Drake Says Thank Me Later Influenced By Nas, Andre 3000

'I went back and really studied Nas and Andre 3000 and then came back with this album,' rapper said about forthcomuing debut.

Drake has plenty of people onboard to give him advice on the process of recording his major-label debut album, Thank Me Later. There's Lil Wayne, of course, his lyrical mentor. And Kanye West, who the Toronto MC said has been his biggest musical influence. Jay-Z, in interviews, has even gone on record relaying some tips to the upstart rapper.

According to Drake, though, the former "Degrassi" actor sought out the audio work of Nas and OutKast's Andre 3000 to help inspire the work on his project. "I went back and I really studied Nas," Drake explained in a video recorded over the weekend and posted online on Monday (February 22) . "Nas was somebody that I used to listen to his raps and never understood how he did it. I always wanted to understand how he painted those pictures and his [rhyming] bar structure. I went back and really studied Nas and Andre 3000 and then came back with this album."

Thank Me Later is due later this year on Young Money/Universal Records. In the spring, the rapper will kick off a headlining, eco-friendly tour to promote the album.

The album will be Drake's first solo project since 2009's So Far Gone, the dark mixtape that featured the breakout hit "Best I Ever Had."

While the Young Money cohort has been mum about his plans for the follow-up, he did reveal his debut would be more upbeat in comparison to his mixtape. "It's gonna be bigger, it's gonna sound happier," he said. "More victorious, 'cause that's where I'm at in my life."