake, whose highly anticipated debut album, “Thank Me Later,” will be released June 15 on Aspire/Young Money/Cash Money with distribution through Universal Motown.

Backed by a five-piece band and DJ, and dressed in all black, Drake took the stage a little before 9 p.m.-20 minutes late due to a bad case of allergies-and commanded the attention of even those tailgating in the parking lot.

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It was Drake’s mentor and label head, Lil Wayne, who encouraged him to perform at diverse and ambitious events like Bamboozle. “When I do House of Blues in Chicago or L.A., they scream,” Drake says. “But when you do these festivals, they’ll stand there and stare at you and judge you. But there’s a part of them that’s listening.”

Born Aubrey Drake Graham in Toronto, Drake got his showbiz start playing Jimmy Brooks, the wheelchair-bound former basketball player on the Canadian teen drama “Degrassi: The Next Generation.” Just a few mixtapes and an EP later, Drizzy, as he’s known, has emerged as the most revered new MC in years. As hip-hop continues to drift further away from rap’s basic elements and seeks to re-energize and expand its fan base with a new, hybrid sound that blends rap, R&B, dance, even alt-rock-witness the success of B.o.B, Kid Cudi and progenitors Kanye West and OutKast-this half-singing, half-rapping, half-Jewish, half-black former actor and current heartthrob is helping change the face of the genre firsthand.

Read the full story at ATF.

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