What Is Drake’s Real Name?

Canadian-born rapper and entertainer Drake goes by many handles: Champagne Papi, Mr. OVO, Drizzy, and dozens more. Check out this list of basically every conceivable nickname for The King of “The 6.” Some of them are hilariously off-the-wall.

Toronto’s golden boy, the former actor-turned-musician seems to be everywhere at once. His tenure at the top of the hip-hop world has been a long one, and some may think that his most-known title, Drake, is his birth name. That’s only half true.

So What is Drake’s Real Name?

Drake was actually born Aubrey Drake Graham to parents Dennis and Sandi Graham. Not to rag on the name Aubrey⏤it’s a wonderful moniker⏤but it doesn’t have much of a snap to it, especially when you only get one shot at making a lasting impression. Picturing Drake as an Aubrey, though, is a tough hurdle to clear. You have to admit that Aubrey Drake Graham is a mouthful.

Is That Why He Goes By His Middle Name?

Musicians alter their names quite often. It allows them the freedom to control their image and create a public persona attached to whatever title they give themselves. Most of all, they’re able to make it catchy. There are just some names that don’t roll off the tongue.

Did you really think that Dr. Dre was given a doctorate right out of the womb? His real name is Andre Romelle Young. AnDRE. See what he did there?

That is exactly why Drake shortened his name. It was a smart business decision on his part and gave us all one legendary word to associate with the chart-topping performer.

Choosing to forgo his first name and use his middle name instead has given him the freedom to be whoever he wants to be. That kind of expression is well worth respecting.