A new treat in the world today is the first long Aubrey Drake Graham magazine interview since February 2014, when Rolling Stone got the Boy salty enough to swear off magazine interviews and declare that "the press is evil." And the 19-month hiatus led us straight to a goldmine.
Writer Leon Neyfakh's far-ranging FADER cover story touches on Views from the 6 (could be coming out "imminently"), the Meek Mill beef, Drizzy and Future's What a Time to Be Alive mixtape, February's If You're Reading This It's Too Late (Drake finds it "a bit broken"), work ethic, Mama Graham—just everything.
There's some serious talk about the craft of rapping in there, too. “I love dancehall flows, especially as of late," Drake says. "I pretty much won’t even rap on a beat unless it’s got some magic element of new tempo or new pocket, where I hear myself and feel like I’ve stumbled upon something new.” Makes sense when you consider the myriad hits and collaborations he's done this year, many of them vastly different from one another in the cadence department. Then we find out how the 6 God—hip hop's reigning bard of booty calls and sonneteer of stripper sex—feels about hooks vs. hooking up:
"There’s times where I’m sitting around looking for like, three, four words. I’m not looking for, like, 80 bars on some ‘5AM,’ ‘Paris Morton’-type shit, you know? There are moments like that, too, but the hardest moments, the most difficult ones, in songwriting, are when you’re looking for like, four words with the right melody and the right cadence. I pray for that. I’ll take that over anything—I’ll take that over sex, partying. Give me that feeling. ... A new flow is absolutely the most crucial discovery in rap, to me. Honestly, like, I love that I’m sitting here talking to you, but at the same time I don’t, because I want to go to the studio, and I’m praying that 40 has a beat, so that I can do something new that I’ve never done before. That is my main joy in life.”
The endlessly illuminating and entertaining piece—a great companion to April's all-access profile by Ernest Baker—also has a great rundown on the culture of collaborating with other songwriters, a long-awaited non-musical response to the fire Meek Mill started back in July. "Nobody told you that this was a bad idea, to engage in this and not have something?" Drake says of Meek's failure to include a musical component to his complaints. (When he did, it was too late and too lackluster; a venomous little freestyle couldn't cut it against the chart-bound "Back to Back.") "You’re gonna engage in a conversation about writing music, and delivering music, with me? And not have anything to put forth on the table?”