Drake’s Degrassi reunion
Drake has a lot of cache. Especially now, in Toronto, and in the wake of this lopsided Meek Mill feud. So when he chooses to make his first public appearance since his OVO Fest domination at the We Are Disorderly webseries premiere at home last night, it matters. Why? Because he's loyal, and to be frank — he's the best. (But I’m from Toronto so I might be biased.)
Drake was there to support his By Any Means Necessary boys. They're his Toronto-based peers from his Degrassi days who wrote/produced his pre-taped pieces from when he hosted the Junos (Canadian Grammys) back in 2011. The Old Money sketch still holds up. Click here to watch it. And so does We Are Disorderly — more on that later.
I watched as Drake rolled in and worked the crowd. Arriving before showtime, he not only made a point of saying hello to his friends' families, but also introduced himself to their extended circles and signed autographs with a big smile. To me, it didn’t look like work, but it did look like joy. Joy for his boys and their crews. Drake's plus one was his mom, Sandi Graham.
Once the screening was over, Drake was the first to his feet, cheering. Mazin Elsadig, one of stars of the webseries, also gave him a heartfelt shout-out, as "Aubrey", as some of Drake's music is featured in the six-episode series and all the music is courtesy of his super-producer — and fellow Canadian — Boi-1da. But even though the night was a who's who of Canadian stars under 30ish at a hip west-side theatre, I can't stress enough how much of a mensch Drake was. It never seemed like he was "too big" for this, or his boys.
Following the show, Drake signed more autographs, and posed for a series of reunion photos with his Degrassi alums Adamo Ruggiero, Lauren Collins, Daniel Clark and then some. He also posed with his BAMN crew too while beaming with pride. Unlike somebody, like say, Leonardo DiCaprio who seemingly has a no-social media policy with his peers and beyond, Drake was happy to show face at the premiere in all capacities and use his fame to attract attention to a project that otherwise might not be widely covered. Like would it have made it onto The Wrap today if not for Drake?
We Are Disorderly is a hilarious, poignant and promising webseries chronicling the exploits (and sexploits) of hospital orderlies while on and off the clock. Full disclosure: I'm friendly with the show's producer Paula Brancati (as are Lainey and Duana), but the series' humour speaks for itself. It's very of-the-moment, with different vignettes about dating, Jewish guilt, "going viral," basketball and Instagram culture. Veteran Canadian actors Wendy Crewson and Sergio Di Zio also star in scene-stealing cameos. It's kinda How to Make it in America meets Broad City, but for bros.
So what did it mean for the Canadian talent at the event that Drake came to support them?
Lauren Collins summed it up to me like this at the after-party, paraphrasing a text from Duana (who used to write on Degrassi) after she saw their photo:
"There's FOMO [Fear of Missing Out], and then there's just MO [Missing Out]. This was a total MO."
Check out We Are Disorderly here.