Drake has fond feelings for his hometown. If you don’t know this, you don’t know Drake, and we’re frankly confused as to why you’re reading this post. At least someone has to have wondered, though–Drake loves Toronto, but does Toronto love him back? Is OVO all a lie? To settle this once and for all, NPR enlisted the services of The New Yorker fact-checker Carolyn Kormann.
You could do man-on-the-street, flying out to Toronto to poll the people there about Drake, but a) that’d involve flying out to Toronto; b) you’d have to find a representative sample. You could probably find lots of people in Brooklyn who aren’t completely enamored with Jay-Z, for instance, or Manhattanites not gaga for Gaga. So instead, NPR talked to a lot of record-label people, radio people, those sorts of folks at a remove, and found what you’d expect: people were leery of Drake going from Degrassi to rap, but now that he’s successful both as a rapper and tourism-board darling, they’re not.
NPR’s rundown of how Drake got there, and how his particular upbringing affected how he did so, is well worth reading. But the crux is this bit of info, courtesy of Nielsen Entertainment analyst Dave Bakula:
“For a major release, we’d expect Toronto to be about 1.5% of [total album sales],” he said. Sales for Jay-Z, Kanye West and Eminem met that mark. The weak link, Lil Wayne, sold only about .5% of his albums total in Toronto. Drake’s sales in Toronto doubled the average, hitting 3%.
Within Canada, Toronto’s share of Drake’s sales was roughly 40%. For the same type of major releases, Toronto is usually 15%-20% of total Canada — Lil Wayne’s sales in Toronto were 14%.
Good enough for the New Yorker; good enough for us. And when someone does the definitive 2.7-million-plus-person poll of Toronto’s population, we’ll be sure to update you.