Normally, Drake makes headlines with his music, which has led him to become one of the most buzzed-about MCs in recent years.
But this week the Toronto rapper’s unexpectedly candid comments about Universal Motown head Sylvia Rhone have further stirred blog fodder that began with his dismissive line about the executive on a track titled “Say What’s Real,” from his breakthrough mixtape So Far Gone.
In an interview with MTV News this week, Drake apologized to Rhone, saying his comments — both in the song and in a recent interview — were “emotionally charged” and “very brazen.”
“I can definitely say for me, for furthering the negativity, I can definitely say I apologize,” Drake told MTV News. “I don’t know her personally to discredit her character. It’s not the right thing to do.”
The tension seemed to reach a high point between the parties this past week.
First, when Drake’s comments in the upcoming issue of the Fader magazine got out, he reportedly said, “I don’t f— with Motown at all.” Drake has maintained he signed a deal directly to his management company and secured distribution through Universal Republic, rather than signing with the major label directly.
However, on Thursday (August 13), Billboard suggested that Universal Motown execs have put their foot down and demanded that all work from Drake be stamped with the Motown logo.
Although Drake did not get into specific details, he explained the issue to MTV News, saying that as an aspiring artist a few years ago he was set to have a meeting with Universal before it was called off. He admits it’s common, yet at that point in his career, he was hurt. He described it as the first time he was hurt by the music industry.
“There’s a lot of people with schedules beyond the average person’s comprehension,” Drake said. “And at times they prioritize. And a new artist that has made this long journey [to meet] from another country, they may not be their biggest priority, so they may get pushed to the side. The situation, I don’t want to get into too many details. It was basically [me] feeling trapped. I was courted by somebody and then they just axed everything. I was stuck. They disappeared. And I couldn’t find anybody to talk to about the situation. And then to meet again a year later and to have this person forget they ever met me and say that I should go meet at their office so we can talk about signing me. I was kind of in one of those moments like, For real? [But] everybody has those moments where things aren’t gonna go perfect.”
With so much attention being paid to the rift, Drake said he wanted to say sorry to calm the brewing dispute.
“I was looking for an opportunity recently to apologize for how vicious I’ve been,” he said. “Not to say I negate my feelings — I still feel strongly about it. But I’m a person that usually handles things with much more tact.”