Drake vs. Drake

This week, Drake takes its turn in the spotlight hosting Wednesday night’s ESPY awards. But where will we accommodate the nation’s celebrities and athletes? Do we have a venue big enough for all those muscles and egos? The answer is no, but not to worry, because alas, the ESPYS are hosted by Drake the rapper, not Drake the University.

One of these Drakes is from 1881 and the other is from 1986. I'll let you puzzle out which one is which.

One of these Drakes was founded in 1881 and the other was born in 1986. I’ll let you puzzle out which one is which.

You see, the two Drakes have haunted me for a while. When I first wore a Drake shirt to high school, my peers assumed I just traded in my Who band tee for something a lot more relevant (I didn’t). But the confusion didn’t end there. All through my college education, people have mistaken my school for a Canadian teen soap opera star. And yeah, that’s tough. I’m not going to lie to you. But after years of fighting the confusion, of drawing a distinction between the two Drakes, I’ve come to accept something: maybe Drake and Drake have more in common than I thought. For instance:

Hoop Dreams

Drake (the human) was recently named the Global Ambassador for the Toronto Raptors. And while I’m still not exactly sure what that means or why Toronto chose a dinosaur in sneakers as their mascot, what I do know is that Drake likes basketball. Meanwhile, we got a little basketball of our own going on in the Knapp Center. The Bulldogs have made their mark in the NCAA Tournament in the past, and after a couple of seasons of fun, dramatic games, I have a feeling we’re headed there again pretty soon.

Tweet, Tweet

Yeah, Drizzy’s made his mark on social media with cryptic retweets, tons of photos, and concert information. But you know who also tweets? That’s right. Drake University. And while an international rap star and an institution of higher education clearly present different social media content, I say they’re both worth a follow.

Identity Formation

Drake is just your everyday Canadian rapper of Jewish and African American decent. But he’s embraced his background, knowing his diversity is what makes him who he is today. One of the things I like best about Drake (the school) is that the identity of our student body is equally layered. Students from all across the U.S. and all over the world make up our campus, creating an interesting mix of perspectives in Bulldog nation.

Made for the Stage

Maybe the most obvious connection between the two Drakes is their shared high level of artistic, musical, and dramatic talent. From his famed Degrassi days to his stint as an SNL host, to his international tour, one thing’s for sure: Drake’s got no shortage of talent. But the same can be said of the university. I’ve attended jam sessions in the Turner Jazz Center, improv shows, and a performance of Twelfth Night all on a Drake stage. And that’s pretty cool. Maybe even as cool as Aubrey Graham himself.

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