The DRAKE Interview.

With Drake’s third major label album on the horizon, (Sept 24) the Toronto rapper sits down with Billboard magazine to discuss his current state of mind, and what’s behind that sexy electrifying smile.

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Billboard Cover Story

By Reggie Ugwu

 

Since he first popularized the millennial proverb and Oxford English Dictionary word of the year candidate YOLO (You Only Live Once) on the song “The Motto” two years ago, Drake has gone from being the hope of a new generation of rappers to the poet laureate of a new generation of adults. The phrase “started from the bottom” isn’t just the name of his 2013 Billboard Hot 100 top 10 single: It’s shorthand for denoting triumph despite inauspicious beginnings. “No New Friends” (featuring Rick Ross and Lil Wayne), the spiritual successor to “Started From the Bottom,” is more than a club banger-the saying itself is repellent for poseurs.

“I’ll be out trying to get a sandwich or something and the guy will say to me, ‘I’d give you a free drink with that, but you know, no new friends,'” Drake says with a laugh. “I swear I’m not sitting around going, ‘What’s the new meme going to be?’ But I do spend a lot of time when I’m writing, especially lately, trying to make something for people to live by. I’m trying to make anthems that are empowering to people, to find phrases that I haven’t heard before. I’m not just going to sit here and be like, ‘Fuckin’ bitches, getting money!'”

With all that momentum, it’s easy to see why Drake, and his tightly knit, proudly self-sufficient crew ­October’s Very Own, are starting to see the world as their oyster. Drake was always the brooding, introspective type, pondering the downsides of success even before he could finish boasting about achieving it. But these days, he’s more comfortable in his skin than he’s ever been before. For once he’s not anxious about finding love, or the haters, or the kind of music he wants to make. The guy who once infamously sang the words “I wish I wasn’t famous,” is, for the moment, happy.

“There’s a lot less sort of ambient ballad moments on this album where I’m searching or longing for something,” Drake says of Nothing Was the Same. “That sentiment is gone. Now I’m just kind of like, ‘You know, I’m 26, I don’t know what the fuck else I could be doing better than this. I feel incredible about how I’m able to support my family and friends and how supportive my family and friends have been of me.’

“A lot of people get on and it’s like they’re just waiting to get more on,” he continues. “They’re always waiting for a bigger moment to come. But I’ve started to realize that this is it, this is the moment. And it reads, you know? People come up to me now and they’re like, ‘Man, you look good! You look like you’re happy.'”

That inner peace has so far held up against external stressors. Drake says he’s made it a habit to ignore all commentary about him online, positive or negative. On any of the numerous occasions when another rapper tries to goad him into a public contest, he’s trying to let it roll off his shoulders. After hearing West Coast peer Kendrick Lamar’s instantly incendiary verse on Big Sean’s recent single “Control,” in which Lamar goes for the jugular of every rapper he deems a threat, including Drake, the latter says he “went about my day, went and got dinner and kept it moving.”

“I didn’t really have anything to say about it,” Drake says of the verse, which has so far inspired responses from A$AP Rocky, Joey Bada$$, former Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson and too many others to count. “It just sounded like an ambitious thought to me. That’s all it was. I know good and well that Kendrick’s not murdering me, at all, in any platform. So when that day presents itself, I guess we can revisit the topic.”

Much of the energy Drake isn’t spending on worrying or feuds has gone into growing his October’s Very Own movement, the nucleus of which is his native Toronto. OVO started as a crew with a blog in 2008, a platform that served as a kind of post-Hypebeast, pre-Tumblr manifestation of its members’ taste in expensive shoes and indie music. But as Drake’s career took off, so did the crew’s ambitions.

In 2010 it celebrated the inaugural OVO Fest, an annual, Drake-centric summer festival in Toronto now backed by Live Nation. In the four years since its debut, the festival has drawn superstars including Kanye West, Stevie Wonder, Jay Z, Eminem, Lil Wayne, Sean “Diddy” Combs and a reunited TLC, to name a few.

Last year, Drake and OVO partners Oliver El-Khatib, Drake’s co-manager, and Noah “40” Shebib, his longtime producer/engineer/confidante, took a logical next step when they signed a deal to launch OVO Sound, a new label set up at Warner Bros. Records.

“We had talked about a label for years, but now is the time when it feels right,” says El-Khatib, 29. “We’re mature enough and we understand the business enough and we have the infrastructure now. It’s not so scary anymore.”

Read more  of this article by Reggie Ugwu on www.billboard.com 

TV’s Sunday Night Line Up!

Everyone knows Sunday night is the biggest night for TV, and if you don’t believe me just take a look at my PVR recordings. There was so much going on last night I had to make a list and decide which one was worth watching first.

