While everyone was excited for Drake’s 4th studio album, VIEWS (formerly known as Views from the 6), I was one of the few people more excited for his interview with Zane Lowe. This, even after Aubrey swore off interviews in 2014 after Rolling Stone published his off the record comments about Kanye West’s polarizing Yeezus. I’m old school – even though I’m a proud pirate, I still buy physical albums just so I can get a glimpse into the artist’s creative instincts. Since I’m personally not able to interview the artists myself (yet), I look forward to listening to them breaking down their work. Zane Lowe is one of the best in the game, and he has an uncanny way of gleaming information that artist might not have previously divulged. I tracked a few notable comments from the Lowe interview so here we go:
Creation of VIEWS
When he announced Views from the 6, he didn’t see the cultural shift happening, but recognizes that now the city is obviously referred to as the 6. Drake added that he listened to Stevie Wonder and Alabama Shakes during the creation of the album. The album from his perspective is meant to reflect the change of the seasons in Toronto – winter to summer, and then back to winter again adding that some of the inspirations came from really loving the summers but when seasons change trying to make the winters work.
Drake and Kanye were schedule to do a mixtape or an album together, and that may possibly be the batch of songs Drake talked about dropping right before the Summer Sixteen tour. His house in LA (the Yolo Mansion) is around the corner from Kanye, and they work together a lot which is kind of fascinating when you think about it. He added that the now infamous line came from knowing that Ye’s pool is the size of half a football field, and that when he built his pool, it was to designed to be bigger than Hugh Hefner’s.
He decided to go with the Drake only version of “Pop Style” on the album because Jay-Z only did a few lines, and most people really wanted to hear Jay rap, not make a cameo appearance. Kanye sent back the song with Jay’s few lines, and insisted that the song say “featuring the Throne”. He says he has expressed his admiration for Jay numerous times, but they sometimes tend to fall on the opposite sides of the rap spectrum.
Sidenote. Word on the tweets is that Jay has some bars recorded for Drake, and we may finally see words between the two kings of subliminal disses. Ever since Drake miffed Jay on TIDAL and took the 19 mil from Apple Music, things have been a bit tense. Let’s see how this goes.
Young Money/Cash Money
When If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late (IFYTITL) dropped, some thought this would be the last album for Drake under YMCMB. After reading the liner notes for VIEWS, I have seen that this is not the case. VIEWS was released under YMCMB. Drake spoke about the Birdman and Lil Wayne rift, saying that he is very grateful for both of them and hopes the situation works out soon. As expected, he dropped that for as much love and respect he has for her, Drake and Nicki haven’t spoken in a while, for reasons we all know (Meek). He said she handled the situation how he expected her to, and how he would have, but at times was waiting to see “how deep her love is”.
The weird part about this is that he never once called him by name. Context clues spelled it out that he was talking about Abel Tesfaye aka The Weeknd. Zane Lowe asked about his former cohort from Toronto, and Drake said that even though things got weird and they went a bit left, he spent real time with him, and has nothing but love for him and XO. The Weeknd experienced a lot of success last year from Beauty Behind the Madness, that Drake said he is proud of.
What A Time To Be Alive and If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late
Everyone knows that What A Time To Be Alive was made in six days, but we didn’t know the song that started it. The intro, Digital Dash, was presented to Drake as a finished product, and Drake had to find a way to put his stamp on it. After that, he decided they should do a whole project together. Jumpman was the last song recorded for the project, which is the song that has had the most impact. “Them Boys Up To Something” is one of the official taglines of the Summer Sixteen tour, and Taylor Swift is even singing it in the new Apple Music commercial, which Drake acknowledged in the interview.
Drake said he still only sees IFYTITL as a mixtape – a bridge between Nothing Was The Same and VIEWS. He was surprised that it was so successful to the point that he went on tour with it.
Rihanna and Hotline Bling
Drake said their chemistry is natural and not forced, and the VIEWS collaboration (Too Good) came up after they finished the #1 single, Work. He said it’s hard to do guy/woman collabs, but him and Rihanna share a genuine energy.
Drake said he recorded Hotline Bling in a hotel room in London, and his camera man told him at first that he didn’t get it (wack). Drake said it was a good conversation, and he doesn’t want people to get his music right away. The video‘s success was expected by him and it was a magical moment.
He said the best thing he ever learned from his mother was the 72 hour rule. If something is bothering you, sleep on it for three days. If it’s still bothering you after three days, then react. He said that after those three days, it always goes away. Also, his mother usually messages him about the gossip and he always has to reassure her that it’s not true.
He said that the best advice he ever got from his father was to not mix Virginia Black with vodka water and that his father was going so hard on Instagram, Drake thought his own life was lacklustre. He says he has learned how to appreciate his father for who he is.
Acting, Touring and VIEWS reactions
Drake said the best advice he ever got from Jamie Foxx, is before he takes any role, come to him about it first. The worst thing that can happen to you as an actor is that you get typecast in a role and then they only put you in this role for the rest of your career. Drake said that he put in so much work in his youth towards acting, he feels like he just has to make the right decision. He teased that he has something coming up in May, and that he really wants to get into movies.
Drake says that he feels like he did enough with this album to go on a world tour, but he definitely isn’t taking a long break between VIEWS and the next album. He says he spends a lot of time in his own world, but is very aware of the broader scope of what is going on in the world. He doesn’t directly address it in his music because he wants to make music that transcends gender and nationality and wants to unify people.
Drake said during the process of VIEWS, he had to make sure that the music was something he wanted to listen to, because if he would rather listen to someone else’s music and not his own, that that’s a problem.
All in all it was a good revealing interview, and Drake said that even though Zane Lowe gave him peace of mind toward in his hardline stance toward interviews, he still isn’t trying to do anymore. VIEWS is out now on iTunes and Apple Music and I’m sure my 8YJ brethren will do it justice.