Did you know that Justin Trudeau is Drake's hero? That Drake used to sneak off the set of Degrassi to make hits? That he once had to fax his lyrics to prove he wrote a song? That Dr. Dre gave Drake his first $10k and then sent him home the next day? Me neither.
Last night on his Beats 1 show, OVO Sound Radio, Drake sat down with veteran British radioman DJ Semtex for their second interview. Drake spilled the earnest details of his transition from Degrassi to Young Money, his rise to fame, and his time at the top. Keeping it 100 from start to finish, Drake made sure this session will no doubt be a milestone in his already exalted narrative.
Besides sharing delightfully detailed anecdotes from his storied career, Drake and Semtex got into some serious topics like the Canadian rap sensation's future and legacy, racism and the Grammys, and his relationships with other musicians.
Drake touched the bizarre status of "Pop Style" and the missing verse from "The Throne" a.k.a Jay Z and Kanye when the track finally hit the album. Drake, apparently, was just as surprised as we were to have only two bars from Jay Z on a track that allegedly featured him. Saying he left the final cut to Kanye, he was disappointed to see that meager contribution from Jay. Alluding to the internet scorn and mockery that followed the track's official release, Drake said he would "finish the song [himself]" because he can "rap as good as anyone."
All this came along with his desire to distance himself from Kanye after being berated by West for being on the radio too often along with "For Free" collaborator and rap game teddy-bear, DJ Khaled.
Drake also covered in great detail his beef with Philadelphia rapper and Nicki Minaj ex, Meek Mill. Saying he felt blindsided and unsure of what was coming next, he struck back hard to "end it" with "Back to Back" after spending hours on end in the studio with the beat. As for any future reconciliation, Drake didn't seem to think that was on the table.
Expressing his disappointment with the institution of the Grammy Awards, Drake said that he was glad he stayed in England to perform for his more dedicated fans the night of the ceremony rather than return to the states to compete (and mostly lose) in categories that he didn't feel accurately reflected his 2016 accomplishments. Saying he felt pigeonholed as a rapper, potentially because he is a black artist, Drake was concerned that his pop songs were not given proper credit because he's usually seen as a rapper.
All in all, the interview reflected a Drake that is less concerned with American industry politics (and national politics) than media narratives about the artist have shown in the past. As we learn from both himself and Semtex, Drake has become part of a global movement that has combined pop, R&B, and rap from a deep stream of international artists and scenes.
If you have Apple Music you can look up the most recent episode of OVO Sound Radio and give it a listen or try this SoundCloud link before it goes down. Whatever you have to do, though, do yourself a favor and give this historic session a listen.
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