17 Things We Learned About Drake from New Fader Interview
Aubrey Graham, a.k.a. Drake, a.k.a. America’s Boyfriend, just gave his first extended interview since 2014, when he spoke with Rolling Stone and later tweeted that he wouldn’t talk to magazines anymore.
The Fader‘s Leon Neyfakh spoke with the rapper about his upcoming record, Views From the 6, beef with Meek Mill, authenticity in hip hop and his mom, who he loves almost as much as we love him for loving her so much.
Here’s everything we learned.
1. He likes to drive cars.
“I’ve been deprived of driving for a long time. Riding to the studio with a driver and security and stuff, you lose something.”
He goes on.
“That was my favorite thing in the world, you know? Driving was just the most pivotal things in my writing life.”
2. He’s just as sensitive as we suspected also did we mention he likes driving? Because he does.
“Sometimes those drives are heavy, man, depending on what happened where you came from and what’s about to happen where you’re going.”
3. He doesn’t quite understand how Drake he is.
When asked if he worries there’s a risk “he’ll start taking for granted his ability to connect with listeners,” he responded:
“I’ve never felt like, ‘Oh, people will bite at anything that’s Drake. I’m just not that guy. I don’t feel that way about any of my music ”
4. He tries hard and doesn’t care who knows it.
“I mean, I’m really trying. It’s not like I’m just sitting here, just f—in’ shooting with my eyes closed. Like, I’m trying. I’m really trying to make music for your life.”
5. He cares about you, all of us.
Discussing the surprise 2015 release of If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, Drake explained how he gave each and every one of us a gift.
“It was like an offering – that’s what it was. It was just an offering. I just wanted you to have something to start the year off. I wanted to be the first one. I wanted to set it off properly.”
6. Pittsburgh baffles him, as it does us all. As it does us all.
“I always used to be so envious, man, that Wiz Khalifa had that song ‘Black and Yellow,’ and it was just a song about Pittsburgh Like, the world was singing a song about Pittsburgh! And I was just so baffled, as a songwriter at how you stumbled upon a hit record about Pittsburgh. Like, your city must be elated!. They must be so proud. And I told myself, over the duration of my career, I would definitely have a song that strictly belonged to Toronto but that the world embraced. So, ‘Know Yourself’ was a big thing off my checklist.”
7. He’s embracing a new warmer sound and embracing global influences.
“I love dancehall flows, especially as of late. I pretty much won’t even rap on a beat unless it’s got some magic element of new tempo or new pocket, where I hear myself and feel like I’ve stumbled upon something new.”
8. He is a wordsmith, through and through.
“There’s times where I’m sitting around looking for like, three, four words. I’m not looking for, like 80 bars on some ‘5AM,’ ‘Paris Morton’-type s—, you know? There are moments like that, too, but the hardest moments, the most difficult ones, in songwriting, are when you’re looking four words with the right melody and the right cadence. I pray for that. I’ll take that over anything – I’ll take that over sex, partying. Give me that feeling.”
9. He has a one-track mind. The track? His tracks.
“A new flow is absolutely the most crucial discovery in rap, to me. Honestly, like, I love that I’m sitting here talking to you, but at the same time I don’t, because I want to go to the studio, and I’m praying that 40 has a beat, so that I can do something new that I’ve never done before. That is my main joy in life.”
10. He loves his mom. Also he was a boy genius.
On his inspiration for recording “Sweeterman:”
“It’s just channeling my mom. Like, I’d bring home an essay that I did really well on, and my mom would read it through and give me notes back – on the essay that I just scored like 94 on! So sometimes I just do that. I’ll hear people’s stuff and I’ll just give my interpretation of how I would have done it.”
11. He ‘hears’ us.
I don’t ever want to think I’m ‘helping.’ It’s not about helping. It’s more like, even though we’re not carrying on a dialogue, I hear you, you know? And when I make an album, all I want you to know is I hear you.”
*Death by swooning.*
12. He plays kickball. Charity kickball.
He was playing in a charity kickball game when his brother called him to report that Meek Mill was “trying to end” them – “spreading propaganda.” Drake recorded “Charged Up” that night.
“Given the circumstances, it felt right to just remind people what it is that I do.” (He smiled as he said this.) “In case your opinions were wavering at any point.”
13. He was shocked by Meek’s lack of reply to ‘Charge Up’
“This is a discussion about music, and no one’s putting forth any music? You’re gonna engage in a conversation about writing music, and delivering music, with me? And not have anything to put forth on the table?”
Slay. Slay. Slay. Slay. Slay. Slay.
14. He couldn’t even with it.
“It was weighing heavy on me. I didn’t get it. I didn’t get how there was no strategy on the opposite end. I just didn’t understand.”
15. Drake doesn’t mind being the center of a debate surrounding originality in hip hop.
“If I have to be the vessel for this conversation to be brought up – you know, God forbid we start talking about writing and references and who takes what from where – I’m OK with it being me.”
16. He also doesn’t mind being a ‘time-marker’ for his generation.
“Whatever my generation is – I’m 28, but I feel like maybe there’s kids right now, who are 16, that might still grow up with Drake.”
17. He’s not not a softy, nor is he not against double negatives.
“Not being vulnerable is never gonna be my thing.”