Drake Leaves ICM, Stays With Hip Hop Since 1978
Drake has parted ways with ICM but is still represented by Hip Hop Since 1978, despite a report claiming the contrary that appeared in the New York Post early today, a rep for William Morris Endeavor confirmed to Billboard.biz this afternoon. The report cited sources claiming that Drake had left his longtime management firm in an effort to consolidate all of his representation. However, a representative at WME did confirm that Drake will no longer be represented by International Creative Management in any capacity moving forward, adding that an official statement would be forthcoming. ICM also confirmed to Billboard that the firm will no longer represent Drake in domestic touring.
In a statement sent to Billboard.biz, WME's Christian Muirhead wrote: "WME now represents Drake in all areas worldwide. Contrary to previous reports, there has been no change with Drake's management team, and he continues to be managed by Gee Roberson, Al Branch, Kyambo Joshua and Cortez Bryant of Hip Hop Since 1978."
As Billboard reported last month, Drake recently shifted the bulk of his representation to WME after several years at ICM, but would continue to be represented by ICM's Robert Gibbs for domestic booking and managed by Hip Hop Since 1978. According to the WME rep who spoke to Billboard, the Young Money/Cash Money artist will continue to be represented by HHS78, the management firm founded by Gee Roberson and Kyambo "Hip Hop" Joshua and known for its high-profile client list, which includes Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, and T.I., among others, as well as Cortez Bryant's Bryant Management, in addition to WME; Roberson was named chariman of Geffen Recrods earlier this year. Bryant, who is currently in Australia with Lil Wayne, had not responded to emails seeking comment at press time.
On Dec. 3, Drake's sophomore album, Take Care, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with 631,000 sold, the third-largest sales week of 2011, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Take Care was the second chart-topper for the artist - his debut album, Thank Me Later, topped the charts in June 2010 with 447,000 sold. Drake kicked off his "Club Paradise" tour at Penn St. on Nov. 10. He is scheduled to perform tomorrow at the Jingle Jam in Hartford, CT., and will make his first trip to South Africa next week.