Drake’s highly anticipated debut album, Thank Me Later, dropped earlier this week and the Toronto rapper was plenty busy promoting the project and basking in its release. He shared the experience with fans and peers alike via a number of events, ranging from a free (albeit aborted) concert in Manhattan to two album-release parties.
Here, MTV News recaps Drake’s big day, June 15:
“I couldn’t believe what time it was, first of all,” Drake told MTV News about waking up on release day.
“I actually was surprised that I even got to sleep. I was so excited that I was so exhausted too. I had a long day yesterday. I got right on the phone and started doing radio [interviews]; I did about 15 radio stations this morning. My mom texted me, she was just like, ‘I can’t believe this, because people are saying you sold this [many copies] already,’ ” he continued. “I was like, ‘Ma, don’t listen to that.’ She had some crazy numbers. She was like, ‘Oh, I heard you sold 200,000 albums by 10:00. I was like, ‘I doubt that!’ ”
Drake made an in-store appearance at Best Buy in Manhattan’s Union Square area at 2 p.m. Fans began lining up at 2 p.m. the day before hoping to meet the rapper and purchase his album. Upwards of 600 people attended the event, according to a store manager, and a few spoke to MTV News about their excitement.
“I got here at 3 in the morning,” Natalia Morales said. “I’m ecstatic right now. I’m still shaking!”
“It’s a lifetime experience being … one of the first guys to get my CD signed by him,” Kevin Benejam said. “I told him I look up to him a lot for going for his dream, because a lot of people don’t have the courage to go for their dream.”
Drake attempted to celebrate the Thank Me Later release with a performance organized by Paper magazine. However, before he could even take the stage, the New York Police Department shut the festivities down, citing overcrowding and unruly behavior by fans they feared would create a hostile and unsafe environment. The Young Money rapper tweeted his apologies and later issued a statement thanking his fans for their support.
A few hours later, Drake appeared at Manhattan night spot Amnesia for a Hot 97-sponsored album-release party, and popped up later at 5 Ninth for a private fete that included his mother, his manager, Birdman and a number of music-industry insiders.
Don’t miss the “Drake: Better Than Good Enough” documentary , airing Wednesday, June 23, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on MTV!