There’s nothing glamorous about the unanswered grumbles of hollow stomachs; wearing hand-me-downs; and poverty’s unparalleled ability to steal one’s livelihood without ever being charged with manslaughter–unless, of course, you’ve never been there. If that’s the case, you may think it’s something to brag about.

I often joke about Drake‘s “struggle,” which could also be described as “middle class people’s problems.” Despite my status as die-hard Drake fan, I’ve given myself permission to respectfully question his alleged crawl from poverty’s trenches into the rapping stardom, where he currently reigns–birthing ubiquitous phrases like ”YOLO”.

Drake was born to a Jewish mother named Sandi Graham–an educator, and Dennis Graham, an African-American drummer who worked with Jerry lee Lewis. In the sixth grade Drake says he and his mother moved to Forest Hill–”an affluent neighborhood in central Toronto, Ontario, Canada,” where census data shows “an average income for all private households in Forest Hill to be $101,631.”

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In an interview with  Complex Magazine Drake spoke about his mother, “She wanted the best for her family. She found us a half of a house we could live in. The other people had the top half–we had the bottom half. I lived in the basement, my mom lived on the first floor. It was not big, it was not luxurious. It was what we could afford.”

For many this is not descriptive of a particularly harsh or uncomfortable upbringing but Drake continuously emphasizes his relationships with poverty through his music, and, in interviews. “Say I never struggled/wasn’t hungry/Yeah, I doubt it n***a,” he raps while jogging beside a white Mercedes-Benz in latest video “Started From The Bottom”.

Drake’s Middle Class Problem: Why The Rapper Is Stuck On The Struggle Story  was originally published on

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