Drake’s Dad Explains The Rapper’s Southern Roots

By Rob Markman

Drake may be “Proud” of Nicki Minaj and the other women in his life on his new single, but that pales in comparison to the pride that Drizzy’s father Dennis Graham has for his son. Memphis, Tennessee FOX News affiliate WMCTV caught up with big poppa Graham and explored the Young Money star’s humble beginnings. Though Toronto is technically the city that he’s from, Drake has close ties to Memphis, where he spent summers in Appleville with his dad, who is a former drummer for 1950’s rocker Jerry Lee Lewis. “I used to hold him in my office while I played the piano,” Graham said of Drake’s musical come-up.

It was those early musical experiences with his dad that Graham says contributed to his son’s success today. “That’s why his metaphors are so phenomenal now because he’s been in Memphis,” he said.

Graham and the rapper’s mother split while the MC was still young. Drake has often rapped about his complex relationship with his dad in songs. On 2009’s “The Calm” from his breakout So Far Gone mixtape Drizzy spits, “Hopin’ Western Union do a currency exchange/ ’Cause my dad called, it got me feelin’ guilty and ashamed/ Like how I got a Rolls and I went and got a Range/ And he payin’ for his cigarettes with dollars and some change/ And I can only feel his pain, ‘’cause in Memphis, Tennessee there’s only so much to obtain.”

“He considers Memphis home more than he does Toronto,” Graham said.

While that may be debatable, Mr. Graham clearly has love for his son, who released his sophomore album Take Care on Tuesday (November 15). “My God, I look at him and I think, ‘Oh my God, this kid’s got it’,” he gushed. I said, ‘Drake you’ve done it man.’”

Now that’s something to be proud of.

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