Though Drake is not covering the Feb/March issue of VIBE magazine, he has a feature story inside this edition. VIBE had the time to sit down with Drake and discuss his career thus far and the growth and progression. “I’m very hard on myself,” Drake says. “I’m constantly striving for something beyond perfection.” Read some excerpts from the feature story below. To read the full story make sure to pick up this issue of VIBE on newstands, which features Nicki Minaj on the cover. Read More after the jump.
TUCKED AWAY in the wings backstage at the American Music Awards is where you’ll ﬁnd Aubrey Graham, aka Drake, rap’s reigning prince. As members of his entourage quietly shufﬂe about and two actresses from the ABC hit Modern Family prepare to introduce him, he’s practicing “Headlines,” the song he’ll be performing before the music industry’s preening glitterati in a matter of minutes. Though The New York Times has just de- clared him “hip-hop’s center of gravity,” he still has the nervous energy of a newbie. Hopping about like a young ﬁghter eager to enter the ring—mouthing his lyrics, pantomiming with his hands—you don’t see much more than his silhouette until it’s showtime. And when it is indeed that time, the lights blaze, the crowd roars and he bounds onstage.
It’s the rare bump in an otherwise remarkable and meteoric rise for the Canadian-born phenom, who made a major breakthrough three years ago with an original backstory (half Black, half Jewish Toronto-based child-actor-turned- leading-MC) and an even more compelling mixtape (2009’s So Far Gone). Thank Me Later, his ofﬁcial ﬁrst album, not only announced his arrival, it established him as one of hip-hop’s brightest stars and one of the T-Dot’s leading cultural exports. Lil Wayne’s imprimatur, as well as cosigns from everyone from Jay-Z to Justin Bieber, all but ensured his success. As he crisscrossed the U.S. with Weezy during the I Am Music tour, he played the humble student to Wayne’s wizened sensei. “[On the tour bus] I was this quiet ﬂy on the wall,” he told me at the time. “I was too scared to even ask for my own bunk. I would sleep sitting up in a little corner.”
But when it comes to tossing off disses, Drake’s not above delivering his own veiled swipes these days. On “Dreams Money Can Buy,” he surveys the hip-hop landscape and decides he’s sorely disappointed by what he sees. “Lately it went from top ﬁve to remain- ing ﬁve,” he rhymes. “My favorite rappers either lost it or they ain’t alive.” He stops short of mentioning names, but doesn’t back away from his declaration. “I wasn’t in rap when I was idolizing a lot of these people,” he says. “But times change. People don’t sound the way they used to. It’s inevitable. Someday Drake won’t sound the way he used to. I’ll do anything in my power to still sound relevant, but unfortunately Drake may not. And yes,” he says with a chuckle, “I referred to myself in the third person.”
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