On the heels of dropping a new song on Christmas Eve, Drake had another gift for fans, as he unleashed a tell-all interview on Christmas Day.
Drake doing an interview is a rare occurrence these days, so fans were tuned in to what the Canadian superstar had to get off his chest. The two-hour sit-down with Elliott Wilson and Brian "B-Dot" Miller for their Rap Radar podcast included the Toronto rapper opening up about the origins of his career and how T-Pain and 50 Cent inspired him to sing.
During the conversation, Drake also gave his honest opinion on his feud with Kanye West and Pusha T, getting booed at Tyler, the Creator's Camp Flog Gnaw festival and his overall legacy. "One of my biggest accomplishments is the fact that I didn't let this massive, massive change in my life destroy me," Drake says about his iconic career. "I'm just happy that I'm still intact."
After a somewhat quiet 2019, Drake is ready to make some noise again in the new year. He made several references to his upcoming album throughout the interview — like a possible Chris Brown feature — and revealed he’s taking his time, but nothing is for sure.
While we wait for more news on Drake and his new album, check out Billboard's 12 takeaways from Drake's conversation with Wilson and Miller below.
Young Thug And Baby Keem Are His Choices For Album of The Year
With the Grammy Awards right around the corner, conversations about the album of the year are a hot topic in music circles. In the hip-hop space, fans are all over the board with their picks this year and Drake gave his selection during his talk with Wilson and Miller. "I think Thug had the best album of the year," Drake said. "Between him and Baby Keem with Die For My Bitch those are my two picks for album of the year."
He Missed Out On A Chance To Be A Guest Feature On Young Thug’s So Much Fun
While saying people need to cut Trippie Redd some slack for missing out being featured on his diamond hit "God's Plan," Drake revealed he was in the same predicament with Young Thug. "I was looking through my texts the other day and Young Thug sent me that 'Lil Baby' song to get on and I was so mad," he said with a look of regret. "Lil Baby" was part of a 12-song package Thug sent Drake to get a verse on, but his busy schedule kept him from getting it done. "That's like one of my favorite joints on the album how did I not get a verse off on that," he said.
Serena Williams Pushed Him To Make “Back 2 Back”
Drake's beef with Meek Mill was a lopsided event that had the Scorpion rapper handily defeat his former foe with the first Grammy-nominated diss song, "Back 2 Back." But it looks like Drake got inspiration from the unlikeliest of sources for his second-round knockout — the Canadian superstar revealed tennis legend Serena Williams pushed him to go for the kill. "You gotta finish it, I'm talking about done, over and it's gotta be something that everyone that he's with and him have to hear," Drake said Serena told him inside the studio. "You can't do some shit for the moment and then it goes away." Drake claimed that after that word of advice from Serena and hearing the menacing beat by Daxz, he went into "demon mode."
One Of His Biggest Regrets Is Not Making An Album Or Joint Tour With The Weeknd
There is no questioning the undeniable chemistry between Drake and his Toronto brethren The Weeknd. The two worked extensively with each other on Take Care, while Drake dropped off a couple of verses on The Weeknd's "Live For" and "The Zone." But when The Weeknd turned down OVO for Republic Records, things seemed off between the two. Drake revealed he felt the two of them missed a huge moment in the seven years they weren't speaking to each other. "We had something beautiful going on," he said. "My biggest regret isn't that like he never signed to OVO. My biggest regret would just be that we didn't give people that album or tour." But there’s still hope with these two Toronto heavyweights, as Drake teased OVOXO will be a thing in the future.
50 Cent Helped Him Learn to Sing and Rap at the Same Time
"There's a lot of people that contributed to that. There's people that inspired me," Drake said when describing how he came to integrate so much singing into his songs. "Obviously, 50 Cent. '21 Questions' will probably be my most inspiring example of a guy who's not supposed to be singing, singing," adding Kanye West's 808s and Heartbreak as another major example of a performer "known for his bars… going straight to basically a singing album inspired by genres and music that maybe people in rap maybe didn't even know about… I'll always give credit where credit is due so I credit all those people with that movement. I think I was probably the one that took it the furthest to go and making full-blown R&B songs."
His Favorite Album In His Catalog Is Nothing Was The Same
With an impressive music catalog like Drake's, it's no easy task picking a favorite album. If the rapper had to choose Nothing Was The Same would take home the title. "It's probably my most concise album and within that concise offering was a lot of great shit," Drake told Wilson and Miller. "I like the ratio of like, you know, there are not too many songs on that album that I can look back on and do something different there." On top of naming his favorites, Drake picked So Far Gone and Take Care as his classics.
