Exclusive Interview: Drake

Published February 23, 2010

Amidst a sea of sororities and fraternities at the Sprite Step Off competition in Atlanta, we joked that Drake reminded us most of the pretty boys of Kappa Alpha Psi. The young rapper immediately chuckled like this wasn’t the first time he’d heard this and responded, “Being a pretty boy, that’s for other people to decide, not me.” Just before he hit the stage he gave us the details on his debut album, “Thank Me Later,” and his triumph as a Young Money soldier.


-On the pressure of trying to make “Thank Me Later” a hit album

 

Drake: “I didn’t really think they would embrace my first project like they did so it was a pleasant surprise. I think I’ve learned a little bit more about what people like from me. I’ve learned a little more about myself as a human being. There are things that I’m rapping about on this album; the way that I’m rapping, the melodies that I’m using… I just think that it’s going to be a better project for anyone who really liked the first one.”

 

-On his highly anticipated first single and why he hates the term “Club Banger”

 

Drake: “The first single that’s coming out is called ‘Over.’ Club banger? Uh, I hate that term. It’s more of just a moment. It’s a victorious moment. It has a lot to do with where I’m at in my life right now and even the words – the first line in the song is gonna make people get excited in a club atmosphere. A lot of my music, I do want to do that, but they’re all moments where I’m just trying to document my life, and my life isn’t a club all of the time.”

 

-Why he’ll always be loyal to Lil Wayne

 

Drake: “I think the biggest thing that people need to understand is that more is always accomplished in tandem. When you actually do have a group of individuals that are on the same page and striving for the same goals, I just really believe in loyalty. A lot of people come to me and say, ‘Man you could have done anything. You could have went and got this many million over here. You could have signed with Jay-Z.’ What they don’t understand is that none of that matters, because if it wasn’t for Lil Wayne showing the initial interest in me, I would never have the buzz and no one would ever know about me. I pretty much owe him my career. With that being said, I’m a Young Money soldier.”

 

-How Andre 3000 “saved” him

 

Drake: “[Andre is] the one person – I don’t know if he’ll ever know what he means to me and my rap career. The other night I was out with somebody and I was feeling out of my element, and I went and paid the DJ to play a set of his music and it calmed me down. Andre 3000…he means so much more to me than just music. His words saved me from so many situations. He’s a vivid thinker. Not only did he inspire my music, he inspired my life.”

 

-Explanation behind the “Successful” verse that details his mother escaping

 

Drake: “It was a point in my life where my mother was extremely stressed. We had been waiting for a long time for a deal to close. They kept telling me, ‘Trust me, it’s gonna happen.’ We were just running out of everything. We were running out of money, running out of patience. My mom tried to pack her stuff up and run. I don’t know where she would have went. She probably would have went to get a coffee and then came right back. In her mind, though, she was going. I remember seeing her outside. It was a bugged out night, but it’s all a part of the story.”

 

-His key element to moving out of the freshman class

 

Drake: “You really want to know? Making money. (laughs) There’s a lot of young talent out here and you go from having a buzz, which is something that you should always try to do, but it’s hard to hold on to. Having a buzz and being anticipated is one thing, but the biggest thing is really getting a hit record. Between ‘Best I Ever Had,’ ‘Successful,’ ‘Bedrock’ and ‘Forever,’ I’ve just been blessed to be aligned with…I mean, it’s not just me. Lil Wayne, Nicki [Minaj] and Kanye have made it so that I have a catalog. Once you build a catalog, I think that takes you from freshman to actual artist.”

Written by Kimberly Walker

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