XL just released some unpublished excerpts from Drake’s interview that didn’t make the cover story. Drake talks the difference between writing rap and writing R&B records, being bored with mixtapes and why he hates the way he looks in pictures, as well as a few other things. Read on below:
How many songs are on Thank Me Later?
Drake: It’ll probably end up being about 15. But it’s just, you know, I love doing R&B music, I really do. And I just always feel like to tie in hip-hop with R&B and to utilize R&B to glue it all together, that’s my trademark. That’s something that only I can do. And that’s why I will continue to do it. There might come a time where I might be like, “Yo, I just want to do an R&B mixtape, or I just want to do a whole [R&B] album,” but I don’t think so, man. I think that that is the makeup of me—melody and just the tone of my voice and all; I don’t think I could ever change that, so…
I’m waiting on the Drake Gangsta Grillz.
Drake: [Laughs] I just find that boring, you know. There’s certain people where it’s impressive, like with Lil Wayne, to hear him freestyling over other people’s beats for an hour is impressive because it’s just like, Yo, this guy never runs out of clever shit to say, but for me, people might want to hear it, but it’s just not something that I really want to give you. I’d rather just give you something that lasts a little longer than that ’cause those mixtapes never really last much longer than six months. When the songs become played out, and…
At just twenty-three, Canadian rapper Drake is already leagues ahead of those who’ve come before
Lil Wayne 2.0 seems like he was designed in a laboratory, so perfectly is he suited to be pop culture’s next superstar. He was born into music, writes and raps like his mentor, dresses up instead of down, and vaguely resembles a young Obama.
A word after a word after a word is money. For example: “I’m a Young Money millionaire, tougher than Nigerian hair. / My criteria compared to your career just isn’t fair.” That’s a bit of “A Milli,” one of six platinum- and multi-platinum-certified singles by Lil Wayne, the Louisiana rapper who coined the term “bling.” Last summer, Forbes magazine estimated his annual earnings at $18 million (US) — a recession-beating 38 percent rise over the year before. His 2008 album, Tha Carter III, has sold several million copies worldwide; its support tour, a nine-month bus ride bounded by shows in Miami, Montreal, Vancouver, and San Diego, grossed $42 million (US).
Don’t say it. We already know what half of you are thinking: Hell naw, that muthafucka? Yep. Aubrey “Drake” Graham, 23. That muthafucka. As in, that new hip-hop artist from Toronto. As in, the one who owned 2009 thanks to a little mixtape known as So Far Gone, hip-hop’s first instant-classic tape from a virtually unknown artist since Young Jeezy’s Trap or Die. As in, the one who landed in the middle of a major-label bidding war so closely watched that his ultimate signing to Young Money/Cash Money/Universal Motown made news in a way not seen since the day 50 Cent signed to Shady/Aftermath/Interscope.
In XXL’s forthcoming May Issue, senior editor Benjamin Meadows-Ingram asked the up-and-coming star if he thinks about the traditional XXL audience in terms of the type of music he creates.
“Yeah,” Drake said, “but I’ve never really voluntarily made myself a member of that lifestyle. I just make good music, and that’s really what it should be all about. Because a lot of the people that the XXL audience believes in aren’t even that official anyway, as far as rugged and rough. A lot of that stuff is perceived, it’s assumed, it’s not proven. And a lot of it gets embellished throughout the course of a career. As you get more famous, you can start saying more reckless shit, and people believe you.”
As far as MC nicknamed Young Angel is concerned, it all boils down to the sounds coming out of the speakers. “It’s never been about being perceived as a rapper [for me],” he explained. “I love making music, man. I love hearing people that love my music, or witnessing my music being played, and people enjoying it. I make the music, and I love the result of what happens after that. That’s pretty much where my involvement in hip-hop stops. I just want to make the music.”
“For anybody that doesn’t believe in me, your favorite rappers do,” he added. “They call me for hooks, features and all that. Ross, Jeezy, the hardest dudes—B.G. C-Murder calls me from jail. Turk calls me from jail to tell me I’m doing great. For the people that don’t believe, the people that you do believe in got love for me. That’s all that matters.”
Check out a photo of Drake by photographer Jonathan Mannion for XXL Magazine (on stands April 20th). If you are one of the lucky ones, you should have a fresh copy of the May 2010 issue of XXL Magazine waiting for you in your mailbox right now.
FADER.com is giving away an autographed copy of Drake’s Cover (Issue 63). All you have to do to enter is leave a comment here about why you are the biggest Drake fan in the universe, and who you think he should collaborate with next. Click here for more details.
Magazine Covers: Nicki Minaj & Drave Cover XXL Magazine April Issue. This magazine hits newsstands April 20th.