When a Drake-featured record from G-Unit’s ex-leading lady, Olivia, hit the web Sunday afternoon, some were left critcizing its authenticity.
The 3:33 minute track titled “Control” (produced by DJ Special K of Souled Out Ent.) claimed to be Olivia’s second single off her mixtape, Under The Radar and was e-distributed by mixtape DJ, King Smij. “[‘Control’] wasn't supposed to be released for another week, but due to demand and overzealous blogs we're forced to release it early,” Smij’s email reads. “To give you an idea of how crazy her album Show The World is, this song didn't even make the final cut!!!”
But while Drake’s 2010 sound is buttery, halting and melodic, “Control” was reminiscent of a pre-Wayne, flashy-flow, Room For Improvement, Drizzy. For verification, VIBE emailed Olivia’s rep asking if Drake’s lyrics were borrowed from any past mixtapes and received the reply: “Drake recorded [‘Control’] specifically for Olivia… Her manager has a lot of connections [and] was able to get Drake on the record.”
However Drake told AllHipHop today that he was completely unaware of the collaboration: “I don’t support [artists] taking unauthorized recordings and marketing them as features,” he says. “I’ve never worked with Olivia and I apologize to any fan who was duped into thinking that ‘Control’ was a collaboration of mine.”
Earlier today however, Olivia's manager, Rich Dollaz (who also manages Ryan Leslie) explained to VIBE that 29-year-old R&B singer never claimed to have been in the studio with Drake and that "Control"'s producer, Special K, claimed that the track was not only cleared by Drake, but recorded two weeks ago in Canada. However, a quick google search shows that Canadian newcomer, Leila, originally recorded the track “All Night” with Drake — same production, same rap verses as “Control,” — but in 2007.
Olivia shared with VIBE how the record came to fruition. “The producers had sent it to us like ‘Yo, we think this would be a great record for her, Drake already has his verses down. What do you think?’ We didn’t have the chance to work together, but they sent it to me,” she says. “As soon as they sent it, I said ‘His verses are hot, let’s do it.’ And then they said ‘Everybody loves it, we’re going to make his vocals match yours since they weren’t recorded in the same studio’ and that was it.’
Her manager explained that producer Special K had reached out two - three weeks ago with the track, pushing Olivia to record it quickly so it could also live on a Canadian compilation. "I knew I wasn't going to pay $100,000 to get Drake on the album, but I was under the impression this was cleared for the mixtape. I was pissed off when they leaked it, you can check my Twitter. I was heated," he says. "But its not that serious, it was for a damn mixtape. He can be mad all he wants to, I don't give a fuck if he's mad. I don't represent him. He can be mad at the producer."
She also agreed that Drake's rebuttal was a bit of an overreaction: "Sorry Drake's mad, 'cause I love [him]. But I'm not feenin' to get on the thing and wild out."