Drake, who has been in the news non-stop since the surprise release of his fourth studio album, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, breaking Spotify records, and tying records set by the Beatles, has donated a recording studio to a Philadelphia high school. The Grammy award-winning artist decided to take action after watching a special by Diane Sawyer called Hidden America. The program, which originally aired on ABC back in 2013, brought to light the tough love efforts by Strawberry Mansion High School principal Linda Cliatt-Wayman.
Since Wayman’s arrival, campus assaults have dropped drastically, but less than a quarter of the students are performing at grade level. Upon donating $75,000 to use towards building the studio, Drake said “This is about you. This is about your principal. This is about your future,I love you. I care about you. I want to see you succeed.” Though the studio was actually completed last summer, the district had trouble finding a teacher due to the school’s history of violence. Ben Diamond has been filling in the role of part time music instructor since February.
Though the students were originally ecstatic, the long wait to use the studio dulled their enthusiasm. Wayman decided to use the debut song recorded in the studio as a way to get the students excited again, by playing the song over the school’s PA. Since then, eighty students have signed up for the program. “Many of them don’t have very many other reasons to be excited about coming to school. To be able to give them an outlet for things they want to express is very special,” Diamond said.
On March 19, Drake’s Homecoming: The Lost Footage is due to hit select theatres in a special one night event. The footage is presented by SpectiCast, Young Empire Music Group, Rap-A-Lot Records, and Fathom Events. It also includes interviews with James Prince (CEO of Rap-A-Lot Records) and Jas Prince who discovered Drake. The previously thought lost and destroyed footage is from a 2009 concert in Toronto and includes performances of “Best I Ever Had” and “Successful,” as well as many others. “SpectiCast is proud to be the worldwide distributor of this film. Drake is an international superstar and we are excited to showcase him at the start of his mammoth career. This rare footage is a must-see for every Drake fan across the globe,” SpectiCast Co-founder and President Mark Rupp said.
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