Drake may currently be lauded as one of the hottest rappers alive but his break success and the way he was initially introduced to fans was on the coming-of-age drama Degrassi: The next Generation. His role on the show remains a fan favorite. The Canadian-born rapper and four-time Grammy award winner starred in the first seven seasons of the show as Jimmy Brooks. In season 4, his character was shot and left paralyzed.
Apparently, Drake did not like the storyline for his character. A former writer for the show, James Hurst, a subsequent conversation he had with Drake about the character in an oral history of the show. The report was published by The A.V. Club, People Magazine reports.
“There was a letter from a law firm in Toronto, and it was from Aubrey [Drake],” he says. “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.’ I said, ‘Get him down here.’ He came in and was like, ‘What letter? I don’t know about that.’ And I said, ‘All right, I understand. But how do you feel about the wheelchair?’ “
Drake was catching a lot of heat for his character being paralyzed. “He’s like, ‘All my friends in the rap game say I’m soft because I’m in a wheelchair.’ And I said, ‘Well, tell your friends in the rap game that you got shot. How much harder can you get? You got shot, and you’re in a wheelchair.’ He was like, ‘Yeah, yeah.’ Hurst recalls.
But after explaining why the storyline was important, Drake and Hurst came to an understanding. “He was so nice and apologetic about everything. He instantly backed down. I was very passionate about it, and I said, ‘Aubrey, there’s some kid somewhere in a wheelchair, who’s completely ignored, who’s never on television, never gets represented. I need you to represent this person. You’re the coolest kid on the show, and you can say there’s nothing wrong with being in a wheelchair,'” Hurst added.