Drake covers Complex's December/January 2011-2012 issue, where he discusses everything from the critcisim of his sweaters, to becoming a Canadian rapper to blow up in America, and his many women.
Read some of the interview below.
On His "Headlines" Video:
The “Headlines” video ends with Drake standing alone in the Rogers Centre—previously known as the SkyDome—looking to the clouds as the roof opens. I remark that shutting down the SkyDome must have cost a lot. Drake says the video only cost $60,000. “It’s always a phone call out here,” he says with a smile. “Anything is a phone call.”
More than the drop-top stadium, the video’s most talked-about image was Drake draped in all-black Nike apparel, surrounded by two groups of ominous-looking dudes in black hoodies. Blog commenters derided him for renting some thugs to make himself look tough.
But the guys in question are not some newly assembled goon squad. Most come from two of Toronto’s worst neighborhoods, Malvern and Galloway, which have been warring for the past few years. “There’s a lot of people lost in that situation, and through having mutual friends in both of those hoods, we were all able to come together, shoot that video, and immortalize that moment,” says Drake—visibly perturbed that he has to explain himself. “I don’t brag about my hood stories. Everybody’s like, ‘Get the fuck out of here with that shit,’ but I’ve done a lot for the streets out here.”
On Not Being Gangster:
Drake has no delusions of himself as a gangster. He knows he’s at his best when paring down real-life events and emotions other rappers would never tackle. “Any musical sound is real to me,” Drake says as another round of drinks hits the table. “It doesn’t matter if it’s from like Lana Del Ray all the way to Future from Atlanta or ASAP Rocky. Sonically, you can do whatever you want. That’s the beautiful thing about music: you get to make a choice. The more you can start pinpointing pieces of your actual life and start pulling it into your music, people will be like, ‘Damn, that’s something I’ve only thought about, but this guy put it into a song.’ ” He mentions the drunk-dialing ditty “Marvin’s Room” as one example of a song drawn from his daily life.
But if music is a blend of reality and artistic license, where does Drake’s talk about catching bodies fall? “Who’s going to catch a body with all these niggas rapping about murder?” he asks. “Who’s really putting a body on a gun?” C-Murder and Gucci Mane come to mind, but I say nothing. “When I say, ‘You’re going to make someone around me catch a body like that,’ that’s something you can ask them about.” He points to his boy Chubbs—the one who’s “in love with street shit.”
On The Toronto Movement:
When Drake talks about his Toronto movement, he’s primarily speaking about the people in this room. He’s glad to provide his friends with the means to better their lives. “All these people are happier than they’ve ever been,” he says. “They can afford to get their own place, get their own car, or maybe it’s just having a jacket, feeling a part of something. I’m embracing that role.”
Drake’s continued to put on for his city by shining light on a Toronto- based singer named Abel Tesfaye. You know him as The Weeknd. The 21-year-old with the wicked falsetto has put out two strong mixtapes, further establishing October’s Very Own as a force. “I wasn’t like ‘Yo, I’m looking for new artists,’ ” says Drake. “The Weeknd was presented to me, and anybody with any form of an ear can understand why I had to fully embrace that.”
He was recently snapped playing tennis with Serena Williams. Surely there’s more to their pairing than a couple of aces, right? Drake smiles and gives a ready-made response: “I really, really love and care for Serena Williams. She’s incredible. That’s someone I’m proud to say I know. She’s definitely in my life and I’m in her life. It’s great to watch her play tennis. Very impressive.”
When asked about Quincy Jones’s Harvard-educated daughter (and star of Parks & Recreation) Rashida Jones, Drake pauses, then offers: “Rashida has a beautiful, beautiful spirit. So talented, so funny. I met her at Rihanna’s birthday party. I was DJing and she liked my set.”
On "Take Care":
Take Care, he says, will be the soundtrack for that metamorphosis. “Take Care has a lot of meanings,” he tells me. “It grew into a whole mind set... Never forgetting the past, but just embracing this moment and saying ‘take care’ to any doubt, any second-guessing. This is it. I have a great album. I have a great team. I have my visuals together. I have a great live show—those are all things that I know. I’m not doubting myself. I’ve never been in that position. This is my first time. And I hope I’m right, because I know I’m right to me.”
Check out the entire interview here & the magazine cover below
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