Drake Talks ‘Nothing Was the Same,’ Kanye West & More With XXL
In just a week, Drake has proved he's got the game on lock on wax, on stage and, now, in the media. With his star-studded OVO Fest and the release of both 'All Me' and 'Hold On, We're Going Home' still fresh in the memory, the Toronto native graces the cover of XXL's September issue.
In Thomas Golianopoulos' cover story, which XXL have contentiously tagged 'Watch the Throne,' Drake opens up about where in the equation he sees his forthcoming album, 'Nothing Was the Same,' alongside the year's other legendary releases, competing with Kanye West, his "unique" image and background as an actor-turned-rapper, and the train wreck that is Amanda Bynes.
The issue -- XXL's 16th anniversary copy and 150th overall -- hits newsstands Aug. 20.
On 'Nothing Was the Same':
I remember coming into this year thinking, “How am I going to cut through all these people and shine?” I’ve never been part of a year when so many legends are dropping projects. How am I going to be seen? I’m going to be like the kid waving in the background in the photo with all of his tall relatives. And, I guess, those were my initial thoughts, and not to say that I haven’t enjoyed some of the stuff that has come out this year, but it didn’t pan out the way I thought it was going to. I think I am going for it, to really establish what are murmurs or things being said quietly, “Um, I think that Drake might actually…” On September 17th I want people to be like, “Oh, we were right.”
On his image:
Do I think that if I didn’t have, for lack of a better term, a unique look about me, if I was from somewhere in America and if I hadn’t been on a kids TV show ['Degrassi: The Next Generation'], would I be as famous? I don’t know, man. Honestly, I don’t think so. I was just some young kid on a TV show. And I haven’t become anything else while I’ve been in this position. It’s not like I got here and was like, “Oh, got to switch up my image.” I don’t wake up nervous. I feel like maybe a lot of these guys do. How old are you, really? What is your background, really? What have you really done in the drug game, in the thug game?
On Kanye West and the competition:
It’s tough for me. That’s a guy I can’t pretend not to like. He’s the guy to me, in a lot of ways. That’s Kanye West. But I’m also here to be the best. I’m here to surpass. I’m here to outdo. I’m ready for whatever with anybody.
On his success:
I get Jewish people coming up to me proud like, “Mazel Tov, bro. Come to my house for Shabbat dinner.”
On Amanda Bynes:
I don’t even know who that is doing that or what that’s about. If that is her, I guess it’s a little weird and disturbing. It’s obviously a behavioral pattern that is way bigger than me. Whoever is behind it, whether it’s her or somebody else, they know people are paying attention so they keep it going.