We knew Drake was going to bounce back after his week of beefs and blackface pics but we didn’t expect this. In case you need a reminder, before he was Drake the rapper and most-streamed artist in the world, he was Aubrey Graham, actor and co-star of Degrassi: The Next Generation. And despite his superstardom, Drake hasn’t forgotten his roots, so much so that when he was planning the video for his latest single, “I’m Upset,” he brought the Degrassi gang back together to star in it. Pusha T who?
Let’s just say if you are, or were a Degrassi fan at one point in your life, your day’s been made and you’re watching this on repeat, because, OMG. All the cameos, the Toronto setting and walking down those Degrassi halls, it’s a magical thing.
It starts with Drake getting out of bed in the middle of what looks to be the Air Canada Centre. Because, sure, totally normal. (Or perhaps it’s not really Drake and it’s really Jimmy Brooks, his Degrassi character, having a dream, because we didn’t see his wheelchair around.) Soon, Drake’s in a store getting fitted and who should come in but Spinner, Jimmy’s BFF! And Shane Kippel is just the first in a long line of Degrassi alum sprinkled generously throughout this trip down Canadian TV memory lane, celebrating their 11-year reunion (guess that’s a thing?) at Degrassi Community School.
Drake literally brought everybody back (even Rick, the dude who shot Jimmy) though it’s not like anyone was going to turn him down. All the familiar faces will blow you away, but what’s even better is they all get their share of screen time AND they’re all in character. And just when you think there isn’t enough to love about this, the end credits of the video give all the Degrassi stars their due, to the theme song from the long-running show. Of course.
Sadly, The Zit Remedy didn’t make an appearance but Snake sure did, sharing a memorable scene with favourite Degrassi guest stars Jay and Silent Bob (a.k.a. Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith).
Thanks to the generosity of @champagnepapi, @JayMewes & I got to go back to @degrassi Community School one more time! Drake and his 22 year old wunderkind video Director @karenaevans gathered almost all the friends (and one enemy) from Jimmy Brooks’ childhood and re-opened the doors to Degrassi for the most transgressive (and expensive) episode of The Next Generation ever made! Naturally, @jaymewes & I loved being included – but that wasn’t my favorite part of this magical weekend in Toronto (which was only last Friday, Saturday & Sunday). The highlight was watching kids that literally went to fake school together their entire young lives reuniting as grownups who still like each other. Drizzy had his friends and former class-and-cast mates exit Lamborghinis and re-enter the pop culture conversation – and it was all done with incredible affection. I knew the video would be fun to make and go viral instantly; but I didn’t realize I’d have front row seats for the sweetest reach-back I’ve ever seen. Even if @jayandsilentbob didn’t get invited to the reunion, I would still be in love with this film – especially because of the heart-melting closing credits, with the images of the cast then-&-now as the classic theme song plays. I sang that song on the operating room table while I was trying not to die in the hospital a few months ago, having zero idea I’d be seeing my friends from Degrassi Community School again soon. Or maybe I DID die and this is the afterlife. It’s what my idea of Heaven would look like: you die and go to a tiny school in Canada where you get to haunt the halls forever with grown up versions of Manny Santos, Spinner Mason, Emma Nelson, Jimmy Brooks, Craig Manning, Ashley Kerwin, Liberty Van Zandt, Snake Simpson and the rest of our fictional friends from Hogtown. Thank you Aubrey and Karena – this video is like a Zit Remedy for the soul! (Link to video in my bio above.) #KevinSmith #drake #jaymewes #jasonmewes #degrassi #drizzy #degrassithenextgeneration #canada #toronto #dhx
After the video premiered Wednesday night, Drake announced his new album, Scorpion, would be released on June 29. Sure, that’s great and all, but let’s get to the real matter at hand. How is Drake going to top this video?