The Rap-Up Drake

The Rap-Up is a weekly round-up of all things hip-hop. Check it out every Wednesday.

Drake gets honored by his homeland, Everlast taps into modern America and Grieves hits the road as the marquee act -- read on for the weekly Rap-Up.

Drake Wins Award, Gives Back To The Community

Rappers too often get headlines for being unintended participants in “When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong.” So, it’s worth noting that Drake has been selected as the recipient of the Allan Slaight Award, a yearly award given to a Canadian who makes a positive impact in philanthropy, sports or the arts.

The Toronto-based YMCMB superstar will be given an award for $10,000 courtesy of Canada’s Walk of Fame and the Slaight Foundation. Dixon Hall, a Toronto organization that assists low-income people, will be the beneficiary of Drake’s award.

As the specifics for the Walk of Fame ceremony get locked in, Drake has another reason to celebrate. His second major label album, “Take Care,” is scheduled to come out October 24. It’s tremendous to see a rapper get rewarded for his positive contributions, something that is all too rare.

Everlast Returns, Speaks To Modern America

As lead rapper of House Of Pain, Everlast released one of the 1990’s biggest singles, “Jump Around.” Since then, he’s enjoyed steady success as a rapper and, more remarkably, as a singer.

Indeed, as Whitey Ford, the Los Angeles-based rapper-singer has tapped into a country-blues-soul style that allows him to take interesting artistic changes. On his new single “I Get By,” Everlast puts himself in the position of a person whose struggling just to survive in today’s turbulent economic environment.

Though he sings throughout the song, it’s written in rap form and even contains a recurring reference to Audio Two’s classic 1987 single “Top Billin’”. “I Get By” is the first release from “Songs of the Ungrateful Living,” which is slated to arrive October 18. Everlast typically puts an interesting on music, a trend that continues with “I Get By.”

Grieves Enjoys Chart Success, Launches Headlining Tour

Rhymesayers’ independent rap movement gained more momentum when Grieves’ “Together/Apart” album recently debuted as the No. 1 album on Billboard’s Heatseekers Chart.

Now Grieves is getting top billing treatment on the forthcoming “Together/Apart Tour,” which kicks off September 16 at the Biltmore Cabaret in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and wraps up October 28 at the Wild Buffalo House of Music in Bellingham, Washington.

Grieves will be joined on the tour by his producer/collaborator Budo and Minneapolis rapper Prof -- Seattle rapper The MC Type will also appear on most dates. Grieves has already been on the road with labelmates Atmosphere as part of the Vans Warped Tour, and it’s telling that at a time when it seems to be harder than ever for an independent artist to break through, Grieves is set to embark upon a 35-city tour that takes him throughout the United States and Canada.

For more from Soren Baker follow him on Twitter: @SorenBaker.

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