A few weeks before YMCMB/OVO’s Drake releases his upcoming LP, Nothing Was The Same on September 24th, the Canadian rapper covers the latest issue of Billboard magazine. The 26-year-old Grammy Award winning artist is very successful. He’s sold 4.5 million albums since his 2010 debut, Thank Me Later, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and has 10 No. 1s under his belt. He also topped Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart more than any other artist in history. Inside for the cover story, Drake replied to Kendrick Lamar’s “Control” verse, talked about making anthems that are empowering to people, wants to push the culture forward and much more. Below are some highlights:
On not thinking about what the new meme is going to be, making something for people to live by, and trying to make anthems that are empowering to people:
“I swear I’m not sitting around going, ‘What’s the new meme going to be?’ But I do spend a lot of time when I’m writing, especially lately, trying to make something for people to live by. I’m trying to make anthems that are empowering to people, to find phrases that I haven’t heard before. I’m not just going to sit here and be like, ‘Fuckin’ bitches, getting money!'”
On Kendrick Lamar’s “Control” verse:
“I didn’t really have anything to say about it,” Drake says of the verse, which has so far inspired responses from A$AP Rocky, Joey Bada$$, former Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson and too many others to count. “It just sounded like an ambitious thought to me. That’s all it was. I know good and well that Kendrick’s not murdering me, at all, in any platform. So when that day presents itself, I guess we can revisit the topic.”
On forming OVO:
Last year, Drake and OVO partners Oliver El-Khatib, Drake’s co-manager, and Noah “40” Shebib, his longtime producer/engineer/confidante, took a logical next step when they signed a deal to launch OVO Sound, a new label set up at Warner Bros. Records.
“We had talked about a label for years, but now is the time when it feels right,” says El-Khatib, 29. “We’re mature enough and we understand the business enough and we have the infrastructure now. It’s not so scary anymore.”
On wanting to push the culture forward:
“The goal is to continue to push the culture forward and form a team that can really contribute some great music to the world,” Drake says of OVO. “My ears are definitely out. I’m looking to hear the next wave.”
On being signed to another artist and what he looks for in an artist:
“Being an artist that’s signed to another artist, I understand how much of a representation I am of that artist,” he says. “So I want to be extremely selective. I want artists who are, first and foremost, genuinely good people who are good to be around, and second, who have pure talent and will make me look smart for signing them [laughs].”
Read the full interview over at Billboard.
Photos Credit: Billboard
Follow me @donbleek88