The self-proclaimed @ChampagnePapi has another reason to pop some bubbly Friday night: he has received Toronto’s Key to the City. (It goes along with the one he already has to our hearts.)
Toronto’s very own superstar rapper and Raptors ambassador Drake has been honoured at the NBA All-Star celebrity game in front of his VIP peers, Toronto and the international NBA world.
Mayor John Tory made the announcement last night via Twitter. This will be the first key Tory’s handed out since becoming mayor in 2014.
Here are 6 reasons why Drizzy deserves it:
1. He put “the 6” on the map, literally.
Drake is the man we have to thank for Toronto’s sleek new nickname “The 6.” The name can be interpreted in two ways: The six regions that make up Toronto – Toronto, Scarborough, North York, York, East York and Etobicoke, or a combination of Toronto’s area codes 416 and 647. Either way you slice it, the nickname is now recognized internationally beyond the hip-hop community.
2. Drake is the face of OVO fest and ambassador to the Raptors.
Drake is responsible for Toronto’s biggest hip-hop festival. The annual two-day concert has brought the genre’s (and frankly, most of music’s) biggest heavy weights to the city including Jay-Z, Eminem, P. Diddy and Kanye West. The event brings thousands of tourism dollars to Toronto and tickets sell out within minutes. His role as Raptors ambassador has also brought a new wave of attention to the team, including a new jersey design and occasional ‘Drake Nights’ when he attends Raptors games and brings up the morale of the ACC crowd.
3. Toronto’s very own hype man.
Drake is Toronto’s personal hype magnet. Just last week, Drake brought Rihanna to Real Jerk restaurant, located at 842 Gerrard St. East near Carlaw Avenue, to film a music video for “Work.”
4. Drake put The Weeknd on.
Drake helped put a spotlight on The Weeknd (the stage name of Abęl Tesfaye) when he featured Tesfaye’s mixtape ‘House of Balloons’ on his blog. He also hired The Weeknd on a number of his songs for his album Take Care including on “Crew Love”, “Shot For Me” and “The Ride.”
5. Drake takes Toronto everywhere he goes.
Drake has multiple tattoos referencing Toronto on his body, including an image of the CN Tower, the numeral 6 inside his elbow, and “416” on his side.
Drake's new CN tower tattoo. pic.twitter.com/vjSKSp88IV
— Word On Road (@WordOnRd) January 7, 2015
New Drake Tat #416 Toronto A photo posted by Word On Road (@wordonrd) on
6. Drake has been loyal to Toronto from the jump.
Drake claimed his allegiance to Toronto way before getting signed to Lil Wayne’s Young Money Entertainment in 2009. We would need a whole other article to list off all the songs in which Toronto is referenced in his lyrics. But even in his very first mixtape “Room for Improvement,” Drake claims his city with the song “City is Mine.” Which one? “T-O-R-O-N-T-O.”
Watch the video for ‘City is Mine’ below or click here to see it on YouTube.
Now Aubrey will officially receive something he’s always figuratively had — the master key to the city. Looks like starting from the bottom really pays off.