What was the name of the documentary?
It was on CBC. I don’t know. I think if you type in Canada rap documentary CBC it’ll come up. But like, when they did mention us, it was in a slick way. Maybe I’m being overanalytical, but I’m just like, “You motherfuckers.”
A lot of those guys don’t know how close I am to Gadget and the Sauks, and how close Gadget is to Drake, and how much a part of that we keep his [music] projects.
We work at Metalworks Studios in Mississauga, and that’s also Metalworks Institute the school, which is one of the biggest recording arts schools here in Toronto, and Gadget came from a school called Trebas, where he virtually developed the entire curriculum.
His studio still lets dudes from Trebas come in and use one of their rooms sometimes, so the kids from Trebas downtown are coming to school and there’s like this allure that Drake records are getting mixed just one room over. At Metalworks Institute there’s this allure that, “Whoa, Drake’s Maybach is definitely in the parking lot. He’s over there working on a song.”
A lot of these guys are a lot older and a lot of them never made it. So of course people are going to be bitter. It’s like, “Fuck, you guys get it now? And you’re not even from the hood? You’re fucking good kids? That’s fucked up.”
Being part of this community of students, as far as this city’s concerned, I love that. But a lot of these guys are a lot older and a lot of them never made it. So of course people are going to be bitter. It’s like, “Fuck, you guys get it now? And you’re not even from the hood? You’re fucking good kids? That’s fucked up.”
But the thing is that the music is so good, and the people respond to it so much, that we get by. We don’t have to deal with little issues like that. We all knew what it was. We were walking into labels and people were like, “Huh? Light-skin kid? Child actor? Canada? Nah.” That’s not something I think we just don’t have to deal with anymore.
I mean, we’re going to find places where people don’t understand the music and because he’s the number-one guy, and the only guy to ever really come out of Canada in this regard, you’re going to be under the gun a little bit. But all things considered, the hood loves him out here and he has a lot of support. I never worry about that shit.
You seem to be like, “Fuck that. We make honest music. We make real music.” How do you feel Drake dealt with that in the earlier years and how does he deal with it now? Was he stressed by all the shit that was coming his way?
Nah, he’s pretty good with that stuff. I don’t think that stuff gets to him at all. At a certain point in life, you have to be smart enough to stand back, look in the mirror, and know who the fuck you are. Nothing else matters, that’s it. We all know what we are and what we do, and we’re happy and confident people at this point. I don’t think someone like that is going to be very disturbing to any of us.
Do you feel as though Drake has changed in any way a from So Far Goneuntil now?
The industry’s made Drake a little sharper. I mean, he’s gotten sharper. That’s all I can say. From the sense of, we’re really nice people, he’s a really nice Canadian kid, and it’s tough out there. After a while, you realize people are going to stomp on you. So you’ve got to kind of get your Spidey-senses going and make sure you protect yourself at all times.
No. The only thing I can say is that the industry’s made him a little sharper. I mean, he’s gotten sharper. That’s all I can say. From the sense of, we’re really nice people, he’s a really nice Canadian kid, and it’s tough out there.
After a while, you realize people are going to stomp on you. So you’ve got to kind of get your Spidey-senses going and make sure you protect yourself at all times. It’ll make you question things a little bit more and ask a couple more questions. So he’s sharper. He’s a little more on the ball.
He’s not as forgiving and vulnerable as maybe he once was as just a good kid from Canada. I think that’s a great change, and it’s something that has to happen to survive and remain a level-headed person in this industry. Otherwise, you’ll just get eaten alive. But the answer is no.
Going back to the sound, you mentioned that what you guys are doing is a new sound for Toronto. With Drake, you, and the arrival of The Weeknd, that sound is being replicated in American music now. How has it evolved? Where do you see your sound going?
It’s funny, it’s hard for me to even talk about that, because of course for me to tell you that we’ve done that is a hard pill for me to swallow. [Laughs.] Because I know who’s done it. I know when Pharrell did it. I know when Timb did it and did it again. There’s specific times when people have done it.
To say that I’ve been able to impact that? I can’t make that comment myself. [Laughs.] I can’t bring myself to ever have those words come out of my mouth or be able to admit that. So it’s definitely a difficult question for me to answer.
As far as where it’s going, I don’t know. Me and Drake are just always looking...I’ve always explained it to people, as to where it came from and how it was created, Me and Drake were just sitting and meeting with every producer in the world and doing this and that and everything we could to find these records that Drake was so tirelessly looking for, and after looking for those so much, it became clearly evident to me what they were.
Take Care is stronger and better. That sound that people have maybe distinguished is just us having fun. We’ll go in the studio to do some rap shit or a rap song, and like, yeah, those are our big records—and we have fun with them obviously. But if we have some free time and we’re just chilling, that’s when we’re going to make that music. It’s really honest. It’s the fun time.
We’d listen to five million beats that weren’t that, so it finally got to a point where it was like, “Well shit, there’s only one more thing left.” He had said no to fucking everything. Let me make you the last thing that you haven’t said no to. That became So Far Gone.
Then I started breaking rules, doing weird shit—just to make something significantly different. So that’s how it started, and I think this time around it’s grown a lot. Even with a record like “Free Spirit,” which I still feel had elements of the music we were making on So Far Gone, but now it’s hitting with some proper drum programming and it’s a different record altogether. I think there’s evolution there, and there’s more of those, as far as evolution, on Take Care.
Take Care is stronger and better. That sound that people have maybe distinguished is just us having fun. We’ll go in the studio to do some rap shit or a rap song, and yeah, those are our big records—and we have fun with them obviously.
But if we have some free time and we’re just chilling, that’s when we’re going to make that music. It’s really honest. It’s the fun time. It’s like, “Let’s do one of the records that we always do when we have some free time. That’ll be fun.” We’ll both enjoy it and it’ll literally make us happy. So to say where that’s going to go, it’s hard to say. That sort of drives itself. But it’s definitely grown on Take Care.