Drake Talks Being a Target for Other Rappers + His Issues with Kanye West
In a recent interview with Samtex of Nation of Billions, Drake got very candid.
Here’s the most notable quotes from the interview.
On his issue with Kanye West and feeling like he’s become a target for other rappers:
With ‘Pop style’ what happened with that, because when I got it originally it was Jay-Z and Kanye on it and they kinda weren’t on it?
Yeah, I was dealing directly with Ye and that’s the version that he sent me and that was what we talked about and he was like “man you know this is like ‘Pop Style’ featuring the throne, this is huge” and I was excited obviously anybody would be excited to see them link back up. And then I didn’t know what I was gonna hear. So when I heard Jay had two bars, I was like alright it is what it is, it’s cool I like that, it’s a little intro and Kanye goes off. And then you know I’m not really sure the details between how that conversation was miscommunicated or what they were going through at that time, or what anybody felt towards me or whatever it was, I’m not really sure but next thing I knew it just became a bit of an issue. And you know from there I don’t waste too much time, so I just was like alright cool I’ll finish it, I can rap as good as anybody else, so I’ll just go finish this song and put forth my own version cos I don’t really like… you know no one can dangle anything over my head in this business, I don’t play that. So it just needed to be done and I did it myself and yeah both versions exist, so when Kanye comes out to do it at the shows it goes crazy. I know he was really upset cos at that time we were working together pretty heavy and he really wanted to be on the record but you know…
On the Pablo tour, he said a lot of things that are well documented but he said, before the last show, he was talking about how he was sick of not being able to do certain things everyone should come together and just make music. Is it digital politics now that prevents things from happening?
I don’t know, I think everybody has their own little things going on, I’m not really sure what he’s referring to half the time, cos in the same breath, I went from being… like working on a project with him, to him sorta publicly shitting on me and DJ Khaled for being on the radio too much. But yeah I’m not really sure, everybody’s got their own thing going on. Again me when I hear that, I just distance myself from it you know, alright if that’s what it is I don’t really even understand the point you’re trying to make but whatever it is that you’re going through, I accept it, I don’t respect it at all. You know cos I feel like me and Khaled are just good people, I’m not sure why we’re the target of your choice that you made that night. And yeah I accept what you’re going through, and I just go and continue working on my own thing. You know the more and more this progresses, the more and more I just feel like keeping to myself, cos its just so unpredictable, you never know which way people are gonna go. I mean streaming is the new record business, so yeah I guess you could call it digital politics, that’s kinda a good name for a song, I might have to do that when I get upstairs.
On racism and the racial bias of the Grammys:
When did you first experience racism, you’re coming from a dual heritage, your fathers black, your mothers white, it puts you in a predicament, when was the first time you really noticed you get it from both sides, or one side or the other?
Man you know, I’ve really been grateful in my life to be born in Canada and just the journey that I had growing up was so… it was just a very accepting journey. I always had friends from all different backgrounds, from different walks of life, we all get along, I never really notice colour, religion, we don’t live like that. There’s really not that much segregation in Canada, and especially in Toronto, it’s like a cultural mosaic. And I know I’ve said that time and time again, but it truly is, it’s made up of so many beautiful people from beautiful places and you get to actually learn and you don’t ever develop hate. You know, the first time I really experienced it, was when I got famous and went to America and people would challenge me, like I don’t understand how it works or like “your Canadian, you’ll never understand, like the Black American struggle, or you’ll never under…..” That was the first time I really got challenged, and it was by people I had met from America that were like even close to me at the time.
You know, if I ever feel anything or if I ever feel like an outsider, it’s usually because I’m not American to be honest with you, that’s when I feel like people are against me or they feel like I’m not part of the…. I guess it’s got something to do with the fact that I have quite an eclectic make up, I am mixed, I am Jewish. Yeah but I feel like, at the end of the day when it comes to everything else I’m Black. I am referred to as a Black artist, last night at that Awards show, I’m a Black artist. I’m apparently a ‘rapper’ even though ‘Hotline Bling’ is not a rap song. The only category that they can manage to fit me in is a ‘rap’ category, maybe because I’ve rapped in the past, or because I’m Black, I can’t figure out why. Just like I can’t figure out why ‘One Dance’ wasn’t nominated, maybe because they can’t… I mean, well it’s just there’s pop obligations that they have and I fluked out, I fluked out and got one of the biggest songs of the year that is a pop song and I’m proud of that, you know. I love the rap world, I love the rap community, but you’re right I write pop songs for a reason, I wanna be like Michael Jackson, I wanna be like artists that I looked up to, those are pop songs but I never get any credit to that.
And shout out… and by the way I’m speaking to you as a winner from last night, I won two awards last night, but I don’t even want them, cos it feels weird for some reason, it doesn’t feel right to me. I feel almost like alienated or you’re tryna purposely alienate me by making me win rap awards, or either just pacify me by handing me something, putting me in that category, cos it’s the only place you can figure out where to put me. And remember they don’t decide the winners, but they do decide the nominations so they have to play it politically. And shout out to Chance, for last night, like I said I’m speaking from a winners point of view and I’m so happy for him, I’m not talking about.. I’m not angry about how last night worked out. But when you ask me like where, like do I feel, like racism, or do I feel it the same as everyone else, yeah I feel it, I notice it going on in it’s own places. But thankfully I get to be around the greatest group of people, my friends are from all over the place, they like Lebenese, they’re.. I’m Jewish, most of my friends are from the Islands of Jamaica, English, so I mean, we just don’t really notice it like that until I start talking about the music business.
Yeah it’s a really tough time in the world and again that statement has been said over and over again and I think we know it’s a tough time and I’m …
How did it feel to be on stage in Manchester when the Grammy’s were going on, you stuck to the tour..
Yeah I mean I did it because that at the end of the day is what matters to me that’s real life you know. I was pitched by the Grammy’s to cancel those two shows and fly and go sit in the audience to lose because they don’t air the other rap awards on TV. So I would have left 30,000 people hanging to sit there and just be there for their own ratings you know. The worst part is I expressed myself, like man I’m really thankful I was at those shows in Manchester cos those were two of the strongest shows that we’ve had so far. I texted somebody from the Grammys and was like I’m really glad I stayed behind, I really don’t wanna have this conversation about coming out there again and I got a text back that said ‘Blame It On Donald Trump’ – and I’m not gonna say who it is that I’m texting but this is like the institution, we’ve been conditioned to think that this it the true award for our accomplishments, for our music. By the way if you had a night like Chance last night, he deserves it, for his friends, for his family, for his collaborators, its amazing when they champion you. But all I’m saying is, to kids that will be coming up in the future and might now get championed or might not get that moment, that’s OK too. Because you have to realise what institution you’re dealing with. You’re dealing with a bunch of people that are just people at the end of the day and they’re either good people to the core or bad people to the core and we’ll never know. But I mean yeah, I was really glad that I was in Manchester last night, and like I said I’m speaking from the perspective of a winner, I won two awards, it’s just it really put it all in perspective for that thank God that I stayed here and did what I’m supposed to be doing for the people that actually care about my music, you know. Yeah man, that’s just kinda how I feel about that about this given time.
You can read the interview in full here.