Drake Talks His Upcoming R&B Mixtape And ‘Deuces (Remix)’: ‘Usher Was A Big Influence’

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After a full day of press—beginning with a live interview with Katie Couric and including stops at MTV and New York’s Hot 97—Drake once again took over another stage in the Big Apple. As a spokesperson for Kodak’s new line of EasyShare digitial cameras and So Kodak campaign, the Young Money rapper/singer closed out last night’s (Oct. 6) private launch event at the Best Buy Theater in Times Square.

Midway through his set, Drizzy took a minute to address a question he’d dodged all day. With news of Lil Wayne being sentenced to serve the remainder of his sentence in solitary confinement, the world was waiting for his thoughts on the situation.

“I haven’t really talked too much about it but I just want to do this next song in honor of my brother,” Drake announced during his set.  “Wherever you are in that prison, wherever they got you, I want to let you know everybody out here thinking of you and we can’t wait till you get home. Free Weezy!”

After running through a handful of hits from his platinum-selling debut, Thank Me Later, Drake sat down with VIBE to discuss his forthcoming R&B mixtape and the overwhelming influence that Rhythm and Blues has had on his music.

“My iPod was on shuffle and I just heard the words—it just hit me. [‘Fanmail’] should’ve gone somewhere. It was just an album intro, but it was just so good. I hit 40 and told him T-Boz is singing nice and low—that’s right in my register,” explains Drake on “I Get Lonely Too,” the first leak from It’s Never Enough. “I thought we could make it the first song to introduce where I am right now mentally on this R&B mixtape. It’s actually track one on the tape.”

Drake also spoke on rehashing Usher’s classic “Nice And Slow” flow on his contribution to Chris Brown’s latest all-star studded remix.

CLICK HERE TO SEE USHER’S OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2010 COVER OF VIBE

“There were a lot of R&B moments that meant a lot to me. Usher was a big influence in that regard. I remember [‘Nice And Slow’] meant the world to me,” Drake tells VIBE regarding his verse on Chris Brown’s “Deuces (Remix)”. “I always liked that flow cadence. It stuck in my head for years, and I said to myself that it could be a song on it’s own. I got a chance to use it and the pattern was right. It really made sense as to what I was discussing in the verse—I’m just paying homage to a great melody.”

Without a set release date, Drake hopes to have the free mixtape out before Christmas. Filled with sounds inspired by ’90s R&B, the 23-year-old star also reveled that he flipped a classic Avant record—he dubbed the remake “It’s Yours”—which will be included on the project. —Mikey Fresh

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