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September 4, 2015 / 20 Elul, 5775
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Drake: ‘I’m a Proud Young Jewish Boy’ and I Want My Re-Bar Mitzvah


Drake's new clip is all about giving himself a better Bar Mitzvah.

Drake's new clip is all about giving himself a better Bar Mitzvah.
Photo Credit: Screen shot.

First, a disclosure, I had no idea who Drake was, at first, so I looked him up and watched his newest video clip, “HYFR “ which is way too packed with casual expletives to actually post on a nice, G-rated Jewish website – if you go there, please don’t blame us, we warned you.

Except that the concept of the piece about his new clip, which is actually quite clever, despite the amazing string of casual expletives, or expletives uttered casually, the concept was too intriguing not to mention.

According to Digital Spy, Drake has said that he wanted to use his music video for ‘HYFR’ to reconnect with his Jewish heritage.

Aubrey Drake Graham (born October 24, 1986), who records under the mononym Drake, is a Canadian recording artist and actor. He originally became known for playing Jimmy Brooks on the television series “Degrassi: The Next Generation.”

HYFR is short for “Hell Yeah F-ing Right,” and it’s all about how he never got the Bar Mitzvah he always wanted so much. “He was too poor as a child to have a proper Bar Mitzvah, an experience which he always wanted to properly re-enact once he had the money to do so.”

Heeb Magazine interviewed Drake two years ago, and the Bar Mitzvah thing did come up: “Drake was born to an African-American father and a Jewish mother, who divorced when he was five. Raised by his mother in Forest Hill, a heavily Jewish neighborhood of Toronto, he attended a Jewish day school, and was even Bar Mitzvah’d (the song of the night was Backstreet Boys’s “I Want It That Way”). All of which is to say that, whatever else happens, Drake is already the first-ever black Jewish rap star.”

Drake told DS: “When I had a Bar Mitzvah back in the day, my mum really didn’t have that much money. We kinda just did it in the basement of an Italian restaurant, which I guess is kinda like a faux pas. I told myself that if I ever got rich, I’d throw myself a re-Bar Mitzvah. That’s the concept for the video.”

“I have some of my mother’s friends, some of my friends. Stunna Man and Khaled had to come and show their support. I learned my Torah portions; they had to come hear me read it,” he said.

For a remarkable experience of reading the HYFR lyrics with close, line-by-line hyperlinked interpretation for old, white people, we recommend that you absolutely not go here, and if you do decide to go, don’t blame us for the enormous assortment of casual expletives.

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.

The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.

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