You said in a song, “I heard somebody say I fell off.” How would you say the past year has gone?
That sort of directly applies to my last statement about how the generation’s changing. Taking a year to make an album now is like when Justin Timberlake or Usher used to take like four years to make their record.
I remember when artists used to take three, four year gaps and tour those albums for like two years, take a break to make the new album and drop it. Now it’s like, if you disappear for a week or they don’t get a new song every week, it’s like, “Oh man, you’re falling off, man. You’re slipping.”
They always want a new hero. They always want another hero. So every week it’s somebody new. Every weekend it’s the greater-than sign, another artist, and my name after it. But it’s always my name, that’s the difference. So that lets me know something.
I bought a piece of art when I was in LA, I went to an art showing. I was walking around looking at all the pieces, and I came to this one piece and my heart dropped. It was this light piece, and it said “Less Drake, More Tupac.”
I’m staring at the wall, man, and at first it was just anger. I felt like ripping that shit down. Then I stood there for a second, and I was like, “That’s my name up there. I’m representative of this generation, and this guy loved Pac enough to make this piece, and that’s fucking amazing man.” Because you know what? I hope some day someone will make that piece for me, and it’ll be like, “Less Whatever, More Drake.”
But just the fact that my name is up there at this art gallery as a piece of someone’s art, and they felt like... It could have been anybody else. It’s evident that he doesn’t like my music, which is okay. I ended up buying the piece and putting it up in my crib too. It cost me like $6,000. I put it in my place in Miami, in the studio, just to remind me that I’m doing something right.
Your question was about the past year though. I got off topic. That shit’s like the instant gratification, the Twitters, and RapRadars, and NahRights just giving us what we want all the time—so quick. So falling off, like I said, is like not having a song out for a month. “You’re falling off.” It’s pushing me to work harder.
The last year’s just been about perfecting this body of work man, and really getting deeper in the story and telling people more about me and making changes within my team that are incredible. Things like Oliver becoming my manager and us taking videos into our own hands.
If you disappear for a week or they don’t get a new song every week, it’s like, 'Oh man, you’re falling off, man. You’re slipping.' They always want a new hero. They always want another hero. So every week it’s somebody new. Every weekend it’s the greater-than sign, another artist, and my name after it. But it’s always my name, that’s the difference.
My mother got surgery, she’s healthy. She got surgery on her spine. Her head was separating from her spine, so they had to reinforce it, but she’s looking younger than ever, moving better than ever. I sent her on her first vacation in like 22 years. She went to Rome.
I’m just really excited for people to get this album, that’s it. I’ve dedicated my entire life to this project, so I’m excited for people to get it. Then like, growing my hair and shit, hanging out with 40. [Laughs.] I’m getting an acting thing in order for when this album’s done. I want to get back into that for a bit.
Are you going to put music on the side?
No, I’m still working on music. I’ve got projects I’m working on already, after this. Me and Ross are doing something together, like a mixtape. That’s going to be crazy.
Yeah, how does that circle work? Then there’s people saying Kanye’s going at Young Money.
On “Otis.” And then Wayne going at Jay. It seems like it’s so incestuous.
I don’t know what they’re going to say when they hear my album then. That shit’s going to make headlines, no pun intended.
It seems like everyone’s cool on the surface. You have Young Money, Maybach, you have Jay-Z and Kanye—and all of you guys seem cool, but people think you guys are going at each other.
That just goes back to that point where it’s like, which rapper is going to catch a body on a gun? Which rapper is going to come up and tell you fuck you? Nobody. I think Maybach’s excluded from the conversation, because that’s just all love.
It’s always smiles at the award shows. It is what it is. I’m cool with Jay-Z. Jay-Z is genuinely my friend. Whatever occurred there, or whatever the feelings were, it was never communicated to me... Wayne never explained anything to me, Jay, never. They don’t involve me. I’m sort of excluded from that.
I’ve got so much love for Ross. That’s like my favorite person to rap with, period. We do so much music together, that’s my dude. Khaled is family, Wale, Meek. What they’re doing over there is great. That’s all love, I think that’s excluded from the conversation.
As far as the other thing goes, yeah man, it’s always smiles at the award shows. It is what it is. I’m cool with Jay-Z. Jay-Z is genuinely my friend. Whatever occurred there, or whatever the feelings were, it was never communicated to me. It was never like... Wayne never explained anything to me, Jay, never. They don’t involve me. I’m sort of excluded from that.
I was on the song, but just like Jada said, we did our verses over a beat. That’s how Wayne stretched that out. He sent us the beat, just like he sent the beat that everyone’s rapping on. It was a real rap-oriented album. He just sent us the beat like, “Do your thing.”
It’s all silly to me when people try to deny that Jay took a shot too, like that’s silly. Don’t do that. To me, that’s silly to be like, “Oh no, that wasn’t for you.” Come on. This is rap, we’re rappers here. Like, when I heard that I was like, “Yooo! Oh shit.”
Do you wish that rappers were more open about it? Like, do you wish rappers were like, “Yeah, I took a shot?”
No. I’m just saying, like, I’m staring at a white table cloth, and it’s really hard for me to tell you this is black, because we’re both here looking at it. We both see it the same way.
So if you’re going to do it, just commit to it. I wouldn’t try and fool people. It’ll never blossom into anything, because no one wants that shit. No one wants to see that shit.
I got love for Jay. Obviously, Wayne is my brother, so that’s over anything. But that doesn’t even need to happen. Jay’s been in legitimate beefs. I always like when beefs are with people you genuinely don’t like. I don’t think those guys don’t like each other. But I like when people own up to their shots.
I got love for Jay. Obviously, Wayne is my brother, so that’s over anything. But that doesn’t even need to happen.
Jay’s been in legitimate beefs. I always like when beefs are with people you genuinely don’t like. I don’t think those guys don’t like each other. But I like when people own up to their shots.
I think everyone does.
I hate hearing, “Aw man, nah. That wasn’t...” People try and pick out shots that I took, and they’re genuinely not shots that I meant to take, you know?
When you said “The throne is for the taking,” people were like, “Oh shit. Drake’s going at Jay, he wants to take his spot.”
Well, now the word “throne” is automatically a shot. It’s just like when I said “Boy.” When I say the word “Boy” now, everyone’s like “Aw man, that’s a Big Sean diss.” No, it’s not. I guess, when a word is associated with somebody, it’s automatically like, “That’s a diss.”
And with the Pusha thing, I didn’t hear him diss me. I really listened to it one time, and I didn’t really hear enough to be like, “Aw, man.” Plus, you used my beat and you used my flow. So if you’re going to diss me, you can’t do that. But I don’t think it was.