The Shmooze

Drake's 'SNL' Bar Mitzvah

By Anne Cohen

Drake hosted “Saturday Night Live” this week — and it was pretty great.

In his opening monologue, the Jewish Canadian rapper harkened back to his bar mitzvah from 1999, focusing (successfully) on having a Jewish mother and a black father. SNL cast member Vanessa Bayer (known for her role in the original and recurring Bar Mitzvah Boy skit) played his mother and Jay Pharaoh played his father.

After talking about his hometown, “the city of Toronto: where the rappers are polite, and the mayor smokes crack,” and waxing nostalgic about his “Degrassi” past (do we detect a hint of embarrassment?), Drake launched into the skit with the fairly straightforward: “Here’s another fun fact. I’m Jewish.”

Warning: the sight of Drake in a kippah may just make your heart explode. Check out the segment below:

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Drake Really Loves the Toronto Raptors

By Anne Cohen

If you thought being named global ambassador for the Toronto Raptors was just another title for Drake, think again.

The Canadian Jewish rapper just released a promo video for the basketball team’s new season, and it is seriously inspirational stuff. Check it out:

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The Best Jewish Halloween Idea Ever

By Anne Cohen

Do you love Halloween? Well, according to Buzzfeed, Jewish rapper Drake does too.

So this year, why not combine the two? Presenting the “Drake O’Lantern”:

Genius.

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Drake Gives $10K to Grieving Mother

By Anne Cohen

Sometimes, Drake can be a real mentsch.

The Jewish Canadian rapper has just pledged $10,000 to an Ohio woman who lost her entire family (including her five children) to a fire on Sunday. The money will go to pay for the funerals.

Fellow rapper The Game matched the sum, bringing the total up to $20,000.

According to TMZ, Drake and The Game were having a phone heart-to-heart when they heard about the tragic event. Anna Angel was working her shift at Burger King when her home caught fire, killing her boyfriend and children.

“I can deal with a lot of things but people losing their children is something that kills me every time,” The Game wrote in the caption of an Instagram photo the pair posted to announce their donation.

This is The Game’s latest contribution to The Robin Hood Project, which he launched a week ago on Instagram. The goal is to give one million dollars to people around the world before Christmas.

Drake later commented on his decision, saying “What [The Game] is doing will never be forgotten. Honored to be able to help people along side my brother.”

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Drake Finally Responds to Amanda Bynes

By Anne Cohen

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Drake

Drake is finally speaking out about Amanda Bynes’ strange love/hate tweets about him.

“I don’t even know who that is doing that or what that’s about,” the Jewish Canadian rapper told XXL, whose 150th anniversary issue bears his face. ” If that is her, I guess it’s a little weird and disturbing. It’s obviously a behavioral pattern that is way bigger than me.”

“Whoever is behind it, whether it’s her or somebody else, they know people are paying attention so they keep it going,” he added.

Bynes first started tweeting about Drake in March, when she asked him to “murder her vagina.”. She has called him “ugly” countless times, asked to be friends, declared him to be the man of her dreams and labeled him “gorgeous.”

Incidentally, the latter was her last tweet before her latest shenanigans landed the starlet in lockup.

The troubled actress is currently being held on a court-ordered extended 5150 psychiatric hold in a California institution after she attempted to start a fire in someone’s driveway in late July,

Despite the long-awaited acknowledgement of his power over Amanda Bynes’ heart and mind, the best part of Drake’s interview is his take on what it means to be successful: “I get Jewish people coming up to me proud like, “Mazel Tov, bro. Come to my house for Shabbat dinner.”

For more on Drake’s new album, his dream to outdo Kanye West and what post-“Degrassi: The Next Generation” life is like, check out the full XXL interview here.

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Who Is Amanda Bynes' Secret Love?

By Anne Cohen

Amanda Bynes is in love.

With whom, you ask? Well, we don’t know. What we do know is that it’s someone she doesn’t follow on Twitter, and that Drake, who has been the target of everything from her sexual fantasies to angry rants about his looks, is a close second.

Tell us, Amanda! The anticipation is too much to bear.

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Why Drake Isn't Having Sex

By Anne Cohen

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Drake

Poor Drake. Apparently, the Canadian rapper is so wrapped up in his creative process that he doesn’t have time for sex.

Or at least that’s what he recently told GQ in their July 2013 issue.

“You know the way fighters don’t f–k before the fight? Sometimes I feel like I’m so focused on training my body and getting my mind right to create this album that sex isn’t one of my main priorities,” the 26-year-old explained.

