Who is Dennis Graham?
Dennis Graham is an American musician and drummer. He is best known as the father of renowned Canadian rapper and musician Aubrey “Drake” Graham. While Dennis Graham did not achieve his son’s level of fame in music, he is recognized as having played a significant role in Drake’s life and career.
Dennis Graham’s biggest claim to fame comes from being the father of Drake, one of the most successful and influential hip-hop artists of his generation.
Biography of Dennis Graham:
Early Life and Background:
Dennis Graham was born on September 20, 1952, in Memphis, Tennessee, USA. As of the time of writing, he is 71 years old.
Dennis Graham grew up in a family with a strong musical background – his father (Drake’s grandfather) was a professional drummer too. This early exposure to music would later have a profound impact on his life and that of his son, Drake.
Dennis Graham pursued a music career and became a drummer. He gained some local recognition in the Memphis music scene during the 1970s and 1980s. Throughout his musical journey, he honed his skills and developed a love for various genres, including jazz, soul, and R&B. These influences would go on to inspire his son, Drake, in his musical endeavours.
Family Life and Influence on Drake:
Drake’s parents, Dennis and Sandi Graham, divorced when he was just a young child. Despite the separation, Dennis remained an important figure in Drake’s life, that’s at least according to what Dennis Graham stated.
Drake grew up primarily with his mother, Sandi Graham. His parents, Sandi and Dennis Graham divorced when he was just five years old. After their separation, Sandi Graham got custody and Drake lived with his mother in Toronto, Canada.
While Drake moved with his mother to Canada, Dennis Graham stayed back in Memphis. He was later arrested and went to prison for some drug-related offences.
About Drake’s relationship with his father
Dennis Graham has maintained he was present in his son’s life despite how his marriage with Drake’s mother turned out. According to Dennis Graham, he remained an important figure in his son’s life and supported his musical pursuits. However, Drake seems to disagree with this.
Dennis Graham has stated that he instilled in his son a deep appreciation for music and supported his artistic pursuits. He also claimed to have encouraged Drake’s passion for singing and rapping, inspiring him to pursue a career in the music industry.
Drake spoke to Complex in 2011 about having an “absentee father”.
The rapper said:
“I didn’t have a father, because he was in jail two separate times.”
Drake also rapped about his father being away in his 2011 track, “Look What You’ve Done,” wherein he sang:
“And my father living in Memphis now, he can’t come this way, over some minor charges and child support, that just wasn’t paid, damn.”
Dennis Graham stirred a mild controversy after he accused his son of lying about their relationship in order to “sell records”.
While appearing on Nick Cannon’s radio show, Dennis Graham maintained he was never absent in Drake’s life, adding that his son confessed that the “absentee father” narrative helps him sell records.
“I have always been with Drake. “I said, ‘Drake why are you saying all of this different stuff about me man? This is not cool.’ And he goes, ‘Dad, it sells records.”
Shortly after his father’s comments, Drake took to social media to reveal he was hurt by the words of his father.
The rapper said:
“Woke up today so hurt man. My father will say anything to anyone that’s willing to listen to him. It’s sad when family gets like this but what can we really do that’s the people we are stuck with.”
He added in his post:
“Every bar I ever spit was the truth and the truth is hard for some people to accept. [shrug emoji].”
As of the time of writing, Drake and his father seem to have patched up their relationship and are in a good place now.
Dennis Graham has gained popularity due to his son. He is also recognized for his unique personal style and appearance. He is often seen sporting a well-groomed moustache and dressing in flamboyant and fashionable outfits, setting him apart from other men his age.
Social Media Presence:
Dennis Graham has embraced social media and garnered a following on platforms like Instagram, where he shares moments from his life, snippets of his music, and posts with his famous son, Drake. His Instagram handle is Dennis Graham @therealdennisg.
Dennis Graham’s legacy is closely tied to the success of his son, Drake. While he may not have achieved the same level of fame as Drake, he has left a lasting impact on the superstar’s life and career. His influence and support have undoubtedly played a role in shaping Drake into the artist he has become today.
Drake is reported to have a younger half-sister from his father Dennis Graham’s side. Not much information is publicly available about this half-sister of Drake as the rapper generally keeps his family life private. However, it is known that Drake’s father, Dennis Graham, had at least one other child with another woman after his split from Drake’s mom, Sandi Graham.