Vallery Jean/FilmMagic
December 15, 2010 03:20 PM

Aubrey Drake Graham – better known as just Drake, went from being a locally-known Canadian actor on high school drama Degrassi to teaming up with the biggest names in hip-hop professionally (Kanye West, Jay-Z and Lil’ Wayne – just to name a few), not to mention romantically. (Remember those Rihanna and Nicki Minaj headlines?)

But there’s much more to the actor-turned-hip-hop star, 24, than a Platinum-selling album, Thank Me Later, and a Rolodex stocked with A-listers.

Here are five things you should know about Best New Artist Grammy contender Drake:

1. He was humbled watching Jay-Z perform last year
Drake says seeing Jay-Z come on stage right after he performed “Best I Ever Had,” made him feel “like a small little child.” At the Hot 97 Summer Jam concert, Young Jeezy brought the rapper out, and Drake tells PEOPLE, “I looked down at myself and I was wearing like a pink sweater and some cargo pants and [Jay-Z] came out in the nastiest black outfit and shut the stadium down. It was humbling, like, you still have a long way to go, but it was great.”

2. His dream collaboration is Sade and Andre 3000
Teaming up with the “Smooth Operator” songstress and one half of rap duo Outkast is an ideal match for Drake, who says he’s “fighting to make that happen.” Adds the rapper: “Both of them are hard to find, actually. I think it’s possible. If it happens, I think it would be legendary. That’s my ideal. That’s my one that I’m waiting on.”

3. He frequently sings about love even if it mystifies him
“I feel like I’ve said ‘I love you’ … but I don’t know if I understand it yet,” Drake says. “I write about it and I try and make sense of it, but I’m not really sure … I thought I would by now, but maybe it’s not meant for me to understand yet.”

4. Judd Apatow and Michael Cera are his favorite Hollywood stars
Romance is his musical speciality but comedies are his forté when it comes to film. “Basically, I’m a fan of the Judd Apatow comedies,” he says. “I love to laugh. I’ll watch 40-Year-Old Virgin, Superbad, Juno – anything with Michael Cera. I really like when I go to the movies for it be an experience where I can enjoy myself.”

5. He doesn’t think he’s photogenic
Heartthrob status aside, Drake says he tends to “cringe” when he sees his own photos. “I feel like I photograph different from the way I actually look,” he says. “That’s just something I come to the realization. When I catch photographs, I just look, like, real old or something. People see me in person and say casually, ‘Oh, you look better in person.’ ”

You May Like