Drake's Reference Track For Lil Wayne's "I'm Single" Surfaces Online

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Super Bowl Afterparty At Dolce
Rappers Drake (Aubrey Graham) and Lil Wayne (Dwayne Carter) celebrate the New Orleans Saints' Super Bowl win at Dolce Nightclub in Miami, Florida on February 7, 2010. (Photo by Julia Beverly/Getty Images)
The Drake references keep coming.

Reference tracks have always existed in hip-hop. Few artists, however, have been associated with the concept of a reference track than Drake. He has become the poster child for this practice, much in the same way that he has for ghostwriting. It's been a topic of debate since 2015, and it resurfaced after the Kendrick Lamar battle subsided. Reference tracks for "Ratchet Happy Birthday" and "Mob Ties" leaked online, furthering the narrative that Drake doesn't write his own material. Another reference track has surfaced, but this time, Lil Wayne is on the receiving end.

The reference track leaked on June 6, and sees Drake lay down the basis for what would become the Lil Wayne song "I'm Single." The reference track dates back to early 2009, when Drizzy signed to Wayne's Young Money label. The most fascinating aspect of the the reference is not that Drake wrote it, but how much he was able to emulate Wayne's signature flow. The Toronto upstart made it very easy for Weezy to hop on the song and make it a standout on his album I Am Not a Human Being. Drake was originally slated to be on "I'm Single" with Wayne, but it wound up being a solo effort.

Drake Was A Credited Songwriter On "I'm Single"

Between Drake's writing credit on the final version, and the production from Noah "40" Shebib, it's no surprise to learn that "I'm Single" started out as an OVO joint. This is not the first time that the topic of Drake writing for Lil Wayne has surfaced. Karrine Steffans told VladTV that Drake penned lots of songs for Wayne during a 2015 interview. "[Lil] Wayne told me that Drake had written some things for him," she claimed. "I was in the studio with Wayne listening to something that Drake had written, cause [he] can’t write like that. He’ll be honest about it. He only writes a certain way."

Steffans asserted that Lil Wayne had no problem using Drake's song ideas. "He was very honest," she recalled. "So Drake was just kinda showing him how to take his ideas and turn them into a story and to make that story come back around. That’s a skill. That’s a storytelling skill. Not everybody can do that." Drizzy seemingly borrowed Wayne's tactics as he got bigger, if the PND and Vory reference tracks are anything to go by. The "I'm Single" reference track provides a unique glimpse at the working relationship between two legends, though. One that has come back to haunt one, and leave the other unscathed.

About The Author
Elias is a music writer at HotNewHipHop. He joined the site in 2024, and covers a wide range of topics, including pop culture, film, sports, and of course, hip-hop. You can find him publishing work for HNHH from Monday to Friday, especially when it comes to the coverage of new albums and singles. His favorite artists are Andre 3000, MF Doom, pre-808s Kanye West and Tyler, The Creator. He loves L.A. hip-hop but not L.A. sports teams. The first album he ever bought was Big Willie Style by Will Smith, which he maintains is still a pretty good listen.