Late Wednesday night, Drake emerged from the abyss to release the video for “I’m Upset,” directed by Karena Evans and starring most of the cast of Degrassi: The Next Generation. The video is Drake’s first real output since the rapper Pusha-T dissed him, his family, and his parenting skills on the song “The Story of Adidon,” and as such, it is a loaded text, full of highs and lows. Without further ado, here are the video’s winners and losers.
Winner: The Cast of Degrassi
Did you know that when Drake was just a little Aubrey, he starred in an iconic, Canadian high school drama called Degrassi? Of course you did. You probably also know that Drake’s character Jimmy was paralyzed after he got shot, though that will not stop me from embedding the video:
Or from embedding this photo:
Anyway, the premise of the “I’m Upset” video is that it’s a Degrassi High School reunion. Everyone (but Sean and J.T.) is there—Spinner (Shane Kippel), Mia (Nina Dobrev), Marco (Adamo Ruggiero), Paige (Lauren Collins), Ellie (Stacey Farber), Craig (Jake Epstein), Hazel (Andrea Lewis), Connor (A.J. Saudin), Archie Simpson (Stefan Brogren), and so, so many more—and honestly, everyone looks great. High school reunions are always very competitive, with everyone trying to out-glow-up each other, but they’re all winners here. You barely think about it being a Drake video, which is the best compliment I can give to the cast of Degrassi.
Also, Degrassi somehow isn’t streaming anywhere right now, but after this video I bet Hulu is making calls.
Loser: Anyone Who’s Never Seen Degrassi
LOL, yeeeah, this video’s not gonna mean a lot for you.
Winner: Karena Evans
“God’s Plan” into “Nice for What” into “I’m Upset” is a run for director Karena Evans. This trilogy of videos has been visually unique—between “Nice for What” and “I’m Upset,” I’m convinced there’s no one out there doing night shoots better than Evans—and has cast Drake in a friendlier light than many of his past videos, in which he’s either been gratingly center frame or, as Pusha-T would say, “angry and full of lies.”
Evans, instead, has successfully made Drake—one of music’s biggest stars—feel like less of a gravity pit. He’s approachable and generous in “God’s Plan,” he cedes the floor to Tiffany Haddish, Olivia Wilde, Rashida Jones, and Issa Rae in “Nice for What,” and now in “I’m Upset” he reconnects with his humble, extremely Canadian beginnings—while still driving a yellow Lambo. Save for one gigantic exception—which we’ll get to, don’t worry—it’s been much easier to like Drake in 2018, and Karena Evans is a big reason.
Loser: The One Who Shot Jimmy
The OVO crew’s gonna beat Rick’s ass, man. Finally, justice for Jimmy.
Winner: Jay and Silent Bob
Jay and Silent Bob Do Degrassi makes less sense than washing down Reese’s with a big glass of bong water. It is, nonetheless, a real thing that happened, and so of course Jay and Silent Bob are all over the “I’m Upset” video. One could argue they’re in it too much, and that it’s kind of weird that they’re one of the only sources of comedic relief in a video full of comedic opportunity, but you know what? “I’m Upset” is all about pretending problems don’t exist, so let’s just say shout-out to Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith. Mallrats was dope.
Winner: Nina Dobrev
This is a very good look for Nina Dobrev, whose last good look was in 2015 when she left The Vampire Diaries.
Loser: The Toronto Raptors
I would just like to point out that likely the only reason Drake was able to film at the Air Canada Centre is because LeBron James and the Cavs swept the Toronto Raptors. And you know Raps fans know this.
j prince: drake has a song that will end pusha's career— Desus Nice (@desusnice) June 14, 2018
pusha: release it
drake: YALL REMEMBER DEGRASSI?
A great man—well, I guess he was pretty deplorable in hindsight—once said, “Move forward. This never happened. It will shock you how much it never happened.” That seems to be the general strategy Drake is now taking in regard to his beef with Pusha-T. Obliterated by Push to a degree that Drake clearly never thought he would be, Drake has decided to move forward and dip into his album rollout as if “The Story of Adidon” never happened. (Apparently, that reported $100,000 bounty for dirt on Pusha-T didn’t turn up much.)
Honestly, this is the best course of action for Drake. He was never going to win playing Push’s game (which is why “Duppy Freestyle” and the ensuing invoice was such an egregious mistake in the first place). With the “I’m Upset” video, Drake gets impartial bystanders to fawn over nostalgia and briefly forget about “Adidon.” Drake stans, meanwhile, were just waiting for anything new they could tout online. The video allows Drake—and everyone who loves Drake—to move forward as if it never happened.
[In Pusha-T’s most concerned voice] You are still hiding a child.
At the end of “The Story of Adidon,” Pusha-T says, “You talkin’ about you upset,” before letting loose one of the most disdainful, unimpressed chuckles ever recorded. “Well, I wanna see what it’s like when you get angry, OK?” This … is … it, I guess?
The release of this video—which again, exploits nostalgia for a Canadian series in which Drake played “Wheelchair Jimmy”—feels like confirmation that the only response Drake is going to submit to Push’s evisceration is a statement posted on Instagram Stories explaining the blackface photo that covered “The Story of Adidon.”
There’s still a chance that Drake is saving a response for his album Scorpion—which is officially out on June 29—but the “I’m Upset” video makes it seem like Drake doesn’t want the smoke.