Canadian actor-turned-singing-rapper Drake proudly made his love for the TV crime-thriller Top Boy known to the world back in 2014, when he tweeted about the British series while in conversation with actor Ashley Walters, who plays Dushane in the show.
So it should come as no surprise that the "Hotline Bling" belter is now personally involved in bringing the critically acclaimed Channel 4 drama back to TV screens.
Like a scene lifted from every diehard fan's wildest dreams, #Drake has bought the rights to his favorite TV show, managing to secure himself a central role in the process.
But while many of us are bursting with excitement at the thought of a long-awaited Season 3 following Dushane and co. as they navigate their way through the daily trials of running a drug business on East London's Summerhouse estate, there seems to be a deafening silence when it comes to showing gratitude toward the man who's made it all possible.
Started From The Bottom — Now He's In East London
Some are adamant that Drake isn't the right person to star in Top Boy, countering that such a decision would be tantamount to cultural appropriation. While it would at the very least be an artistic challenge for Drake to assume the role of a London drug dealer — and the very un-Canadian accent that goes along with it — it's too extreme to call him a culture vulture for simply acting. How many Oscars would have to be returned if people were only allowed to tackle the roles matching their ethnicity, nationality and social status?
Another criticism being leveled at Drake is the possibility of opportunities being taken away from talented, unemployed local actors. #TopBoy adds a rich and satisfying dimension of authenticity to the show by using actors of similar backgrounds to their characters — something all fans, including Drake, know plays no small role in the drama's success.
Fortunately, it appears that Drake will not be standing in anyone's way. In an interview with the Mirror, star of the show Walters said:
“We met up to start talking about the show and we are working out a role for him.
“He loves acting, of course he wanted a part.
“He’s going to be really hands on and is getting stuck into it.”
Anglophile, And Audiophile
Drake has made no secret of his love of British culture. Indeed, the release of his latest body of music, 2017's More Life, was something of a love letter to East London's own music genre grime, with its liberal use of local slang and guest appearances by some of the genre's biggest names. The acquisition of Top Boy could be thought of as something of a postscript to that love letter.
Drake isn't stifling anyone by producing Top Boy. He's using his money and platform to shine a light on something dear to him in the hope that many more will fall in love with it, just as he did. And for that, we should all be thanking him.
Are you looking forward to seeing Drake in Top Boy? Let me know with a comment below.
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