This weekend I got a chance to meet up with Aubrey Graham/Jimmy Brooks Drake who was in town for his 22nd birthday. We kicked it in starbucks on 42nd for awhile and talked hiphop, fashion and everything in between. If you aren’t to familiar with Drake, I suggest you get up to speed. Drake has been on the Hit TV show “Degrassi” for about 8 years now, and with his music career on the rise, he is separating himself from that particular show. We also talked about his pilot TV show he shot called “Us & Them”, it is based around him and his best friend who were trying to break into the acting business. We touched on the “Replacement Girl” single and how that callabo came about with Trey Songz. “I met him threw someone who was working with me at the time, I wrote the hook with Trey Songz in mind, I met him at his crib in ATL, he heard the record, went downstairs and recorded it. I have to say we have I one of the strongest friendships (Industry Wise).” (Trey Songz happen to text/email as he was explaining) Hip-hop and Music lovers everywhere… YOU’RE WELCOME
Drake:My name is Drake and I’m a rapper/singer/actor/writer from Toronto, Canada. I started out acting for 8 years on a show called “Degrassi”, but I’ve always had a passion for music. Most recently in the past couple of years, however, I decided to pursue it more and it’s going great.
You had the single Replacement Girl with Trey Songz, which did well for you. However, over the last few months your records with Wayne hit the scene hard. Can you tell me how did that happen?
Drake:I met Wayne threw a friend of mine from Houston. Basically what happened is I was getting my haircut one day and I received this call. I picked up on some regular shit. It was Wayne and he was like What’s up this Weezy, I’ve been listening to your CD. Can you get on a plane tonight? So I jumped on a plane and went to Houston, and waited like eight or nine hours to even meet Wayne. When I met him he was getting the wings tat, the huge ones on his side that took forever. We all just kicked it, and he played me The Carter III. It was like almost instantly we had a connection about music and rap, lyrics and verses. We saw eye to eye on a lot of things. I ended up staying with him for like a week and half on the road, and one night we were at HOTBEATS in Atlanta. We recorded like three songs that night. After that he was like a mentor to me, we built from there; we do songs all the time. It was a great situation to meet Wayne and great for my whole buzz.
Explain your whole label situation to me. Some people say your own Interscope, but your MySpace says your independent.
Drake:Well my deal is in the works, so it’s still being negotiated. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but it’s going great though. I’ve got a great situation with Interscope, Cortez Bryant, who manages Wayne, and Gee Roberson, who manages Kanye West. It’s a great situation situation I hope goes through, knock on wood, by the end of this year.
Which artist(s) do you have on heavy rotation? What’s on your iPod?
Drake: Lately, I’ve been listening to all of Kanye’s new stuff, all the leaks that have been coming out. I’m a big, big Kanye West supporter. I don’t even want to say fan, I just appreciate and respect that man for what he does. I’ve been listening to Dwele’s album a lot. Rapper wise: I mean I like Gucci Mane, Andre 3000, obviously Wayne, my stuff. There is a lot of music I appreciate. I go on the blogs and try and keep up with new stuff that comes out. I’m a big fan of south rap, cause I’m always a fan from something I’m removed from. I love Gucci Mane because I could never do what he does.
So what are you working on now?
Drake:I have an album in the works tentatively titled Thank Me Later. The concept behind this title, like you said the reason we’re doing this interview, is I put in a lot of hard work, and because of my past as an actor or I necessarily don’t look like the typical rapper or whatever the typical rapper looks like. It may go over people’s head this first go ’round and they may not know who I am, so I know I’m about to create a timeless project. That’s the concept,. I have a mixtape called “So Far Gone” and it’s basically me getting to do everything that just too far for an album. I love singing, I love doing a lot of stuff that may not necessarily fit the slots for the album. ‘So Far Gone’ will come out right before the album, and it will probably be a lot of stuff I did from my heart that won’t just get to make it this time, so I’m going to give people two projects to listen to.
Productions wise/feature wise?
Drake:I don’t like to talk about that. I work with a lot of people, so I don’t know what’s going to make the album. There are a lot of people I enjoyed working with.
What collabo have you don’t that you really liked or just stands out in your mind?
Drake: I like working with Justice League. I sat down with Polo and we talked about our approach on this album, so I look to forward with working with him. I got a chance to hop on a record with Chris Brown. It’s never going to come out, but I look forward to working with Chris on our own record. There’s a lot of people I’m looking forward to working with. They haven’t happened yet, but I know it will. Like Ye’, Pharell, Diplo, there a lot of producers in the game that’s very talented. At the come up stage they seem out of reach but you’ve got to look forward to it regardless. Without those guys,I have some great records for the album right now, so I can’t image when everything comes about.
Well this is “The Introduction”. You can leave them with a few words.
Drake: This is the introduction, so hopefully we will be seeing a lot more of each other in the future. Octobers Own, check us out on octobersveryown.blogspot.com. I’m looking forward to giving everyone some timeless material, which hopefully I can make the soundtrack to your life, because I know I’m making the soundtrack to mine.