But have no fear ladies: if you win his heart, he’s up for the ride. “If someone is around that I know and trust, I’m down. But I’m not going to end up with some stranger at this party,” he added.

It may be worth it. From what we can tell, he throws a great fiesta

For more fun Drake tidbits — including the dish on his feud with Chris Brown, and some kind advice from Will Smith — check out the July 2013 issue of GQ.

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Amanda Bynes Calls Drake 'Ugly'

By Anne Cohen

Whatever Drake did to become the subject of Amanda Bynes’ Twitter love/hate monologue, he must be kicking himself for it now. Once again, the former actress has taken to social media to comment on the Canadian Jewish rapper, delivering what could at best be termed a backhanded compliment:

This is quite a shift from her previous late night fantasies about Drake:

“All I want is a boyfriend who wants us to grow old and to get fat together,” the 27-year-old wrote, adding a picture of 26-year-old rapper with the message, “Good looking dudes!”

But Drake should take comfort in the fact that he’s not the first to be called ugly by the troubled former Nickolodeon star. Sports Illustrated model Chrissy Teigen, Playboy Playmate Jenny McCarthy, and Rihanna have also had the honor of being mentioned as such on Twitter.

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Snooki Wants An Amanda Bynes Reality Show

By Anne Cohen

Now, this takes the cake.

Former Jersey Shore reality star and avid tweeter Snooki has expressed her wish to see a reality TV show about Amanda Bynes.

“I just think she’s entertaining,” Snooki told E!Online at a promotion for Friday’sTeam Snooki Music event in Hollywood, Fla. “And I think she needs a reality show because I would watch it all the time.”

As would we all.

Trying to salvage a shred of compassion, Snooki added:”If she needed help, I would wish that she would get it, obviously, but she’s entertaining. She’s my guilty pleasure on Twitter.”

Aside from taking racy twitpics of herself, Bynes is also known for broadcasting her choice in men to her 1,799,343 followers.

And let’s not forget:

Entertaining, indeed.

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Drake to Star in New 'Anchorman'

By Chavie Lieber

Getty Images

Sleep with one eye open, Ron Burgundy—there’s competition on the set.

Jewish hiphop bombshell Drake is slated to star in the Anchorman sequel, alongside Will Ferrell and Christina Applegate.

Drizzy was spotted with the filming crew this past weekend in New York City, rocking the classic 1970’s look with an afro, classic sideburns, and leather-bomb jacket, according to the New York Daily News.

Other guest stars expected in “Anchorman: the Legend Continues,” out December 20, include Mr Kim Kardashian Kanye West, Tina Fey, Kristen Wiig, Amy Poehler, Harrison Ford, and Jim Carrey.

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And the Most Hated Person In Hollywood Is...

By Anne Cohen

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Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth Paltrow’s days as Hollywood darling seem to be long gone. The actress, who has been outspoken in her views on healthy living (and criticism of what she sees as everyone else’s bad habits), came in first in Star magazine’s annual poll of most irritating and annoying celebrities in film, television, and music.

“Twilight“‘s Kristen Stewart, notorious for cheating on co-star and boyfriend Robert Pattinson in July, came in second, with Jennifer Lopez, John Mayer, and Katherine Heigl trailing in third, fourth and fifth place.

Paltrow even beat Anne Hathaway, called-out for being too perfect in the aftermath of her “Les Miserables” Oscar win in February.

Rapper Chris Brown, under mass criticism this year for rekindling his relationship with Rihanna — whom he beat up in 2009 — starting a fight with Drake, and his general stance towards women, came in last on the list.

Apparently being a snooty health nut is a bigger crime than being a violent wife-beater. Click here for the full list.

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A Viral Video, Courtesy of Drake

By Anne Cohen

Ever wondered what Toronto at 5 a.m. looks like? The answer is: nothing. The bars are closed, doors are shut, and the city is pretty much deserted. But Drake, being Drake, decided to give you the grand tour anyway, in what he decided is a viral video.

No helicopter cat, eagle swiping a baby, or auto-tuned crime news spot for Drake. No, no. That’s classless. Viral means mood-lighting, empty streets and women playing slow-motion volleyball.

Ok, Drake. You’re cool, we get it.

Check out the video below:

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Pesach in 140 Characters

By Anne Cohen

Now that you’ve somehow managed to digest all that Seder matzo, it’s time to re-live it all through the eyes of the rich and famous.

