The rapper, whose real name is Aubrey Graham, started off his acceptance speech by saying it was "the first time in Grammy history where I actually am who I thought I was for a second" and remarking that he didn't think he would win any awards.
He then addressed young fans with musical aspirations, reminding them that "we play in an opinion-based sport, not a factual-based sport" where it is "is up to a bunch of people that might not understand what a mixed-race kid from Canada has to say" in an apparent nod to past award season snubs and recent criticism of diversity within the Recording Academy.
Rap has endured a longtime losing streak at the Grammys. The last time a rapper won album of the year was in 2004, with Outkast. Only a handful of rappers have won best new artist.
"You've already won if you have people who are singing your songs word for word, if you are a hero in your hometown," he continued. "If there are people who have regular jobs who are coming out in the rain, in the snow, spending their hard-earned money to buy tickets to come to your shows, you don't need this right here, I promise you. You've already won."
It was at that point that the rapper looked around the stage and took a breath. The camera began to pan out as Drake resumed speaking, saying the word "but," though the telecast had already begun to transition to a commercial break.
According to a source with knowledge of the show, producers approached the rapper after the incident and offered to let him finish his speech, and he told them that he was finished and happy.
"During Drake's speech, there was a natural pause and at that moment the producers did assume that he was done and then cut to commercial," Sunshine Sachs' Michael Samonte separately told Variety on behalf of the Recording Academy. "However the producers did speak with Drake following his speech and did offer him to come back on stage to finish whatever his thoughts were. But Drake said he was happy with what he said and didn't have anything to add."
Drake has racked up more than 40 Grammy nominations and four wins throughout his career. He reportedly turned down an invitation to perform during Sunday evening's show.
Click here for a full list of Grammy Award winners.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.