Last year Drake had to release his platinum debut while his mentor Lil Wayne was in the midst of an eight-month jail bid. This year, as he gears up to drop his sophomore LP, Take Care, the Toronto MC is looking to Wayne for some firsthand inspiration.
"I think for me to be part of a team and have the general, the boss, go sit it down for like eight months is always a difficult thing," Drake told MTV News at the album release party for Weezy's Tha Carter IV in Los Angeles on Sunday night. "That's like a real responsibility. I'm just proud of the fact that myself and Nicki [Minaj] and the entire family were able to keep things afloat until he got out and was able to release this album."
Now that C4 is finally in stores and looks to be successful — Billboard is projecting the album to sell as many as 900,000 copies in its first week — Drake is up next.
Drizzy is currently putting the finishing touches on Take Care, and with his October 24 release date fast approaching, Young Angel doesn't have much time. Watching Weezy's work ethic gives him plenty of inspiration, even in the YMCMB crew's most celebratory moments. "It's like if I choose to go after this and go kick it with a woman or go out for drinks, I know I'm potentially slippin' because I have brothers like [Rick] Ross and Wayne that are working nonstop," Drake said of his possible post-party plans. "Me being a kid from Canada coming into this whole thing, being able to observe my heroes do this sh--, it's like all I want to do is work. I just want to make this album as incredible as I can."
Ross is also getting ready to drop an album — his fifth to be exact. His upcoming God Forgives, I Don't is due later this year, and he is proud of his friend Wayne, who closed out the 2011 MTV VMAs on Sunday and then dropped his album digitally at midnight to mark the occasion. "He dropped his album at the VMAs like a boss. That's something an artist can only dream of, when you talk about timing, after doin' time," he said before turning his attention back to his work. "So I just think it's time for us to keep focus, keep grinding. Of course, we're gonna celebrate tonight, but tomorrow we're back at it."
Though he's released a few songs like "Headlines" and "Marvins Room," it is still too early to try to make any qualitative judgment on Drake's Take Care, but it sure seems like he's putting that work in. "I really see the hardest-working people to ever do this. I see them, we speak, we have moments and talk and we're in the same sessions," Drizzy said of Wayne and Ross. "So I really sit back and digest it all and try to apply it to my own craft."