XXL didn’t make their full Drake cover story available online but the outtakes from the interview actually have some great quotes. Seasoned journalist Thomas Golianopoulos sat down with Drizzy in his hometown last month and really got inside Aubrey’s mind. Below, Drake reveals that there is a bonus cut on the album that features his father. 9/24/2013
You seem to have a complicated relationship with your dad. How are you guys doing these days? He’s on “Jodeci Back,” which would make you think it’s going okay.
My dad is a star, that’s what you have to understand. I can call my dad right now and be like, “Yo, dad, I need you to fly to shoot.” He’s always down. I’m living my dad’s dream. My dad wanted to be a famous singer. I have my dad on another bonus record on the album called “Heat Of The Moment.” It’s a real relationship. Not to be ironic, we go through the motions of a father-son relationship. Right now, he happens to be extremely stable and content, and I take care of what I can for him. All he wants to do is go to Beale Street in Memphis and play music. He’s rediscovered his passion for music and for being a musician. Like any other family, there have been dark times. There have been other interviews where I was asked about my dad and I didn’t want to talk about it. And there were records where I didn’t paint my dad as the greatest guy. At the end of the day, my dad knows I love him and that he’s a great friend of mine, but as far as being a father goes, I look forward to being a better father for the children that I have. But at the end of the day, he is a great man and I love him very much.
Read more quotes from the Cover Story Outakes after the jump…
How is this album different from Take Care?
Take Care was about connecting with my city and connecting with my past and sort of still feeling guilty that I’m not in love with one of these girls that cared about me from back in the day. Now, I’m 26, I’m with my friends, I’m making jobs for people, I’m making memories for people that will last a lifetime. I don’t need to be in love right now. I don’t need these things that I maybe once thought that I needed to feel normal and feel righteous about myself. I think for the first time in an album I’m content—not satisfied—but proud of where I’m at as a person. My thing was after going to these places I wanted to go to—Houstonlantavegas, I call it—there was a part of me that was like, “Man, I got to reconnect with one of these girls from Toronto that actually loved me for me before all of this happened or else I’m gonna end up like in some weird, miserable, divorced, three-times married guy.” That was a way I was thinking at one point, like, “I got to find one of my exes and make that work because a girl from Toronto is the only girl that will ever understand me, a girl that knew me before this happened is the only girl that will ever understand me.” Now I look back at those girls like, “Ahhh, not so much.” They might be more twisted than some of the new girls that I meet.
What are some things you did on this album that you couldn’t do beforehand?
I found a way to get all my thoughts across within 15 songs, which I’m very proud of. Take Care was, look, here is everything I have. I don’t think I had the time towards the end to be like, “Let me get rid of this but add this piece to this so you can still get a piece of this. I didn’t have enough time to sort of shave it down and make it concise, which some of the best rap albums and albums period are those albums with 12-13 songs—Tha Carter III, the Graduations, the Black Albums, there are those records with 14 songs long that are straight and to the point and once you hit the end of the record, you have to bring it back. It’s that weird sensation where you feel gratification from the music, but it’s almost over before you know it, and it forces you to listen again. Or even House Of Balloons from The Weekend, which is nine songs. I remember playing it over and over again. What could I do differently?
I think for me, from So Far Gone to Thank Me Later to Take Care, I’m 26 years old. I’m just getting my bearings in this industry, in this business, in this position I’m in, and I what I noticed was, okay, I’m starting to develop, maybe like a Drake formula for songs. Maybe [people] can predict what they are going to hear as far as a Drake single. I feel like with this project I’ve created a new artist. I’ve played it for people and people have been like, “Who’s rapping?” When I played “Started From The Bottom” for people, people were like, “Whose voice is that? That’s not you. Who is it?” I’ve taken that risk as far as trying to break out of my own formula, which, by the way, works extremely well. I could definitely go and do what people expected and probably win per se. But that’s not the long-term vision. I remember these moments. I remember waiting all summer to hear an album from an artist I was excited about. I think me being the age that I am and being in touch with those emotions is, that’s why I’m in there every night like Christmas Eve, I’m in the studio working if need be, if I have an album coming out. Nothing matters more to me than this right now, and I’ve surrendered pretty much my entire summer—any joy and fun and partying, I’ve sort of let that go out the window three or four months ago. I really want to just want to deliver something that is shocking, is refreshing and takes a little bit of time to digest. I don’t want you to be able to put it in and understand it right away.
