Drake Channels Frank Sinatra In VMA Promo

'I like to get into characters,' former TV star says on the set of his '50s-themed shoot.

[artist id="2545682"]Drake[/artist] is taking it way back for his 2010 MTV Video Music Awards promo.

Donning a dapper suit, complete with a gentlemanly pocket square, the singer and rapper is surrounded by midcentury glamour as he takes the mic for a commercial touting his VMA appearance. The Toronto lyricist makes a dramatic entrance under a brightly lit "Drake" marquee and steps onto a stage populated by a sprawling big band sporting white jackets.

"I get to channel my inner [Frank] Sinatra," Drizzy — who is up for Moonmen for Best Hip-Hop Video and Best Male Video — said on the set. "In the acting world, you gotta have reference points. I like to get into characters."

Sinatra isn't the only legend that influences Drake's gentlemanly style in the promo. The "Degrassi" actor-turned-chart-topping MC also looked to Denzel Washington's troubled trumpeter in Spike Lee's 1990 flick "Mo' Better Blues."

" 'Mo' Better Blues' is like one of my favorite movies of all time. This reminds me of Denzel, who played a character [called] Bleek Gilliam," Drake explained. "I'm trying to channel that today."

Drake may have mined the mannerisms of a pair of jazzy icons for the promo, but the period set and crew of extras donning retro looks also helped the MC get in character.

"There's a '50s theme. They got it right, though. They got the set and the wardrobe," Drake said. "I feel like I'm here."

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The 27th annual MTV Video Music Awards will be broadcast live from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on September 12 at 9 p.m. ET.