Drake Never Considered Changing Thank Me Later Release Date

'If they got the music already, let's let them listen to it,' the Toronto MC recalls telling label after leak.

Back in April, Drake revealed June 15 would be the release date for his much-anticipated debut, Thank Me Later. But when his album leaked well before its expected delivery, the Toronto rapper was adamant that the album rollout plan remain unchanged.

“They tried to force me into a situation — I’m not sure if it was the label — [but] somebody tried to force me into a situation and drop the album June 9,” Drake told MTV News earlier this week.

“I really was like, ‘June 9 isn’t enough time to let them digest all the leaked music. If they got the music already, let’s let them listen to it. Let’s give them that two weeks to ride around to it and talk to their friends about it.’ ‘Cause that way when they show up to the store, there’s no pressure — you know what you’re buying. You’re just going to support an artist you love and music you believe in.”

His strategy seemed to have paid off. Hundreds of fans lined up outside of a Best Buy store in Manhattan to meet the rapper, who showed up to greet them and sign their copies of Thank Me Later.

“I got here at 3 in the morning,” Natalia Morales, the first female fan to meet Drake, told MTV News. “I’m ecstatic right now. I’m still shaking!”

For his part, Drake is returning the “thank you” for all the adoration he’s received this week from fans, especially the die-hards who camped out overnight to buy his LP.

“I have more than confidence in them,” he explained. “I have a relationship with them, I understand. I don’t ever for a second doubt them.”

What do you think about Drake wanting fans to have time to enjoy his album once it leaked? Let us know in the comments!

Don’t miss the “Drake: Better Than Good Enough” documentary , airing Wednesday, June 23, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on MTV!