The Toronto rap star talks Kanye, Pusha, Camp Flog Gnaw, and more, in a candid two-hour chat.
Filmed in the Toronto star’s newly-erected hometown palace, it was a fairly candid discussion of the rapper’s career at the close of a decade he dominated. From learning under Lil Wayne’s wing to squashed (Meek) and ongoing beefs (Kanye and Pusha) to his recent dismissal from the stage at Tyler, The Creator’s Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival to taking runtime cues from Biggie on More Life, the two-hour-plus interview covered a lot of ground, detailing and dispelling speculation over a fairly quiet year. With the exception of a few features, the rapper’s lone releases celebrated the Toronto Raptors’ first NBA title at the top of the year (a feat he very clearly takes at least partial credit for.)
So we combed through the chat for some of the more compelling takeaways and breakthroughs. Watch Drake’s full Rap Radar interview below and scroll on for the highlights.
1. Tupac plays in the bathroom of his home.
One of the earliest revelations from the interview is Drake’s fairly unconventional hat-tip to Tupac in his new home. Namely, that the late rap icon’s music apparently plays in one of the estate’s bathrooms.
2. Wayne had 30-40 rooms reserved at the Beverly Wilshire while they were finishing So Far Gone.
Discussing the making of So Far Gone and Lil Wayne’s early mentorship, Drake recounted how his debut album was completed at the Beverly Wilshire while Wayne was on an indefinite stay at the hotel, “living like a prince” with dozens of rooms occupied.
3. Serena Williams encouraged him to release “Back to Back” to “finish” Meek.
When the conversation shifted to current and past beef with contemporaries, Drake revealed it was then-girlfriend, Serena Williams, who insisted he drop “Back to Back” as a final death blow in his bout with Meek Mill.
4. Considers “Adidon” his first loss in the “sport of rapping.”
Side-stepping to ongoing tensions with the G.O.O.D Music camp, the rapper finally shed his unrelenting confidence, admitting Pusha T’s “Story of Adidon” was an L he simply couldn’t come back from. And he doesn’t feel all too compelled to squash anything with the Clipse rapper or Kanye, claiming “SICKOMODE” would be his last word on the soured relationship with former idols.
5. More Life was inspired by the runtime on Biggie’s Life After Death.
Picking apart his towering 2017 and 2018 projects, the Toronto rapper cited the late Notorious B.I.G.’s sophomore double-album as inspiration on their runtime.
6. He knew Camp Flog Gnaw was a potential disaster.
Harking back to his performance at Tyler, The Creator’s festival in November, Drake walked his hosts through the now-infamous night. The rapper claims to have known there was at least the possibility of his set being written off by a crowd expecting Frank Ocean to emerge from the wings as Flog Gnaw’s unannounced headliner. He added, in jest, that a half-cooked cover of “Thinking Bout You” would have gone over better.
7. DJ Premier will be on his next album.
Finally pivoting towards future projects, Drake revealed that he was excited for an opportunity to write to a Preemo beat 40 had recently sent over, claiming the producer would appear on his next project.
8. Sees himself in direct competition with Kendrick and Cole.
And, in one of the discussion’s most revealing moments, the Toronto rapper repeatedly put himself in league with Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole, expressing his admiration of the “Black Friday” rappers, adding that he believed it would be their respective approaches to the next decade that would solidify their legacies.