What did you think of MTV’s Hottest MCs list? You were No. 5?
I guess I just understand how it works. You don’t have the album out, no press looks; you’re not going to get the number [1 spot]. It’s all politics and relative to how present you were, how visual you were. It has more to do with that than the bars and the features. I’ll say my little one-off lines, but I never get worked up over that stuff. On the album intro, which I’d love to play for you, I think I address it right off the riff. With the other albums, they had these sort of airy intros. I’m spitting bars, but this is the most confident intro I’ve had. It’s called “Tuscan Leather.” I have a bar in there where I say, “I’m tired of hearing who you checking for/Now just give it time, we’ll see who’s around a decade from now.” I guess just being here now for four or five years now, this run to me is crazy. It’s what I want. It’s what I planned for. It’s what I worked for. But at the same time, it’s just like, I’m curious to see how long I can stretch it. Then I’m curious to see who’s next? Who’s next to have a real run? I don’t know if anyone has emerged and had a real run after me yet.
I think you impressed a lot of people when you went after Common. A lot of rap fans didn’t think you could get him.
There is a bunch of Common diehards who would never let you utter the words “Drake got” anything in front of them. I felt really hurt man. I felt like some injustice was done to me in a sense of we’re talking about Common, we’re talking a guy whose music I enjoy, a guy who I had never met, a guy who I never conversed with at that point. We’re talking about the guy outside the hearing impaired girl’s window with the sign cards with the love songs and he’s coming at me for being soft? That hurt me. I told him that. I’m like, “Man, you’re supposed to embrace what I’m doing. I’m balancing real rap with girl records with club records. I’m just trying to give people music to live with and for you, of all people, to attack me?” If Jeezy came at me and said I was soft, I would be like, “Yeah, I guess, probably.” It was just crazy for it to be him. Even when we linked up, it was like, “What are you doing? Why?” It was like, “I never met you? What happened?” I do know that when we finally connected in person it was like, “Yeah, let’s just dead it.” Which made me kind of feel like it was an album week thing, which it was, by the way. I don’t know if anyone remembers that—his album was coming out that week.
Do you ever wonder that if your dad was around, you might not have had the same drive to succeed?
One hundred percent. If my mom was in good health, if my dad was a solid father with a business that I saw as a shining light and I wanted to be under him. I regret nothing. I wouldn’t change a thing. As painful as some days have been, as exhaustive and draining some days have been, as it looms over me with my mom being sick, with 40 having MS, I’m always scared like, “What would you do?” I think I mentioned it last night. I come up with a song last night called “Hold On, We’re Going Home,” and it’s probably one of the biggest and best records I’ve done in my career. It’s all sitting there and being like, “How do I push my career forward? How would I ever be able to play Wembley Stadium without being a cornball and doing some music that everyone is going to be like, “Oh God?” I figured it out last night on some ’80s Miami shit, and it sounds so crazy. It’s one of those moments where it’s like, I don’t know what I would do if this guy  wasn’t here. I leave the room with the records sounding one way and I come back and the record just comes to life. I don’t go anywhere without him. First day I met Wayne, he was like, “Come to Atlanta to record,” and I was brave enough to be like, “I need a flight for my boy.” I always made it very clear, if you want me to come write or come work, I bring 40. He will go make a beat if he is interested in it. If they want a song, he’s like, “I have to check with Drake.” We’re inseparable in that sense.
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