Some were early:

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Drake Throws His Cash Around

By Renee Ghert-Zand

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Drake

Drake seems to have a lot of cash to literally throw around. He arrived this past weekend at a Charlotte, NC strip club with a box full of cash in the amount of $50,000. Before long, it was raining money so hard that the floor was covered in bills. That’s $50K that could have gone to a good cause, rather than to Drake’s attempt at buying street cred.

Lenny Kravitz is out and Jesse L. Martin is in on the upcoming Marvin Gaye biopic. When it was originally announced that Kravitz would be playing Gaye, the “Sexual Healing” singer’s son asked Kravitz to back out of the project and even threatened legal action.

Illusionist David Copperfield’s plane made an emergency landing in Illinois en route from Las Vegas to New York. No one was injured.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt will receive CinemaCon’s Breakthrough Filmmaker of the Year Award in April for his debut directorial work on “Don Jon’s Addiction.”

Sasha Spielberg, 22-year-old daughter of Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw, stars in Nicole Richie’s first video ad campaign for her House of Harlow fashions.

Barbara Walters is back on “The View” following her recovery from both chicken box and a concussion sustained in a fall back in January.

Catch Aly Raisman in the promo for season 16 of “Dancing with the Stars,” which promises “sexy is back.”

It looks like we might see Daniel Radcliffe playing Igor in the revamped version of “Frankenstein.”

We’re not so into Paul Rudd’s “Anchorman 2” facial hair. Are you?

Fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg hosted a star-studded gathering at her studio in honor of the 20th anniversary of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Andy and Lana Wachowski are being sued for allegedly stealing ideas for their “The Matrix” films.

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Jewish Rapper Drake Scoops Grammy

By JTA

getty images
Drake

The Jewish Canadian singer Drake won a Grammy Award, his first, for Rap Album of the Year.

Also, the indie pop band fun. won Song of the Year with “We Are Young” and Best New Artist at the 55th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday in Los Angeles. Its lead singer, Jack Antonoff, is Jewish, and he thanked all the band’s fans after fun. won in the latter category.

“We’ve been touring for 12 years and we haven’t made money for a very long time,” he told the crowd, extending a shout-out to girlfriend Lena Dunham.

For Drake, his album “Take Care” brought him the Grammy before the televised portion of the show began. He beat out Lupe Fiasco, Nas, The Roots and Rick Ross.

Drake had been nominated 10 times before breaking through this year. He also was nominated for Best Rap Performance for his song “HYFR” and Best Rap song for “The Motto.”

Fun. also performed at the Grammys, playing its hit “Carry On” during a staged indoor rainstorm at the Staples Center.

In his introduction of the group, actor Neil Patrick Harris said, “As legendary gangsta rap icon Katharine Hepburn once said, ‘If you obey all the rules, you don’t have any fun.’ “

Other notable Grammy winners were the English folk band Mumford & Sons, who won Album of the Year for “Babel”; Gotye, whose hit “Somebody That I Used to Know” won for Record of the Year; and Adele, who won her seventh Grammy for her live performance of “Set Fire to the Rain.”

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Gabby Giffords Speaks on Shooting Anniversary

By Renee Ghert-Zand

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Gabrielle Giffords

Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has agreed to an interview with Diane Sawyer, which will air on ABC on January 8, the second anniversary of the Tucson shooting that left Giffords severely injured.

Drake decided to honor his grandmother, Evelyn Sher, who passed away over Thanksgiving, by having a huge picture of her tattooed on to the middle of his back. In the image, she is seen hugging her son, Drake’s uncle.

Jeremy Piven told British talk show host Jonathan Ross that the only way he was able to memorize the *haftarah * for his bar mitzvah was to rap it. He even rapped a few lines for Ross, who suggested Piven could be a role model for bar mitzvah boys everywhere.

Courteney Cox shared with Ellen DeGeneres that she still loves ex-husband David Arquette very much, but that they make better best friends than spouses.

Bethenny Frankel has officially filed for divorce from husband Jason Hoppy. On a happier note, Frankel helped a writer friend lose 66 lbs.

Bar Refaeli gave peace a chance as she went out on the town in West Hollywood last Friday night after filming her Super Bowl commercial for Go Daddy.

A glamorous Emmy Rossum graces the cover of the January/February issue of Manhattan Magazine.

There is talk about real-life mother of two Sarah Michelle Gellar possibly returning to TV in a sitcom about a couple of moms’ funny escapades while their kids are in school during the day.

Eliot Spitzer is leaving his job hosting Current TV’s “Viewpoint” now that the network has been sold to Al Jazeera.

