Whatever your musical preferences might be, getting Drake to speak at your high school graduation ceremony more than trumps any retired public official or local business owner making the rounds with borrowed lines from Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
Aubrey Drake Graham is one of the world’s newest high school graduates, having returned to his formal education after conquering hip-hop and real Canadian teen issues. One televised graduation ceremony won’t suffice, as Drake attended the commencement at Jarvis Collegiate Institute in Toronto to deliver a speech to fellow students. And rather than simply recite a situation-specific take on one of his more inspiring jams (“I’m so, I’m so, I’m so, I’m so, I’m so proud of…[us]“) he shared some original thoughts on the importance of taking a basketball-like strategy to reach life’s milestones.
“What this is about, today, for all of you, is about the art of following through,” Drake said, note paper in hand, making eye contact with those gathered before him. There were familiar metaphors about journeys and destinations—met with approving applause because this is Toronto and he is Drake—as well as the wise assessment that high school popularity doesn’t necessarily translate to adult success: “It’s not about the popular kids, it’s not about the kids that don’t feel as popular because all that changes in life—it changes. I promise you, I’m 26 years old, it changes.” We’d believe him, especially because he remembers what Emma Nelson looked like before puberty.
As things became more personal, Drake took the opportunity to acknowledge his teacher and uncle for helping him fill this “gaping hole” in his story. He ultimately dedicated the diploma to his mother, a retired teacher who always dreamed he’d complete his education. “I think I’ll sleep a little better tonight knowing that I found a way to follow through,” Drake said. Commence Mama Graham’s version of “Make Me Proud” now.