If you’ve heard anything about Drake over the last three years, you likely know two things: 1) He’s Canadian and 2) He’s Jewish. For a rapper who’s more than used to having such historically unhip-hop character traits be the introduction to any profile, or a disclaimer-like kicker followed by “but he’s signed by Lil Wayne!” Drake has filled out his music persona by not shying away from his roots. His sports allegiances may wander, but we know he loves Canada—as seen in last year’s “Headlines” video—and now, his latest clip for “HYFR” pays tribute to his religious upbringing. Drake dropped the second of two new Take Care videos, on Passover no less, which features a rabbi, a bevy of yarmulkes and Lil Wayne. Was your bar mitzvah something different?
With two albums filled with lyrics that spend so much time focusing on the self-doubt and uncertainty of now, the video for the forward “HYFR” harkens back to a time when only a chosen few were not crippled by painful social anxiety, too-tight braces or bad skin. His “re-bar mitzvah”—completely with sugary sheet cake—is the recreation of an awkward, catered, coming of age affair, made all the more raucous now that middle school hierarchies have been replaced with the likes of DJ Khaled and Trey Songz. Well, sure, anyone would learn the Torah if they know Trigga was coming to the service. Drizzy’s guests of honor do a lot of respectful observing and congratulatory hugging, while Lil Wayne—in a bear mask—serves to hype up the crowd with his slow-building verse, just like those head-set wearing DJs used to do with the “Cha Cha Slide.” Things get all kinds of crazy as the entire party begins mouthing the profanity-laced refrain, and suddenly the presence of so many adults at these things begins to make sense: open bar. We’re guessing having the DJ play “I Gotta Feeling” would be overkill?
Whether it’s a do-over for his own ceremony gone wrong, or just a celebration of his religion, the first step to adjusting to fame at 25 is coming to terms with lingering adolescent insecurities and being open with how one’s face looks after too much Manischewitz. Mazel tov to Aubrey on this momentous occasion.