On Thursday, W magazine published an interview with Drake. He talked about music, art and what he does in the shower (he talks to himself! Jeez). And he also dropped a little nugget of information that made Degrassi fans, like me, do a double take. In his words: "I was kicked off the show."
Drake, known at the time by his given name, Aubrey Graham, was on Degrassi:Junior High from 2001 to 2009. He played Jimmy, a character who loved basketball and (later) rapping and was paralyzed from the waist down after he was injured in a school shooting. Jimmy was a beloved member of the Degrassi universe, so it's hard to imagine him intentionally being written off the show. According to Drake, however, he was asked to make a decision when his musical career started to take off:
Back then, I’d spend a full day on set and then go to the studio to make music until 4 or 5 a.m. I’d sleep in my dressing room and then be in front of the cameras again by 9 a.m. Eventually, they realized I was juggling two professions and told me I had to choose… I chose this life.
Imagine if Degrassi execs hadn't pushed Graham to make a decision—we might never know Drake as the artist he is today. Just another reason to love Degrassi.
Degrassi co-creator Linda Schuyler told BuzzFeed Canada that she doesn't agree with Drake's characterization of what happened. “I’m hoping there was just some miscommunication here, because if that’s the perception nothing could make me sadder,” she said, adding "His character had run its course." Even fake high school can't last forever.
Danielle Wiener-Bronner is a news reporter.