Young Money breakout star Drake is one of the latest nominees used to promote next month’s MTV Video Music Awards and has drawn inspiration for his feature from one of his actor/singer predecessors: iconic Rat Pack member Frank Sinatra.
Footage of Drake’s VMA promo hit the Internet Friday (August 20) evening.
Drake joins the Rat Pack in a new promo for the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards, donning a strapping suit and fedora in this period piece. The clip, intended to highlight the Canadian rapper’s performance at the event, sees him dodging the paparazzi in black and white, making his way backstage as a bandstand coaxes him into the spotlight with a brassy rendition of his hit “Over.” “I get to channel my inner Sinatra,” said Drake. “In the acting world, you gotta have reference points. I like to get into characters. … There’s a ’50s theme. They got it right, though. They got the set and the wardrobe. I feel like I’m here.” (Rap-Up)
In addition to the late singer, Drake credits his inspiration to actor Denzel Washington‘s portrayal of a blues singer in a 1990’s movie.
Sinatra isn’t the only legend that influences Drake’s gentlemanly style in the promo. The “Degrassi” actor-turned-chart-topping MC also looked to Denzel Washington’s troubled trumpeter in Spike Lee’s 1990 flick “Mo’ Better Blues.” “Mo’ Better Blues’ is like one of my favorite movies of all time. This reminds me of Denzel, who played a character [called] Bleek Gilliam,” Drake explained. “I’m trying to channel that today.” (MTV)
Earlier this month, Young Money labelmate Nicki Minaj was chosen to help promote the annual awards ceremony.
“I don’t even have my album out and I’m part of the freakin’ promo!” she said about being in the VMAs promotion. “Basically, they’re documenting my rise and paralleling that with my journey, literally, to the VMAs.” (Entertainment Weekly)
Aside from the September 12th show, Drake has continued to reap in success after recently being named one of Forbes‘ Top 20 Hip-Hop Cash Kings.
Toronto star Drake just missed out on a spot in the top 10 in the 20 top earners list. Drake, whose real name is Aubrey Graham, was No. 11 with an income of $10 million US. Drake was a highly hyped newcomer to hip hop, able to strike a good record deal, and his debut recording Thank Me Later has gone platinum since June. His real earning power was boosted by advertising agreements with Sprite and Virgin America, Forbes.com reported. (CBC News)
Check out Drake’s VMA’s promo footage below: