Drake Is Living Life Right Now: A VMA Cheat Sheet

The Toronto MC exceeded the hype, working his relentless grind from mixtape acclaim to chart-topping fame in an unforgettable year.

Wack rappers, your worst fears have been realized: [artist id="2545682"]Drake[/artist] is on top and he’s not letting up.

This time last year, the VMA-nominated Canadian juggernaut known as Drizzy was topping the charts and basking in the glow generated by a string of highly touted guest appearances and his certified-instant-classic mixtape So Far Gone.

As ’09 drew to a close, love for Drake from fans only intensified. The 23-year-old repped for his family on the We Are Young Money album, while verses on Timbaland’s “Say Something,” and his own “Forever” — let’s not even get started again about the power-packed lineup on that record — carried him from 2009 to 2010, when he opened the year with two Grammy nominations and joined Lil Wayne, Eminem and Travis Barker for an awards show performance.

This spring, Drake squashed whatever reservations remained about him being able to live up to his hype . The lyrical slugfest “Over” was released as a single , and Driz embarked on his headlining Away From Home Tour .

As the tour finally wrapped, Drake upped the ante with yet another scorching single (and his most lauded video ) in “Find Your Love.”

In June, Drake’s nonstop grind — it kicked into overdrive with the February ’09 release of So Far Gone — was richly rewarded: His debut LP, Thank Me Later, dropped and went to #1 in its first week .

And Drake is still on his steamroller flow. “Fancy,” with Swizz Beatz and T.I. ; “Miss Me,” with Lil Wayne ; and “Up All Night,” featuring Nicki Minaj, are all bullying the airwaves. The winning cameos haven’t stopped either: We refer you to Rick Ross’ “Aston Martin Music” and Trey Songz’s brand-spanking-new “Unusual.”

If all of that wasn’t proof enough that the Toronto MC is well on his way to cementing his superstar status, Drake turned up in Detroit just last week and drove home the point by joining Eminem onstage at the first of two Comerica Park Home and Home Tour dates . The day after the VMAs, he’ll be at Yankee Stadium when Slim Shady’s co-headliner, Jay-Z , resumes the concerts in his own hometown.

As the hours tick down to the 2010 VMAs on Sunday, Drake not only has a coveted performance slot , but he’s also up for a bevy of awards, including Best Hip-Hop Video .

And that brings us full circle to what we said about Drizzy never letting up. Drake’s currently working on a new album and an R&B mixtape and he’ll headline another tour, this time with the Clipse , this fall.

The 27th annual MTV Video Music Awards will be broadcast live from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday. The party starts with MTV News’ VMA Pre-Show at 8 p.m., followed by the main event at 9 p.m. ET.