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Drake Says Former Toronto Raptors Player Vince Carter Bolstered the City’s Hip-Hop Culture

Jamie McCarthy / Andy Lyons, Getty Images (2)
Jamie McCarthy / Andy Lyons, Getty Images (2)

On his early So Far Gone track “Say What’s Real,” Drake, then just a rap upstart, famously spit, “In my city I’m the 2-3.” He was referring to Michael Jordan and the transformational qualities he brought to the NBA. Maybe he should’ve said, “1-5,” though. That number belonged to Vince Carter, who, for a time, somewhat similarly captured the imagination of the Toronto residents and the NBA at large with his electric showmanship and supernatural athleticism. If you let Drizzy tell it, he also turned the whole city up.

Drake said as much in a recent episode of Uninterrupted, where he sat down with his pals LeBron James and former Toronto Raptor Chris Bosh to discuss the recently released film, The Carter Effect, a movie focusing on Vince, his contributions to the NBA and to Toronto itself. For his part, Drizzy focuses more on the part about Toronto, a place with a hip-hop identity he says VC ignited with excitement.

Though Toronto was overlooked in the past, Drizzy says Vince made the city a premier destination for rappers and facilitated a blooming hip-hop-laced culture. “When Vince was popping in the city, we had nightclubs that seemed larger than life,” says Drizzy, who’s worked with Dave East recently. “We had celebrities coming to our city and performing that would’ve never been here before. We had rappers and people from here that were acting like we were in New York. You know? People were driving different cars and starting businesses and, you know? He created a culture for us that we had only seen on television.” Drizzy goes on to say Vince Carter gave Toronto residents someone they could look to as a leader and a local cultural icon.

Watch Drizzy’s sit-down with LeBron and Bosh below, and learn more about the way Vince Carter helped shine a light on Toronto—the place we all might have thought was made cool by The Weeknd and Drizzy himself—below. The bit about Vince Carter and hip-hop comes in at the 12:07 mark.

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