Shows You Didn't Know Drake Starred In

It's no secret that Drake, real name Aubrey Graham, is one of the most successful rappers of not only his generation, but of all time. From his impressive six studio albums and numerous chart-topping hits to being the top-streamed Spotify artist of the decade (via Entertainment Weekly), it's clear to see that Drake's music career isn't slowing down any time soon.

Before Drake burst onto the hip-hop scene, though, he made a splash in the entertainment biz over two decades ago, when he booked his first credited acting gig in 2001 after appearing in a handful of commercials as a child (via IMDb). In an interview with W Magazine in 2015, the "Best I Ever Had" rapper opened up about his acting past, telling the magazine, "Eventually, they realized I was juggling two professions [acting and music] and told me I had to choose. I chose this life" (via Billboard).

The Canadian rapper went on to tell the magazine that although acting has always been a passion of his, it's been a while since he had even been asked to appear in a movie or TV show. "I can't wait to get back into acting," he said. "No one ever asks me to do movies, and, although music is my focal point now, I'd love to do a film."

Drake has appeared in more TV shows than you think

Drake's first credited acting role was in 2001 when he guest-starred on an episode "Blue Murder," a Canadian crime show that ran for four seasons and ended in 2004 (via IMDb). One year later, Drake guest-starred on the Emmy award-winning American drama series, "Soul Food," and also had a notable role in the made-for-TV film, "Conviction."

In 2005, the "Laugh Now Cry Later" rapper made an appearance on the season finale of "Best Friend's Date," a short-lived reality dating show that's basically a mix of MTV's "Friendzone" (talk about a trip down memory lane) and the notorious '90s reality show, "Blind Date." Two years later, Drake starred in the indie film, "Charlie Barlett," opposite the late Anton Yelchin, Kat Dennings, Tyler Hilton, and Robert Downey Jr., then starred in the short film, "Mookie's Law," and made appearances on TV shows "The Border," "Sophie," and "Being Erica." After almost a decade after his last acting credit, the Canadian rapper made his return to the small screen with a two-episode stint on "The Egos" in 2018.

While it's obvious that Drake has had a decent amount of acting gigs before he committed to his music career, there's one show that he's especially known for, and it's safe to say this Canadian coming-of-age classic is what really put him in the spotlight.

Drake starred on Degrassi: The Next Generation for nearly a decade

Unless you've been living under a rock, you should be well aware that Drake got his big break when he landed the role of Jimmy Brooks on the beloved Canadian teen drama show, "Degrassi: The Next Generation" (via IMDb), which is actually a spin-off of the original "Degrassi High" show, which aired from 1987-1991. One of the most infamous scenes in the show's history is when Drake's character, Jimmy, gets shot in the back by fellow student Rick. Jimmy is left paralyzed from the waist down, forever altering his future as a basketball player.

During an appearance on "The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon" in 2014, Drake opened up about his first-ever audition that landed him his iconic role when he was just 14 years old, which he thought he completely blew, thanks to his first experience with smoking marijuana. "It was like a real pivotal day in my life because it was the first audition I went on, so that's already a monumental thing," he said (via CheatSheet), adding that he finally got accepted by some of the school's "cool" kids, who invited him over before his audition.

"I thought I'd just completely ruined my life," he continued, telling the late night talk show host that smoking before his audition made him paranoid. "I started splashing water on my face constantly; it was like a Clearasil commercial!"

The cast of Degrassi reunited for one of Drake's music videos in 2018

Although Drake's "Degrassi" run ended in 2009, he's clearly held his role of Jimmy Brooks close to his heart all this time — along with his former co-stars — because almost the entire cast reunited for his "I'm Upset" music video in 2018. The video was shot in downtown Toronto at the Air Canada Centre, and starred former "Degrassi" cast members Jake Epstein, Shane Kippel, Stacey Farber, Adamo Ruggiero, Andrea Lewis, Lauren Collins, Melissa McIntyre, Miriam McDonald, Cassie Steele, Nina Dobrev, and more (via Variety).

"It was the reunion we've always wanted, and we were thrilled to do it with our old friend," Collins, who played Paige Michalchuk on "Degrassi: The Next Generation" and also appeared in "Charlie Bartlett" with Drake in 2007. "Truly the best night — thank you Aubrey, and thank you to the unbelievably dedicated fans of our show."

Nina Dobrev, who went on to star in "The Vampire Diaries" for six seasons from 2009-2015, also praised her former co-star for getting the "Degrassi" gang together for one last hurrah. "Couldn't be more grateful to Aubrey for reuniting us one final time as adults and throwing the party that our teenage selves could only have dreamt of," she said. "We've come a long way brother... love you."