BREAKING BAD

Breaking Bad TourismI’ll admit, I’ve been on a Breaking Bad binge diet. I started the entire series last month, because I was determined to catch up with everyone else. Watching the premiere with the rest of the world was insane, people were going crazy because they waited so long to see how Hank was going to react to Walter. I on the other hand, had just finished the last episode a few days before, thankfully I didn’t have to wait as long as everyone else. Anyways, getting back to the episode…Jesse doesn’t end up saying anything to Hank…which is a relief for Walt, but Walt’s determined to get Jesse out of town…either that or he’s going to kill him. Jesse is ready to start his new life with his new money…but when he realizes that Walter was the one who poisoned Brock..all hell breaks loose. Personally, I would’ve liked to see Jesse find happiness somewhere else, start a new life with his money…but of course he had to find out the truth. I have absolutely no idea what  Jesse’s going to do now that he knows. Well we know he drives over to Walt’s and starts pouring gasoline in his house…but what’s going to happen!! Also, if anyone could confirm. How did Jesse know Walt poisoned Brock. Was it because Saul’s guy took the weed out of Jesse’s pocket? Was really confused at that.

MTV Video Music Awards

MileyThe MTV VMA’s has to be one of my favourite award shows, it always has the best performances and most often boasts a special ‘reveal’. Last night was no different, with rumours swirling around a possible NSYNC reunion…every girl’s teenage dream was about to come true- again. Okay so I didn’t watch the VMA’s during the live broadcast…but I still made time to catch up on the performances…which were totally overrated. Yes, it’s true, I was surprisingly disappointed with the Miley Cyrus performance…like really…I did not expect her to twerk the entire time. Yes, I’m exaggerating…that performance was AWFUL! What was even more heartbreaking was the fact that Robin Thicke had to share the stage with her! Let the man sing his summer hit without the bald white girl twerking in front of him! I wasn’t sure what the consensus was…like did people enjoy her performance? Did they think she was a good dancer? Was her costume(s) or lack there of necessary…? It was a total train wreck…my favourite shot was when Miley started twerking for the 5000000th time and Drake just looks down at the floor. Amazing.

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Lady Gaga who opened the show had an amazing performance. She is a brilliant entertainer and last night was no different. She did look a little more normal…which is a good thing, people were commenting on her beautiful bod and how nobody ever gets to see it. Flaunt it girl!

Kanye “Yeezus” West took time off from baby daddy duty to perform his hit ‘Blood On The Leaves’. I was so excited for this performance, it’s one of my fave songs off his album…also Kim announced he was her favourite performer of the night, so I totally believed it. Eh, it was alright. He was in front of this old rustic looking photograph of trees…and all you could see was his silhouette…his crazy arms were flailing all over the place while he rapped…it was average.

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Then there was the Justin Timberlake performance. Everyone was waiting for Justin to bring sexy back. I absolutely love JT, he is one of my favourite performers, everyone loves his music but damn JT  wouldn’t even let the song finish before he was moving on to the next! I think he performed 6 or 7 of his songs (old and new)…but he would breeze through it so quickly I couldn’t even savour the moment. I get it, he can’t sing an entire song…but still it’s all about quality not quantity. And then….there were 5. Okay so 2 of them couldn’t really move, but seeing all 5 of them on stage again definitely brought back memories. Literally Joey couldn’t move, he was behind on all the dance moves…which is totally fine. Nobody expects Joey to be JT, I would’ve liked to see them just sing…without all the fancy failed dance moves. JC tried stealing the spotlight…but thankfully his mic was on low…really low. Then it was all over, after a short performance, the other 4 guys were sucked back down into oblivion while the man of the night continued on his performance. JT went on to a sing a few more songs…and the he finally finished off with ‘Mirrors’…and then Jimmy Fallon met him on stage to award him with the Vanguard award. Yay!

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Drake’s performance was sexy as hell. I mean could we expect any different? I’ve seen better performances from Driz, but I was happy to hear him sing his latest track ‘Just Hold On We’re Going Home’. After that he sang ‘Started From the Bottom’…we saw a quick glimpse of RiRi…she wasn’t even standing! She looked PISSED.

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Those were the most memorable performances…I was absolutely shocked that Robin Thicke didn’t win song of the summer? That is some b@!$%!!

