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Drake needed 'convincing' to rap on camera for 'Degrassi,' an executive producer admits

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Drake
Drake Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
  • Drake was cast in "Degrassi: The Next Generation" in 2001 at 14 years old.

  • The rapper played producers his mixtapes and they urged him to use his music on the show.

  • "We did manage to get him to do some rap, but it did take some convincing," an executive producer said.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Drake apparently needed to be convinced to showcase his musical talents on-air during his "Degrassi: The Next Generation" days.

"Degrassi" executive producer Stephen Stohn told Page Six the "What's Next" rapper was reluctant to rap on the Canadian teenage drama, which premiered in 2001, and stood "firm" on his decision to keep his then-acting career separate from his music career.

"He would play us mixtapes and we really tried to talk him into letting us use some of his music in the show and getting him to rap and sing," Stohn told Page Six.

"We did manage to get him to do some rap, but it did take some convincing," he added. "We knew that the music was compelling, we had no idea how compelling it would be."

And after some persuasion, Drake, who played popular basketball star Jimmy Brooks up until the show's eighth season, eventually took to the stage and freeestyled during a school talent show during the fourth episode of the show's seventh season in 2008.

While he was working as an actor, Drake was also working on his music, which he explained in surfaced footage for "Degrassi Unscripted" in 2013. While giving a tour of his childhood home, he revealed various notebooks he had filled with song lyrics.

"I write songs. I do music," he told the camera. "These are full from front to back of just songs, pages and pages of lyrics and ideas - something that I'll probably never use, I mean, 'cause they're old. I just like to keep them around for nostalgia purposes," he added.

Drake
Drake performs at the 2016 iHeartRadio Music Festival Getty Images Entertainment/Kevin Winter

Drake continued to work on his own music off-camera, and by 2008, he had quit acting full-time to pursue his musical passions.

By 2009, Drake founded his own record label called October's Very Own, and released his third mixtape "So Far Gone," his first project to be critically acclaimed, according to Insider. From there, he went on to garner four Grammy awards.

In 2018, he recruited his former "Degrassi" costars to appear in the music video for "I'm Upset" - a single that peaked at No. 7 on Billboard's Hot 1o0.

Read the original article on Insider

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