Hip hop is flooded with lyrics bragging about hometowns. Think of any of your favorite rappers and I guarantee you know where they’re from. You think of JAY Z and you think Brooklyn, Lil Wayne – New Orleans, Chance The Rapper and Kanye West – Chicago, and Drake – Toronto. While multi-million dollar endorsement deals are common, rappers always hype their hometowns for free. But, do you ever wonder how much it would cost a city to recreate the amount of publicity that rappers provide?
Let’s take a look at October-[and-Toronto’s]-Very-Own to better understand the value behind bragging about one’s hometown.
Drake has come a long way on his journey from Wheelchair Jimmy to Champagne Papi. Luckily for us, he’s brought Toronto (henceforth referred to as “The 6”) with him. Whether he’s shouting out the real ones that live past Kennedy Road (Energy), a particular shorty up on Glengrove (Tuscan Leather), or the eastbound 401 (Connect), Drake allows listeners outside The 6 to feel intimately familiar with the city.
Beyond the lyrical nods, Drake was instrumental in bringing the N.B.A. All-Star Weekend to Toronto, which did more for Toronto’s burgeoning reputation as a “cool” city than our Tourism Budget ever has. With that being said, I guess we can forgive Drake for ruining being in this photo.
But if we didn’t have Drake then how much would all of the publicity cost? The short answer is an estimated $3 billion dollars.
To put that in perspective, Drake’s constant promotion of the City is equal to the monetary value of all parks and public “green spaces” in Toronto. To put it in different terms, the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) has $15 billion in existing infrastructure, and Drake sitting on top of the CN Tower is worth 20% of that!
You may be wondering, “why/how is Drake’s promotion worth $3 billion dollars?” Well…
Drake has 33.2 million Twitter followers and a measly 24.5 million followers on Instagram. Couple those figures with the billions of #Views that he has on YouTube and it’s hard to deny that Drake has a global reach. It’s this global reach that garners him tons of impressions across social media platforms, and these impressions are worth $300 million dollars, according to ZenithOptimedia.
There are two factors that make the valuation of Drake’s promotions increase by tenfold to $3 billion. First, he is an “A-list” celebrity, which means that other celebrities are likely to value what he says. Second, Drake is incredibly authentic as an artist, and this authenticity extends to his bragging about Toronto, which makes it more believable and more valuable.
Say what you want about Drake, but you can’t question his authenticity. He has never tried to shy away from who he is: a meme-inspiring, Rihanna-chasing, turtleneck-and-Timberland-wearing Forest Hillian. It’s Drake’s unconventional, but relatable, quirkiness that attracts such a wide range of Torontonians, which, in turn, increases the value of his endorsement. Ultimately, the $3 billion dollar value of Drake’s co-sign is subject to change if his celebrity-star waxes and wanes; however, while Drake is hot, then Toronto is as well.
Does that mean that we should be worried about Drake and Toronto’s star falling in the near future? I really don’t think so. Everything Drake has done for Toronto has made him a hometown legend, and his fame has allowed rappers from the “New Toronto,” like Tory Lanez and Jazz Cartier, to gain access to U.S. media. With a flood of rappers from the New Toronto set to blow, Toronto should be hot for a long time to come.
Even if Drake leaves the rap game tomorrow – maybe to dust off his acting chops – the floodgates are open for Toronto rappers to keep hyping the City on an international platform. Even if a $3 billion dollar valuation of Drake’s endorsement seems outrageous, the fact that young rappers now have easier access to U.S. media is truly priceless.