You experiment with different flows on this one, too. Was that a conscious thing?
I remember asking people early on what can I do this time to make a memorable project. I want it to feel like a discovery. So Far Gone was a discovery of an artist. It will never feel like that, but I want to make it feel like you’re listening to somebody new. My biggest thing this time was working with my vocal coach just really finding a tone, a different tone. When I did “Wu-Tang Forever,” I’d play it and people would be like, “Damn, who you got featured on that shit?” All three voices are me. But I was varying my voice a lot. “Trophies” is another record where I started toying with the rap, the cadences. It was a very conscious decision to start toying with the voices and making it like melody, but not too much melody. Even on “Own It,” you get that “niggas talk more” part that becomes a chant, like, OK, if I’m a guy and I wasn’t into the high-pitched singing, I’m back on board.
You emulate Mase’s flow on the last verse of “Worst Behavior.” He’s been having a big influence in 2013: Jay swipes a line of his on Magna Carta ... Holy Grail and Pusha mimics his voice on his album, too.
Yeah, it is interesting now that you say it like that. He’s just fucking incredible. Maybe it’s the right time to start referencing Mase. I feel like it’s always cool when rappers reach back to something you may have forgotten. But Mase is one of those guys; he just never stopped being cool. Even at OVO Fest, he just came out and started hitting that stride and it was like, Man, this guy hasn’t lost a step. He’s one of those guys who will be forever cool to me.
Have you started thinking about the follow-up to Nothing Was The Same yet?
Yeah. Last night was the first night I recorded—I finished up this record with Beyoncé. That was really dope. For her [LP]. As far as another album goes, I was gonna ask you, ’cause you seem pretty in touch with what I’ve had going on. What’s next? I like to ask people what they think is next. Maybe it’s a concept album. Maybe it’s a mixtape. I don’t always know exactly where I’m going. I remember reading that article where ’Ye was like, I have my next three albums mapped out, they’re called this, this, and this. He almost got there but then things changed. I always admired that, like “Man, what a commitment and you made them all dope.”
I’m still looking for Good Ass Job.
I think it’s gonna come. Or maybe he just grew out of that title. That happens to me, too. But yeah, I don’t ever have it mapped out. I didn’t know after Take Care would be Nothing Was The Same. It just happened. I’m not sure where I’m going to next. I don’t have a title either.
It seems like the tide is shifting back to more lyrical days. The Rap Olympics, so to speak. Between Eminem’s “Rap God,” J. Cole’s success and much of the stuff Lupe has dropped this year.
Is it working?
On a commercial level, I’m not sure. With Eminem getting into it—one of the biggest rappers in the world—that gives it some legs.
Yeah, we always need change and thriving in rap. I don’t know if rap’s going to turn some corner into super-lyrical everything. It’s crazy to be on an arena tour right now, my first one ever, and really see what works and what doesn’t. You’ll be so convinced about someone else coming out on your set and killing some shit you’ve been listening to for the last however many weeks. For example: “Pound Cake” isn’t the record of the night. It’s still gonna be “Headlines” or “Crew Love” or “All Me.” People love to sing. That’s what I never forget. People fucking love to sing. If you get your melodies and flows together you will be out of here. I fuck with rap and hip-hop—I do “Tuscan Leather” on my album with no hook. I even say it. Sure it may be dope on Rap Radar and shit, but it’s not the world. It’s a very small piece of a population. When I’m at ALIFE Backyard performing, it’s different records that work there than at Barclays Center. I’m part of both worlds. A lot of guys that perform at Barclays Center don’t go to the ALIFE Backyard to perform. I go to both so I get to see what works on, like, some tryin’ to be the biggest artist in the world and what works for being the biggest artist on the blogs, you know? Can you do both?
I think so. I’m never gonna be the number one guy on the blogs but at the same time, you can’t ever say I don’t rap. You can’t say my bars aren’t up there with the best of them unless it’s just not your brand of music. In that case, it’s okay because I had artists I would never fuck with either before I ever made music. Everyone’s not gonna love you. I feel like majority when it comes down to it, it’s tough for people to be like, “Nah, Drake can’t rap.” [Laughs] With that being said, yeah all the lyrical shit is dope. It’s just people keep challenging me about what’s real rap. Is it the shit you know all the words to or the shit that sounds fast and complex? I don’t have the answer. At the same time, I know I can do a couple things. [Laughs]
Have you ever thought about doing a concept album?