The FBI has released its file on Mike Wallace, who died in April 2012. The file contains reports on his trip to Cuba in 1970, as well as an investigation into a threatening letter he received in 1977 accusing him of being a communist.

Lisa Weiss, one of Anthony Weiner’s cybersex partners, has apologized to him on Facebook for “any pain I caused your or the beautiful Huma [Weiner’s wife Huma Abedin].”

What do Gwyneth Paltrow and Kim Kardashian have in common? They now share the same personal trainer, Tracy Anderson, who works with many celebs.

And finally, we have celebrity New Year’s vacation sightings. On the beach were: Lea Michele in a tiny red bikini (with her beau Cory Monteith); Jason Segel well covered up in comparison to live-in girlfriend Michelle Williams and their friend Busy Philipps; and Justin Bartha with a mystery woman in Hawaii. And Mila Kunis enjoyed dinner out with Ashton Kutcher in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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Check Out This Hand-Drawn Drake Comic

By Margaret Eby

Sean T. Collins and Andrew White

Drake’s angsty lyrics and bravado laced with sadness have garnered him more than a legion of fans.

Now he has his very own comic book — a superhero story of sorts by Sean T. Collins and Andrew White. On the tumblr “Hottest Chick in the Game,” you can read all of Collins and White’s lengthy, bizarrely gorgeous graphic art about the rapper.

In it, Drake attempts to have his long-repeated wish to go back before all the fame and glamor to the simple days of, um, starring on the teen show “Degrassi.” It includes guest appearances from a Cleopatra-like Illuminati Beyonce, a wheelchair-bound Rihanna, and Lil Wayne, who acts as a kind of shadowy therapist.

But perhaps the best cameo is the enigmatic Blue Ivy, slightly grown. Her rebuff to Drake’s time experiments? No can do. “You’re in the game, silly.”

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Drake Hit With $16 Million Lawsuit

By Blair Thornburgh

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Chris Brown and Drake, the sparring pair of musicians as synonymous with “feud” as Capulet and Montague or Hatfield and McCoy, has just received that most American of official recognitions: a lawsuit. W.i.P., the New York nightclub where the two entertainers had a doozy of a dust-up earlier this summer, is suing Brown and Drake (ne Aubrey Drake Graham) for “compensatory and punitive damages” to the tune of $16 million, according to E! Online. Neither has been arrested for the incident, which occurred around 4 a.m. on June 14 over a romantic rivalry involving R&B singer Rihanna, but the club insists that the guys should’ve known their “notoriety and celebrity would ensure that their acts had far-reaching and devastating effects.” Yikes.

The 8-page lawsuit levied against Brown and Drake and the 40-some “John Does” in their entourages uses amusingly staid legalese to describe the early-morning fracas, beginning as “some or all of Defendants proceeded to become intoxicated” and ending when “shattering the handles of bottles of spirits to use as makeshift knives […] Defendants filled an already packed nightclub full of flying glass shrapnel,” as “terrorized patrons ran for cover […] using banquettes and tables as improvised shields.”

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Drake’s Scout Sues for Royalties

By Margaret Eby

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The beleaguered hip-hop star Drake, already embroiled in the aftermath of his club brawl with Chris Brown, has another lawsuit on his hands.

James Prince, the Texas scout who “discovered” Drake’s rapping talent, is taking Drake’s managers to court over failure to cough up royalties. According to the New York Daily News, Prince’s attorney is insisting on an accounting of Drake’s recent chart-busting sales, and keeps getting shuffled around by various members of Drake’s label.

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Chris Brown Disses Drake’s Eyebrows

By Margaret Eby

Getty Images

Usually it’s the other way around: First rap artists hurl insults at their opponents, and then they throw punches. But after the fracas at a SoHo club in early June and the subsequent police investigation, rumor mill churning, and various attempts to capitalize on the biggest Billboard star fist fight of the summer, Chris Brown is hitting back, at least lyrically. Brown jumps in for a verse on a remix of Chief Keef’s “I Don’t Like” to list all of his least favorite things about Drake. Specifically, his generous brow: “Them eyebrows?/Man that sh-t’s yikes.”

Brown’s dis includes a direct reference to the club fight, though not one that seems particularly accurate: “They throwin’ bottles/I’m throwin’ models.” Whatever the case, the rap community is waiting with bated breath for Drake’s next move. But some, like Tyga, a rapper on Lil Wayne’s Young Money label, viewed the whole thing as childish. He offered some advice to Drake and Brown at the carpet of the 2012 BET awards: “At the end of the day, they got to handle that like men.”

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