In case you’ve been living under a rock (or you decided to bypass your Twitter timeline for the night so you could listen to it without the chatter), Drake’s long-awaited VIEWS dropped last night. While many are trying to dissect the nuances of Drake’s latest opus, or figure out why some artists weren’t on the project, these are the times where I personally like to reflect on the past, which took me to perusing Drake’s IMDb page. It’s interesting to look back at the work Drake has put in as an actor, especially when you consider that for as huge of a star he is—and for the fact that many first got put onto him as Jimmy on Degrassi: The Next Generation—he’s surprisingly not had a TON of acting roles. While it makes sense, given that he’s, you know, a huge f*cking music star, you’d think someone with his kind of natural charisma would be in all of the movies instead of being in one of the Ice Age films.
Then again, do you remember that time he was in Soul Food?
No, we’re not talking about the classic 1997 dram-com starring Vivica A. Fox; we’re talking about the well-received Showtime TV series that followed three years later. The show was big at the time, it was a place for black people to see a black family on television on a show that delved into everything from politics to drug abuse in an open and honest manner. With HBO already capitalizing on high drama with The Sopranos, it was dope to see Showtime attack the genre from a completely different angle. While it only lasted four years on Showtime, syndication has had it running in the 12 years since the series ended. If you’re not up on the TV adaptation of Soul Food, you better get to know, especially since Drake graced it in his mid-teens.
That’s right, in what appears to be the second acting credit of his career, a ~16-year-old Drake played Frederick, a tall, lanky, bully-type kid who talked smack to Soul Food protagonist Ahmad about his Uncle Lem getting into trouble (again), cracking the usual “don’t drop the soap” jokes. Even back then, Drake’s huge smile is present, and while this isn’t Meek-levels of ether from Drizzy, it’s interesting to see him as more of a heel back during his early days.
The clip up above is short, and ends with Ahmad’s homegirl throwing shade at Frederick and his homeboy, but it’s a glimpse at how at ease Drake has always been on camera. One has to wonder if Drake VIEWS any bigger film projects in his future.