Although the television series “Degrassi” was responsible for establishing Drake as a star in the making before his music career took off, the rapper wasn’t a fan of his role.
In celebration of the 20th anniversary of “Degrassi: The Next Generation,” the show’s creators and writers sat down with The AV Club to break down some famous scenes, discuss the characters, and look back on the teen drama franchise.
During the discussion, writer and producer James Hurst recalled a controversial encounter with Drake concerning his famous character Jimmy Brooks.
Hurst revealed that the “Hotline Bling” crooner wasn’t a fan of his character because he was disabled and took legal action because of it. The producer recalled:
There was a letter from a law firm in Toronto and it was from Aubrey. It was an odd letter that said, ‘Aubrey Graham will not return to Degrassi season six as Jimmy Brooks unless his injury is healed, and he’s out of the wheelchair.’
After receiving the note, Hurst summoned Drake and confronted him. Although the rapper first denied knowledge of the letter, he later opened up about why he didn’t like his role. He reportedly told Hurst, “all my friends in the rap game say I’m soft because I’m in a wheelchair.”
Hurst was quick to come to young Drake’s rescue, giving him a fun rebuttal to tell his friends and encouraging him to serve as a representative for kids in wheelchairs. Despite the awkward interaction, the producer maintained that there was no bad blood.
Drake played the role of basketball star Jimmy for seven seasons. However, Jimmy’s life took a turn in season 4 after being shot during a school shooting and confined to a wheelchair. The series lasted for seven more seasons before taking a bow.
His Son’s Birthday Celebration
Drake has since risen from Wheelchair Jimmy to become one of the renowned rappers in the world, a pop-culture icon, and of course, a doting father.
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Earlier this week, the four-time Grammy Award winner celebrated his son Adonis’ fourth birthday with a rare photo of him and his mini-me. The father-son duo struck a playful pose in the black-and-white image while another picture saw them making a sign to the cameras.
Drake welcomed Adonis with former adult film actress Sophie Brussaux, in 2017 but the news of his birth did surface until a year later during the rapper’s famous beef with Pusha T.