He’s a Fan Of Griselda Records And Is Open To Collaborating With Benny The Butcher
Drake has always kept an ear for what’s hot in hip-hop, and he mentioned the Griselda Records crew is one of his favorites at the moment. "I really like the fact that, you know, just that whole cliquing up Griselda s–t is just ill to me," he said. "I think what they're doing is great, it just reminds me of just a different time, and it's not easy to do, you know, to make that music and just come off wavy and be interesting. Even the label name, the tag it's ill." While giving the Buffalo rap crew their props, Drake said he's open to doing a record with Benny The Butcher.
He Has No Interest Fixing The Conflict With Pusha T or Kanye West
The vicious back-and-forth between Drake and Pusha reached a peak in 2018 when the pair traded tracks and very personal insults in a series of diss tracks that cut deep. As far as Drizzy's concerned, Pusha has "made an entire career off" of their years-long feud, and, if he's being honest, he's just not a big fan of the Clipse member's artistry.
"I personally don't [like his music] 'cause I don't believe any of it. And I like to listen to guys I believe," he said. "You just get to peek behind the curtain too. When I was whatever, 16, thinking that he was the biggest dope dealer in the world serving bricks to all, every corner of America, yeah sure… I was… a fan obviously more so just a fan of Pharrell and the Neptunes. I always wanted to be signed to Star Trak and stuff like that, that was the wave. Now that I'm grown-up, and I know him and the truth, it's just not as appealing."
Which is why, at this point, he has "no desire" to mend anything with Pusha, who he didn't refer to by name. "[The] situation just went where it went and there is no turning back, it's not like those other situations that you mention… I sleep well at night knowing I didn't get out-barred… It was just, you know, he told the world that the biggest artist at the time has a kid that he hasn't told you about. I knew kind of, for me, it was over at that point. It wasn't even about battle rap."
Asked by Wilson if Pusha went over the line by revealing the existence of Drake's child, the 6 God said he had to tip his hat to the "chess move," admitting that it resulted in a rare L for him in the battle column. "I mean, it was a genius play in the game of chess. And definitely warranted my first quote-unquote 'loss' in the competitive sport of rapping.”
He’s In A Very Happy Place Right Now
Throughout his career, Drake has had to defend himself on numerous occasions but now it seems he can finally stop, take a breather and enjoy his life. Drake is in a comfortable, peaceful space in his life and he won't let anyone or anything keep him out of that zone. "I'm at a great place in my life. My life is about peace, my life is about drinking espressos and wine, I'm trying to make this album, I'm enjoying being a father, I'm enjoying my house," he said. "My mind isn’t plagued by beef."
Artists Signed To OVO Are Not Being Ignored
Since OVO Sound has picked up steam, over the years, critics have always pointed out that Drake is the main priority of the label to the point the other artists are being ignored. Drake told the Rap Radar podcast duo that's not the case. He explained OVO Sound is taking the same approach that Lil Wayne took with his Young Money imprint, which is giving the artists as much freedom as possible. "You do what you want, how you want. There'll never be a time where the answer is no," he said. "I really try and stay out of the way of the other artists and give them support whenever they need it." He also revealed that PartyNextDoor isn't dropping music, because he's just not ready to do so. "Party is going to drop when Party wants to drop. That's who Party is. Anybody that's ever worked with him knows he does s–t on his own time."
Drake Thinks This Upcoming Decade Is The Real Test for Himself, Kendrick Lamar, and J. Cole
Hip-hop's three-headed monster — Drake, Kendrick Lamar, and J. Cole — has left their mark this past decade, but Drake thinks a bigger test is coming for them. "I think for all three of us it is time to see who can transcend generations much like Jay did or much like Wayne did after the Hot Boyz days going into the 'Show Me What You Got' freestyle when he completely switched up," Drake said. He thinks the world is waiting to see if the three of them are capable of having another dominating run in this new decade.
Some Thoughts on Those Persistent Rumors of Ghostwriters
Drizzy has been dogged by suggestions that he uses ghostwriters for years, but he told Wilson and Miller that he's his own man. When discussing talk about Quentin Miller contributed to If You're Reading This It's Too Late, Drake said, "I pulled my weight when it came to my pen. Anybody that knows me knows that my strongest talent is writing…that's why people ask me to write songs for them."