The trappings of fame aren’t that hard to get used to. Aubrey Drake Graham was driving a leased Rolls-Royce around Toronto even before he signed one of the richest first-record contracts in music history. For more than two years now, he’s been hanging out with sports icons like LeBron James, partying with Jay-Z, Kanye West and other rap royalty, and making the gossip rags for his “romances” with Hollywood starlets (rumoured) and pop divas like Rihanna (con?rmed).
There’s been a No. 1 single, a couple of nominations and an on-stage performance at the 2009 Grammys, and the inevitable deal to shill for a soft drink. It’s a heady life, but to hear the 23-year-old tell it, it’s only now that he’s realizing what it means to be a global celebrity.
Late last week, the rapper and his entourage, which boasts three bodyguards, dropped into a St. Louis shopping centre to buy some tea. The crowd trailing them around got so large and frenzied that mall security asked them to leave. “I feel like maybe two months ago, I still had a bit of anonymity. Now it’s a hassle to do regular things,” Drake says from backstage as he prepares for an evening performance in St. Louis. “I don’t know if it will ever feel normal. But I’ve accepted my responsibility—it’s what I wanted, it’s what I dreamed about. I don’t dispute it.”
It’s being called the biggest music release of the year. Indeed, Drake’s major label debut Thank Me Later, which hit shelves today (June 15), has received a level of excitement usually reserved for veteran superstar artists. But so far the Toronto MC has managed to hit the musical sweet spot by crafting songs that appeal to hipsters, hardcore hip-hop heads and female fans.
But there is one person that has yet to jump aboard the seemingly unstoppable Drake train: Andre 3000. “I really tried to do a song with Andre 3000, but I think it was meant for my second album,” Drake told VIBE on the eve of his release date. “Dre is one of those people that needs you to do a little more. He’s one of those people that believe in his craft so much that he needs you to do more than just be over hyped or just famous. In his mind, I have to prove myself and the truth is, I do. That’s just being real. I have a lot of work to do, so I actually respect him for that. I think on the second album I’ll probably only have two features. I have a few people in mind and Dre probably will be one of them.”
Another article was published on drake in the LA Times. Aubrey Drake Graham goes on to tell the LA Times that he’s looking to the seize the moment, and then make it last. I’m guessing Drake fills the pressure to deliver. Drake’s album drop this Tuesday.
The crowd at downtown Los Angeles’ Club Nokia arrived primed and pumped up. Not just to be entertained, but, more palpably, to witness a make-or-break moment. Continue reading →