What A Time….
A few years ago not many people knew what that meant. All we knew was that Drake said it over songs and that was the name of his blog.
Today it’s his brand.
Shirts, hats, sweatshirts, pants, special edition Jordan’s, and even NBA inspired jerseys have been dipped in the OVO gold. Drake has built and empire in just a few years and, looking back, it’s been an amazing accomplishment.
How has the OVO brand achieved so much success in a short amount of time? There are other rappers with brands (MMG, Dreamville, etc.) but they haven’t been able to reach the success that OVO has.
The easy answer is that its leader, Drake, is a genius and you would be correct. But, if you want to go deeper you have to understand Drake’s dominance from the beginning.
In 2009 Drake released the mixtape that would put him on the map. So Far Gone was his declaration to the industry that the Degrassi character is dead and he’s here to claim his spot. His music has been the catalyst to the top. Since 2009 Drake has released 3 mixtapes, 3 studio albums, and two collaboration projects. That’s a lot of music in a short amount of time. Throw in the fact that he makes quality music and you have someone who found the fast track to the top of the industry. Having Lil Wayne in your corner doesn’t hurt either.
2015 served to be a catapult for Drake’s brand.
The criticism of Drake was that he’s too soft. His music is emotional and he seems like a hopeless romantic. Those aren’t compliments when your’e a rapper.
Enter Meek Mill.
I don’t have time to go over the entire saga so click this link if you what a review. Once Drake sealed the victory over Meek it seemed that the public narrative changed. Now Drake is a “killer” who isn’t afraid to step up to someone who’s out to tarnish him.
Drake’s influence earned him the opportunity to be the global ambassador for the Toronto Raptors. He was key to landing the city the 2016 NBA All-Star Game and will serve as the host. He’s also had a hand in designing some of the uniforms in his signature OVO Black and Gold.
There are plenty of rappers that are fans of NBA teams, Drake is the only one who gets paid to be one.
That, my friends, is brand influence.
As always, thanks for reading.