Only two artist have received the accolade before him: Mariah Carey, for her trailblazing artistry in the 1990s, and Eminem, who dominated the charts in the 2000s. With over 232 entries on the Billboard Hot 10, 45 top 10 singles and nine No. 1 albums under his belt, Drake is well-deserving of the industry-leading accolade. But in his acceptance speech, the genre-defining rapper admitted that he lacks confidence in his music.
“I’m really self conscious about my music, and even if I do a good job, I always wonder how I could’ve done it better,” he said. “I rarely celebrate anything. Just for anyone watching this wondering how this happened, that’s really the answer. It’s being so unsure how you’re getting it done that you keep going in hopes of figuring out the formula.”
In lieu of celebrity presenters, Drake chose to have his inner-circle of friends and family line the back of the stage while he accepted the award. The Toronto rap star walked on screen holding the hand of his three-year-old son, Adonis, before handing the trophy to the toddler while he gave his speech.
“I want to dedicate this award to my friends, I want to dedicate this award to my longtime collaborators,” he said. “I want to dedicate this award to all my peers, all your decisions, and the music you make really does have me tossing and turning at night trying to figure out what I should do next. Thank you to my beautiful family.”
Of course, Drake’s star power will continue to reign supreme in the 2020s. His long-awaited forthcoming album Certified Lover Boy has yet to receive an official release date, but the rapper shared a short clip of a track off the project, presumably titled “Fair Trade.” Listen to the newly-crowned Artist of the Decade’s latest work.