When it comes to his rhymes, [artist id=”2545682″]Drake[/artist] is an unabashed writer. But when the crooner side of the Toronto artist kicks in, he says he’s actually more like Jay-Z than a traditional songwriter.
“The way Jay and Wayne write rap, I write R&B. I don’t write lyrics down on paper,” Drake told Complex magazine in its February/March issue, which features the So Far Gone star on the cover. “The other day, I was in the studio with Alicia Keys, and I wrote two songs just speaking to her. I wish I could write that way for rap. With my rap songs, there’s so much of me I have to give that I don’t know if I could ever just flow. The thing is, I’m a great rapper. There’s two elements to rap: having the thoughts, and then being a great rapper. I can really rap the sh– that I write. My tone, my inflection. When I listen to myself on records, I don’t feel like I don’t belong there. When I listen to ’Forever,’ with three of my heroes [Eminem, Kanye West and Lil Wayne], I fit right in.”
The Young Money MC said he’s still working on Thank Me Later, his forthcoming debut album. He was tight-lipped, as usual, regarding specifics, but Drake revealed Lil Wayne may be featured multiple times on the project. The pair’s “My Darlin’ Baby” was set to be included on Drake’s album until the song landed online in September. He told MTV News earlier this month he’s still deciding on Thank Me Later’s first single .
In the interview, Drake also spoke about his knee injury (“It never happened,” he joked), the class of new MCs making noise (he called J.Cole his favorite rapper right now), and his boss’ impending jail time.
“We don’t really talk about it,” Drake said of Wayne’s expected year-long sentence for gun possession. “It’s surreal to me still. I guess on the day that it really happens, I’ll start thinking about what I gotta do. I wanna have a talk with Wayne and ask him what he needs from me.”
In a recent interview with MTV News, Drake spoke about Wayne’s influence on him, calling his mentor a hands-off coach.
“I think the best thing about Wayne is that he doesn’t really get too involved in us developing as artists,” Drake explained. “He doesn’t give his input on how we should be, or how we should rap, or how we should dress. Wayne just gives us the opportunity. If you drop the ball, you drop the ball. But Wayne’s gonna give you the setup. Wayne is gonna throw you the alley-oop — you just have to cut to the hoop and slam.”