Drake Was Teased as a Kid for Being Black and Jewish
A former child star, Drake played a wheelchair-bound high school kid on seven seasons of Canadian TV drama 'Degrassi: The Next Generation' and voluntarily appeared on an anti-gun PSA. While this may be common knowledge to fans, something people may not know about Drake is that he grew up decidedly upper middle-class and is the game's first black Jewish rap star.
In a recent interview with 'Heeb' magazine, the Young Money rapper discussed growing up in a Jewish neighborhood in Toronto, attending Jewish day school and receiving his Bar Mitzvah.
"I went to a Jewish school, where nobody understood what it was like to be black and Jewish," Drake said. "When kids are young it's hard for them to understand the make-up of religion and race."
Drake, born Aubrey Graham, has an African-American father and Jewish-Canadian mother, and split time between his mom's wealthy neighborhood in Toronto and Memphis, Tenn. with his father.
In the interview he recalled being called a "schvartze," a derogatory Yiddish word for black, by kids at the Jewish school he attended. Still, Drake identifies himself as Jewish, wears a diamond-studded Chai (Jewish medallion, prominently displayed on his recent Vibe magazine cover), and plans to travel to Israel as soon as he gets some time off.
"The same kids that made fun of me are super proud [of me] now," Drake lamented. "And they act as if nothing happened."
Drake's highly anticipated debut 'Thank Me Later' drops June 15.