VIBE: Like Nothing Was The Same, Nas’ last album, Life Is Good, was greatly influenced by Marvin Gaye’s 1978 LP Here, My Dear.
Drake: Oh wow, crazy. I didn’t even know that. Here, My Dear was an influence to me because he was telling such a vivid story about going through divorce and that particular relationship. Even though this album wasn’t really about a relationship or that specific, I had vivid details much like that album and wanted to get them across in that concise format. Here, My Dear wasn’t Marvin Gaye’s biggest album. But I think when people look back in 10 years they’ll be like, “Damn, ‘Hold On, We’re Going Home’ was on this. ‘Started From the Bottom’ was on this.” I always think about that feeling, flipping over the CD like, What was on this album?
It’s definitely the most cohesive of your albums.
It’s such a journey that it’s over quickly, but you forget where you started so you have to listen again. By the time you get to “305 To My City” you don’t remember how you got there from “Wu Tang Forever.” It’s all connected . The initial idea was to release two versions of the album. The deluxe version was going to flip the whole track list, so it would go “Pound Cake” then “Too Much”—it would go in reverse . It was a cool, different listening experience. We never brought it into fruition; I think it was some iTunes [issue] or something like that.
 "There’s a lot of [musical] manipulation, these winding roads. I would’ve loved to embellish on that more, for every transition to be craziness. But it’s difficult when you’re also balancing the order and flow of the tracks.” —Noah “40” Shebib, executive producer
 “That illustrates how much thought goes into telling these stories—the sequencing, the mood, the peaks and valleys. Even Kanye has brought up the importance of the sequencing of [Yeezus]. It's not just slapped together.” —Oliver El-Khatib, executive producer
The Weeknd was obviously a huge influence on Take Care. At any point during the recording of Nothing Was The Same did you consider tapping him to bring that energy?
We actually sat together for a couple nights on some personal shit. Just to vibe and get back to whatever it was we’d started out doing. When I had met the Weeknd there was no Weeknd, so it was extremely influential on me. I saw it from its inception. I saw the impact that House of Balloons had on [Toronto]. I go off the city—once the world has it it’s a little too late for me. It was that chapter. That House of Balloons moment this time was PARTYNEXTDOOR . That and Nothing Was The Same is all that our city is listening to. That’s who has the juice. With Party, he never wants to go too slow; there’s always some energy. He inspired me to stay away from the real R&B ballads. Take Care got scrutiny for being too slow, too this, too that. I said to myself, “I’m always going to have records to drive to.” That’s my shit. I’m never going to make some album full of bars with no melody, don’t ever wait for that. I’ll give you raps on raps, [“5 A.M. In Toronto”] and [“9 A.M. In Dallas”] and “Stay Schemin” But when it comes to making a body of work, that shit becomes boring to me.
 “I don’t think I'm filling a void; I was just adding what Drake wanted. They sent me a bunch of tracks and asked me to fill gaps and add flavor or certain riffs and runs.” —PARTYNEXTDOOR, singer
This album does a good job of merging rapping and singing in a seamless way.
I remember asking people early on what can I do this time to make it a memorable project. I took a lot away from performing. On the last tour, I’d be rapping records like “HYFR” and “The Motto,” then have to go onto “Doing It Wrong,” “The Real Her.” I couldn’t even get onstage and perform them, because they’re such blatant singer moments and the energy would come down. My biggest thing this time was working with my vocal coach, just really finding a different tone. Detail is a huge influence on that as well. I’ve never had a vocal producer other than 40, and there were nights where 40 would leave the studio and let Detail vocal produce me. What’s different about Detail, I’ll do a verse in one take with 40; Detail would make me go line by line. It was annoying at first, like who is this guy to tell me I’m not doing it right? But when I listened to the finished product there’d be so much emotion in every line that it was almost like somebody different rapping.
You bookend the album with two bold lyrical records—“Tuscan Leather” and “Pound Cake/ Paris Morton Music 2.” What was the message you wanted to send?