He Stays Winning! Drake Covers Billboard Magazine (Fall Preview)

| August 30, 2013 | 0 Comments

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Rapper Drake who started from the bottom, now he’s here has definitely made a name for himself at the tender age of 26 years-old and from winning a Grammy to selling over 4.5 million albums in less than 4 years is no easy feat for someone in the hip hop game with today’s declining record sales. While the rapper makes it look easy, he makes it very clear how his rise to fame didn’t come as easy some might believe. Here is an excerpt of the interview from the upcoming issue of Billboard:

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It’s hard enough to make a hit song without wondering whether it’ll end up on the front of a hot sauce packet. But Drake can’t pretend he doesn’t know that’s a possibility. The 26-year-old rapper/singer born Aubrey Graham has a knack for writing songs whose lyrics turn up in unlikely places, from Twitter hashtags to the “funny-quote-goes-here” space on Taco Bell’s Border Sauce. (For evidence of the latter, see Drake’s Instagram, username Champagnepapi.)

Since he first popularized the millennial proverb and Oxford English Dictionary word of the year candidate YOLO (You Only Live Once) on the song “The Motto” two years ago, Drake has gone from being the hope of a new generation of rappers to the poet laureate of a new generation of adults. The phrase “started from the bottom” isn’t just the name of his 2013 Billboard Hot 100 top 10 single: It’s shorthand for denoting triumph despite inauspicious beginnings. “No New Friends” (featuring Rick Ross and Lil Wayne), the spiritual successor to “Started From the Bottom,” is more than a club banger-the saying itself is repellent for poseurs.

“I’ll be out trying to get a sandwich or something and the guy will say to me, ‘I’d give you a free drink with that, but you know, no new friends,'” Drake says with a laugh. “I swear I’m not sitting around going, ‘What’s the new meme going to be?’ But I do spend a lot of time when I’m writing, especially lately, trying to make something for people to live by. I’m trying to make anthems that are empowering to people, to find phrases that I haven’t heard before. I’m not just going to sit here and be like, ‘Fuckin’ bitches, getting money!'”

As he approaches his feverishly anticipated third major-label album, “Nothing Was the Same” (arriving Sept. 24), Drake’s ability to affect culture is at an all-time high. He’s sold 4.5 million albums since his 2010 debut, “Thank Me Later,” according to Nielsen SoundScan, and has appeared as a lead or featured artist in the top 10 of the Hot 100 a dozen times. With 10 No. 1s to his name, he’s topped Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart more than any artist in history, besting even his mentor and “Nothing Was the Same” sparring partner Jay Z. At this year’s Grammys he won best rap album for 2011 sophomore effort Take Care, beating out elder statesmen like Nas, Rick Ross and the Roots.

With all that momentum, it’s easy to see why Drake, and his tightly knit, proudly self-sufficient crew ¬≠October’s Very Own, are starting to see the world as their oyster. Drake was always the brooding, introspective type, pondering the downsides of success even before he could finish boasting about achieving it. But these days, he’s more comfortable in his skin than he’s ever been before. For once he’s not anxious about finding love, or the haters, or the kind of music he wants to make. The guy who once infamously sang the words “I wish I wasn’t famous,” is, for the moment, happy.

“There’s a lot less sort of ambient ballad moments on this album where I’m searching or longing for something,” Drake says of Nothing Was the Same. “That sentiment is gone. Now I’m just kind of like, ‘You know, I’m 26, I don’t know what the fuck else I could be doing better than this. I feel incredible about how I’m able to support my family and friends and how supportive my family and friends have been of me.’

“A lot of people get on and it’s like they’re just waiting to get more on,” he continues. “They’re always waiting for a bigger moment to come. But I’ve started to realize that this is it, this is the moment. And it reads, you know? People come up to me now and they’re like, ‘Man, you look good! You look like you’re happy.'”

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