Saying Drake is a non-traditional Hip Hop artist may be a bit of an understatement. Despite drawing criticism in some circles, he made the transformation from a starring role in a cheesy teen drama to becoming a platinum-selling artist under Lil Wayne’s Young Money imprint. Drake has broken barriers as a Canadian emcee, but also as a Jewish emcee born to a multiracial couple, and recently joked with Peter Rosenberg about his upbringing.
“I went to a predominately Jewish school growing up,” Drake told Rosenberg. “I definitely had a Bar Mitzvah in an Italian restaurant, mind you. The song of the night was Backstreet Boys’ ‘I Want It That Way.’ I was in synagogue; I had my yarmulke on.”
Granted, Drake is not the only member of the Hip Hop community to speak on the matter. The Beastie Boys, 3rd Bass, and more recently, Ill Bill have all weighed in on their heritage. And, his Backstreet Boys, shout out aside, Drake views it as an asset.
“I think part of the whole appeal of me as an artist is that I had things that were initially seen as strikes against me—like being from Canada, being an actor, being light-skinned, being Jewish,” Drake told CNN earlier this year. “There’s all these things that in the stereotypical Rap world don’t really fit the package.”