Entertainment

Drake talks Degrassi departure, movie dreams and Toronto romances

Chart-topping rapper Drake has opened up about being 'kicked off' TV's Degrassi: The Next Generation as he ramped up his music career, a desire to break into film and settling down in his hometown of Toronto.
Drake, seen performing in London in June, opened up about his Degrassi days, movie aspirations and potential Toronto romances in a new interview with W magazine. (Jonathan Short/Invision/Associated Press)
Chart-topping rapper Drake has opened up about being "kicked off" TV's Degrassi: The Next Generation as he ramped up his music career, a desire to break into film and settling down in his hometown of Toronto.

The Grammy-winning Canadian rapper and former cast member of the hit teen TV soap spoke about a range of topics in a new interview with W magazine published Friday.

Drake, whose real name is Aubrey Graham, first rose to fame in the long-running series Degrassi: TNG, cast at age 14 and appearing for nine seasons as the popular character Jimmy Brooks. 
But his acting career and growing devotion to making music would eventually result in his leaving the show, he reveals in the interview, conducted in late summer.

"That was part of the reason I was kicked off the show," Drake told W writer Lynn Hirschberg.

"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."

With a Grammy Award, five consecutive albums that debuted at atop the music charts and massive record sales under his belt, he apparently made the right choice – but that doesn't mean he doesn't still hanker to act.

"No one ever asks me to do movies, and, although music is my focal point now, I'd love to do a film. That was the life that I lived before, and it would be interesting to live it again," he said.
Despite his international music success, Drake – who also serves as the global ambassador for the Toronto Raptors NBA team and holds a hip hop festival in the city – remains a hometown booster.

"Most people I know stay in Toronto. I plan to spend the rest of my life there. The talk, the smell, the sound that comes out of that city is home to me," he told the magazine from Los Angeles, where he was working on his forthcoming album Views From the 6.

"When I think about the girls I want to get romantic with, it's a girl from Toronto who knows what I'm talking about when we drive around the city."

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

now