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Decade of Drake

How Drake broke into the U.S. market

'I already knew he was gonna be the biggest star in the world. Hands down.' — Cortez Bryant

'I already knew he was gonna be the biggest star in the world. Hands down.' — Cortez Bryant

"I didn't even know he sang until probably when we met him face-to-face." — Cortez Bryant 2:05

"That album was a cheat-sheet into the millennial mind at the time." — Bem Joiner on Drake's 2009 mixtape, So Far Gone

It's been 10 years since So Far Gone captured the zeitgeist and propelled Drake to international stardom — a decade that's the subject of CBC Music's ongoing retrospective, Decade of Drake.

Part of that retrospective is Drake's Plan, an eight-part, weekly documentary series on CBC Gem exploring how Drake established himself as one of the savviest icons in the game.

Episode 1, "Building the Dream Team", premiered on Oct. 23. Episode 2, "Breaking Into the U.S.," examines how Drake's emergence in the U.S. market coincided with the music industry's shift to an online ecosystem. "Once the digital world came about and blogs started posting music of artists that weren't on the radio but had great-sounding records that should be on the radio, that's when Drake started growing," notes Joiner in "Breaking Into the U.S." The episode also looks at the vital role Lil Wayne played in Drake's ascent.

Watch a clip from episode 2 above, and head to CBC Gem to view the full thing. CBC-TV will air an abridged version of Drake's Plan as a 90-minute special on Dec. 10. For all of our Decade of Drake coverage, go to cbc.ca/music/decadeofdrake.