Speaking of successful, you’ve been such an instrumental part in Drake’s career. To the point where he says he will never stray from your lead. What makes your bond with him so tight?
I’ve been with Drake since the very beginning of his career [when] I didn’t produce anything. I didn’t produce one fucking thing on “Come Back Season” except the intro… that wasn’t my role. When we started looking for this music and he was turning down hundreds of beats, I realized what sound he was going for. So I said, ‘Fuck it, I might as well do it.’ I didn’t have a reason to make beats until then. It’s that coupled with the fact that I control all of Drake’s music. I have all of his drives and his entire catalogue from day one. No one has ever touched his sessions. So at the end of the day the responsibility of A&Ring his projects has always been mine— whether I was producing it or not. So producing became an easy progression. We have a great level of trust because I’ve been doing it since day one. Most engineers suffer from artists telling them what to do though they’ve never touched a fucking EQ. We have a very different dynamic. Even if I don’t produce something I put a twist on it to make sure it fits. None of this was premeditated. Drake is super spoiled. The bastard won’t work with anyone else. I will track him ‘til the day I die.
Would you say this sound has been tailored specifically for Drake?
At this point in time the only rappers I have any interest in working with outside of Drake are Wayne and [Jay-Z]. And that’s from Drake’s mouth. I think Drake has been so instrumental in creating that sound that I have a commitment to him. If he doesn’t’ want me to give it away I won’t.
Is that where you and Boi-1da differ as producers?
Very much so. 1da’s trying to place records and expand his reach in the world of hip-hop. But my ambitions are to stay focused with Drake. When it comes time to develop another artist I’ll make that move. But going after placements is definitely not my M.O. I don’t like that game. I’m not saying what 1da’s doing is wrong we’re just different that way. I’m cool where I’m at. I haven’t signed a publishing deal yet. What are publishing companies gonna do for me other than lend me money? And I have way too many friends in the hood that can lend me just as much and their interest rates are way better. Why am I gonna take money from you? If Universal Music Publishing is already working “Successful” why do I need them to work on my side? I have a very unorthodox attitude toward the whole business.
Two years ago if someone said 40, they would’ve thought ounce. What’s your current state of mind now that so much has changed?
I feel blessed. I’m a kid from Toronto. I’ve been driving my mom’s station wagon for the last 8 years for real. I’m trying to make a career for myself and not flush it down the toilet.