Recently, Drake went back to his hometown of Toronto for an interview on the show Q with Jian Ghomeshi. During the hour-long sit-down, Drake got personal as he talked about his humble upbringings, his music being influenced by the Houston and Memphis rap scenes and his ability to portray himself as exactly who he is in his music. He also revealed things that bothered him, like people thinking he grew up rich, people thinking he is some sad and lonely individual because of his emotional songs, and social media, which he thinks gives too many people a false sense of celebrity.
Peep a few things from the interview below:
Sometimes it takes him three weeks to write a song
Sometimes I’m working and sometimes I’m just waiting. I write about my life. I don’t write stories. A lot of classic rap is storytelling, but it’s storytelling about someone else. Fictional stories sometimes. I can’t do that. I have to write about my life. Sometimes to complete a verse the way I want to or to finish a second verse on a song when I’ve already done a first one, I have to allow myself to either live a portion of life I haven’t lived yet, or something has to set in when it does take a week, two weeks, three weeks…sometimes it takes longer than that. I have a song that I still can’t figure out the hook for.
A lot of my hit songs I’ve written in a very short period of time. “Hold On, We’re Going Home,” I felt like we finished that in two hours.
He’s sick of people thinking he’s lonely and emotional
I’m 26 working as hard as I possibly can with my friend who I grew up with, making my family happy. I’m so sick of people saying I’m lonely and emotional and associating me with this longing for a woman. I hate that, man. It bothers me so much because I don’t make…I do make music that makes you feel something, [but] I’m actually not that guy in real life. I’m very happy. I’m not content by any means, I want to keep working, but I’m a happy person. I’m very excited. My life is constantly exciting. It’s not some sad, depressing story.[…]I make my music for the purpose of driving at nighttime. That’s what I make my music for.
Rap is a confrontational genre by nature
That’s just kind of the nature of rap and hip hop music. People have to understand that. It’s a very unique genre in that regard.[…]Competition is inherent in the art form. Confrontation kind of just comes with the territory. There’s something to be said for the fact that a lot of people talk that talk and just do it because that’s what hip hop is about. I’m gonna talk like I’m the biggest dog but I’m not. I’m actually the one guy, the one young guy that can really step up to the plate and talk my game and I check out. If you choose to go and research, I check out. So, that was one thing that I understood on this record. I’m not going to play this humble sort of shy, new guy happy to be here role this time around. I’ve put in enough work and I’ve put in as much as I need to moving forward and I want to make that known. I’m here.
I think that there’s something to be said when everybody wants to be the guy with the juice. Everybody wants to be the best. You use rap to update people on what’s been going on in your life. At least, I do. My music is an update. I don’t want to talk to you on social media. I don’t necessarily want to just talk through everything. I think that’s where a lot of the confrontation stems from in the genre because in the times where I’ll make a record and then go away, a lot of people say a lot of things. Try and state their claim or when you’re not on an album cycle, there’s going to be someone else that wants that spot, so you have to come back with a vengeance, always.
He’d Make More Of An Impact If He Was A Loose Cannon
Sometimes I feel like I don’t get enough credit or I’m not making a big enough impact because I’m not enough of a loose cannon in situations like this where we’re doing a one-on-one interview. People just want me to go off more and lose my composure and then that way I guess I would make more headlines or be more iconic. That’s not me. I’m a naturally poised individual. I don’t just want to come out making mistakes.
His ability to be transparent and vulnerable is the ultimate confidence
I’m just a human being willing to show you that I’m human. I don’t know if it’s a paradox or a rare character trait, it’s just that a lot of people will only show you the confident side, especially in music because the vulnerable side is like, I don’t want to go there. I’m okay to go there. That to me is supreme confidence. The fact that I can express the issues that I’m having with family, with women, or with self. The fact that I can express that to me is the ultimate confidence.
It bothers him that people think he grew up rich
This is another thing that bothers me, I didn’t grow up in a white neighborhood. I grew up on Weston Road for a lot of my life. I only moved to Forest Hill because my mother is an incredible woman who was willing to live far beyond her means for the sake of her family. We rented someone’s basement and the first floor. I didn’t have some mansion. I grew up with a mother that was deep in debt because she wanted the best for her family.
He sometimes clears songs with the females in them before putting them out
You used a word there, ‘exposed.’ I never want it to feel like that because I don’t do it with malicious intent and [the word] ‘exposed’ feels malicious to me. There’s no malice involved. It’s stories that I feel the need to tell for my own soul and for other people to draw parallels with me. As far as the people go, I always double check, I always try and send the song and be like, ‘Yo, I just want to make sure this isn’t too much.’ And then sometimes on the record it’s not too much until it’s out which is tough for people because it gets bigger than any of us can ever imagine sometimes. And that’s what happened.
He hates social media and thinks it gives people a false sense of accomplishment
I hate the gist of living your life on the Internet and telling everybody personal details about yourself on social media. I find music a lot more useful. It’s inspirational. I want people to use it as a life soundtrack, as a guide. Not so much as a guide of don’t make the same mistakes I did, but as a guide of there’ someone else out there living a real life and here it is.
To me, social media is like a tool, but it can also lead to destruction. A lot of people I know become dependent on it. It makes everybody feel famous. You have followers who equate to fans who you feel are actually interested in your every single move. It’s crazy what’s going on in our generation. It bothers me sometimes.
He surrounds himself with people who are more ambitious than him
I feel like I surround myself with people that are just as if not more ambitious than me. My management, two guys who I grew up with. Friends of mine that have grown exponentially throughout the years and plan to keep growing. We all do. Those are guys that I feel like at times are more ambitious than me. 40. 40 definitely outworked me on this album, my producer. Maybe my dreams are a bit more grandiose, but as far as ambition goes, I’m not the only one in the circle.
He wants to make $250 million by age 29
I think it’s less about dollar value and more about the idea of growth. Business mindset. Twenty-five million at the time seemed crazy to me but when you start becoming a headlining touring act and brands want to get involved with you and you can go do private events and whatnot, you’re capable of making it. I want to obviously keep touring, keep making music, but now I see that there’s other ways. This global ambassador thing. I want to invent something. I want to start a company. I want to do something that maybe has nothing to do with music.
“Hold On, We’re Coming Home” Is The Closest He’s Come To Making A Classic
I think that song is the closest I’ve come to it. The reason I say that is because there are lyrics in there that resonates with people, who are young and old. It spans the widest as far as any of my songs go and there is no profanity. That’s a big thing, man! It changes a lot. I rap, I’m 26 and I’m still young and hungry and want to talk my [sh-t]. It’s something to be said for the fact that that is the brand of music that resonates with the world, so to find that balance, and have this song on the album, that’s one of the best moments for me.
He’s obsessed with success…for now
I’m just addicted to it. I think that I’ve sacrificed so much already and dedicated so much of my time that I have to push it as far as I possibly can because I’ve given up a lot a lot of years as far as nurturing personal relationships [or] trying to build a family or a relationship. I don’t do any of that, I just kind of work. I’m okay with that now. I think it’s a great age to be doing that. I think in 10 years if I’m still in that mindset I might have to come sit back down with you and be like, ‘Yeah, we gotta have a [talk]. This is a different conversation tonight.’
I think I’m building my own legacy. As much as I have respect for the gentlemen in my family, I think I’ve surpassed a lot of people’s expectations and I think I’m building my own legacy for my own family. I care about how long it lasts. I’m in it for the long run.