Drake Nearly Quit 'Degrassi' Because His Pals in Rap Game Mocked Him for Being in Wheelchair
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The 'In My Feelings' hitmaker allegedly opposed the wheelchair storyline because his friends in rap music called him 'soft' for being confined in a wheelchair.

AceShowbiz - Drake almost left teen drama "Degrassi: The Next Generation" because his character was confined to a wheelchair.

The "Controlla" hitmaker, real name Aubrey Drake Graham, shot to fame in his native Canada for playing Jimmy Brooks, a basketball player who became disabled after he was shot by a classmate, on the popular teen series, which ran for 14 years from 2001.

However, according to writer and producer James Hurst, Drake was so opposed to the wheelchair storyline that his lawyers even threatened to take legal action.

"There was a letter from a law firm in Toronto, and it was from Aubrey," James told The A.V. Club. "It was an odd letter that said, 'Aubrey Graham will not return to Degrassi season six as Jimmy Brooks unless his injury is healed, and he's out of the wheelchair.' "

"I said, 'Get him down here,' " James continued. "He came in and was like, 'What letter? I don't know about that.' I said, 'All right, I understand. But how do you feel about the wheelchair?' He's like, 'All my friends in the rap game say I'm soft because I'm in a wheelchair.' And I said, 'Well, tell your friends in the rap game that you got shot. How much harder can you get? You got shot, and you're in a wheelchair.' He was like, 'Yeah, yeah.' "

"I was very passionate about it. And I said, 'Aubrey, there's some kid somewhere in a wheelchair, who's completely ignored, who's never on television, never gets represented.' I need you to represent this person. You're the coolest kid on the show, and you can say there's nothing wrong with being in a wheelchair."

Praising Drake for being "so nice and apologetic about everything," James added that he "instantly backed down."

His character remained in a wheelchair for most of the time he was on "Degrassi". In the seventh season, he was seen walking on crutches after undergoing stem cell surgery and Drake made one final appearance on the show in its eighth and final season.

Drake's opposition of the wheelchair storyline was defended by co-stars including Lauren Collins, who said he'd found it tough acting from a chair the whole time.

"I think (Aubrey) struggled, just physically with having to all of a sudden do everything confined to a chair," she explained. "That was really hard for him. I definitely have a few memories of him toppling the chair over and falling off of makeshift ramps that they'd constructed for him."

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