If Drake is not a household name for everyone just yet, the 23-year-old is on the front porch, ringing the bell. That he’s done it without even putting out an official album shows just how far he’s come in 12 months. What a journey it’s been for the Toronto native in 2009.
I first met Drake last year in Los Angeles around Grammy time. Lil Wayne’s co-manager Cortez Bryant introduced me to Drake as a new “singer” that they were working with. Drizzy was cool but barely spoke: At the time, there was no way I’d envision him as having a shot at making the MTV News’ “Hottest MCs in the Game” list, let alone finishing in the top three. He was a “singer,” right? Continue reading →
“At the end of the day, one of the biggest things I’ve been toying with on Thank Me Later is that it’s kind of hard for me to come out and be like, ‘I’m still the underdog,’ ” Drake told Mixtape Daily. “I can’t rap about the same things [as I did] on So Far Gone, so it’s just really trying to tell the greatest story that’s never been told, which is the story of a rapper’s come-up, and tell it without being corny or over bragging or sounding like, ‘Feel sorry for me.’ It’s going to be a very interesting record because I’m really going to have to dig deep and tell stories that people can relate to. But it’s kind of hard, because my life is at a very different place now.
“I’m excited for next year, and I got some great records coming out with people too,” the #3 Hottest MC in the Game added. “I got little projects on the horizon that I’m doing just for the people, to give people the free music that I’ve been known to give. I’m just going to keep up with being Drake. That’s it.”
By “free music,” does Drake mean he’ll be doing another mixtape?
“Yep, definitely a possibility,” he said with a chuckle. “I’m working every day, and I know the requests. I get all the requests like, ‘Oh, we can’t wait to hear you and Jay spit together, and we need another mixtape.’ I mean, I listen to the people, and there’s just consistent requests that come my way almost every day or every other day. With that said, sometimes you have to listen to them and give them what they want. So, that’s my goal.
Since we published our poll asking fans their picks for 2009’s Hottest MC in the Game, over 100,000 people have taken notice, voted and chimed in. (Editor’s note: The poll is meant to spark conversation, and it has no bearing on the MTV News Hip-Hop Brain Trust’s list of the 10 Hottest MCs.) One of the names that fans continue to bring up is Drake’s. The young Canadian’s fans say he squashes the competition — but Drizzy still feels he has a long way to go.
“What a lot of people don’t understand … people may be like, I may be one of the best MCs — not yet,” he told us recently. “I’m 22. I got a lot of growth.”
Which brings up an interesting point: Drake hasn’t even dropped an album. Yes, he’s building up a string of stellar guest spots — like on Young Money’s “Every Girl” and Fabolous’ “Throw It in the Bag” remix — and his mixtape, So Far Gone, is a certified classic on the underground circuit, spawning radio hits “Successful” and “Best I Ever Had.” But with only 10 slots on the Hip-Hop Brain Trust’s list, should a person with no LP under his belt make the cut over somebody who has not only had singles in rotation but put product out in stores? Continue reading →