DEXTER

dexter-season-8-make-your-own-kind-of-musicI’ve been saying it all season and I’ll say it again. This season of Dexter has been the best one of all. Super impressed with what the writers have done with our favourite serial killer. With this being the final season, it all comes down to a few more episodes…and I can’t wait to see how this is going to finish. Hannah’s back in Dexter’s life which is a good thing, I like her character, and I think Dexter’s ending has to include someone he can share his life with. Last night we found out that Dr.Vogul had a son that was a psychopath, after she put him in a mental asylum at the age of 14…he ended up ‘dying’ in a hospital fire that would kill several more people.  Dexter finds traces of DNA that are related to Vogul…that’s why he questions her about her family. She assures him her son is dead, but Dexter doesn’t believe it, especially when Vogul tells him her son was a genius. Anyways, it turns out the guy that killed Cassie was the guy who she was dating..and that guy is actually Vogul’s real son. Dexter is determined to put him on his table…and then start the rest of his life with Hannah. That doesn’t happen because Daniel is just as smart as Dexter. Dexter rushes back to Vogul to warn her…but she just tells him to back off and leave her alone. Dexter leaves, and then we see Vogul with her long lost son Daniel.

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Keeping Up With the Kardashians

I’ve been trying to follow along this season, but I have to say I’m getting a little bored with these fake story lines. Rob learning how to carve wood sculptures? Really…this guy can’t even figure his s*** out and he’s going to learn how to use a saw to sculpt? They couldn’t think of anything else? And then Kim and Kourtney decide to feed the entire family placenta…like a human placenta…as a joke. In the end we find out it really isn’t placenta…it’s actually just beef brisket. Also the family chef is totally hot…and Rob is totally not. What is up with my man? He’s looking grimier and sweatier with each episode…I really hope he gets out of this funk and becomes the hunk I fell in love with. Speaking of funks, there has been reports going on all day that Lamar Odom is addicted to crack? He’s apparently had a drug problem for the last two years, and it’s coming out now that Khloe has had enough. Lamar has apparently left the house he shares with Khlo-Money and is staying in a hotel. I don’t know what to think of this…I am totally Team Khloe and Lamar….anytime anyone says anything about these two I’m the first to defend them. I hope someone can get the real story….or Khloe comes out on Twitter and says something!

Here’s what Khloe Tweeted yesterday:

Khloe

Okay, I think that’s all for my Sunday night recap. There are so many shows starting up in the fall…let’s all enjoy the time we have now because we haven’t even seen crazy yet!

Follow me peeps!

The Katie Couric Kim K Battle!

Katie Couric made a remark about Kim Kardashian and why people are obsessed with the reality TV family…because really they’re famous for nothing…the media blew up calling the once conservative talk show host a sassy and spicy Katie!

Just a few moments ago Kim Kardashian Instagrammed a picture of a gift she received from Katie. Kim captioned the picture with “IHateFakeMediaFriends and #MayIHumblySuggestYouNotSendGiftsThenTalkShit…Ouch!

KimInstagram

 

 

MTV VMA’S 2012!

What a show, I have to say congrats to the entire crew that made the production possible, it’s not easy putting these things together but it was definitely an entertaining presentation. Shout out to the crew member that messed up during Taylor Swift’s performance in the end- hope it’s not your last day on the job!

Drake Drake Drake, that is all I wanted to see, and fortunately he ended up walking away with Best Hip-Hop video for “HYFR”.  He looked amazing, clearly he’s been working out, but not a huge fan of that tight shirt. Regardless, he was amazing in all of his 1-minute on stage glory, it’s a shame they didn’t have him up for a performance with RiRi.

Speaking of RiRi, is there something going on with her and Katy because they looked super cozy tonight. I mean I know they’re best friends and of course they’re going to be sitting beside each other, but something weird was going on between them. They kept leaning into each other awkwardly and whispering! Twitter was blowing up with a possible hook up between the two besties, that seems unlikely.

Kevin Hart did an awesome job hosting the show, right off the start he was hilarious with his Kristin Stewart, Snooki and of course Chris Brown and Drake jokes. His sketch with Two Chainz was definitely one of the funniest moments of the night, I mean really he offered Two Chainz a face chain…it doesn’t get better than that. Calvin Harris was keeping the crowd live throughout the night in his really cool DJ booth they had set up for him across the main stage. In the end RiRi walked away with Video of the Year for ‘We Found Love’ ft Calvin Harris, but surprisingly she forgot to thank Calvin!

He later tweeted,


Frank Ocean’s performance was so special, the set design was magical I’ve never seen anything like it. He performed “Thinkin’ Bout You” and it was a really laid back intimate feel, something that you don’t really see at the VMA’s. In other breaking news, Amber Rose and Kalifa are expecting a little Wiz, Alicia Keys has a new single out and I’m already loving it, and Weezy has passed the point of no return.

Taylor Swift’s closing performance of ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’ was so cute, it was the perfect song to close the show with, it’s amazing that a few years ago she was the girl who almost got kicked off the stage by Kanye, and now she’s closing one of the biggest award shows. Definitely a great show, I hope the Jersey Shore crew were able to see everything- it looked like they had the farthest seats in the building!

At least they were still in the building, unfortunately for Lindsay whose probably under house arrest, watched it from home.

Also, where was the Biebs??