This Feb. 10, 2013 file photo shows rapper Drake at the 55th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. Drake has been nominated for 12 BET Awards, Tuesday, May 14, 2013. The awards show will air live June 30 from Los Angeles' Nokia Theater L.A. Live. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, file) Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
Drake. Aubrey Graham. Drizzy. Ever, Greatest. Jimmy from Degrassi. Canada Dry (thanks, Common). That Guy from That Sprite Commercial. The man's known by a flurry of nicknames and enough aka's to make ODB sound like a normal moniker. Michael Paterniti recently had an opportunity to spend some time examining the man behind all of those names.
In the subsequent GQ profile, Drake opens up about love, life, the highly anticipated upcoming album (rumor suggests an early August drop date), and everything else Drizzy-related.
His house has an air-conditioned dog house.
Drake's home is its own fantasia, a single-level ranch that sprawls in various wings over 7,500 square feet, from the game room to the gym to Drake's master bedroom with Jacuzzi. The pool is like a scene out of Waterworld, with a bar inside a grotto, waterfalls, and a slide that drops thirty feet through the rock. Someone leaps from the top of the waterfall into the pool while another holds on to the cliff and does pull-ups. Hung everywhere, the indoor-outdoor flat-screen TVs shine like mirrors. On the property are stables, a mechanical bull, and a movie theater. There's an air-conditioned doghouse and a wine cellar. Drake bought the place for $7.7 million from a restaurant-chain mogul who threw in all the furniture, too. When the front gate opens to allow passage, a woman's voice coos, "Access granted." Drake's boys call it Disneyland.
He confesses that he's so professionally driven that sex isn't a major priority for him.
Right now, Drake says, he feels like a boxer in training before the main event. "You know the way fighters don't f*** before the fight?" he says. "Sometimes I feel like I'm so focused on training my body and getting my mind right to create this album that sex isn't one of my main priorities. If someone is around that I know and trust, I'm down. But I'm not going to end up with some stranger at this party."
He addresses the Chris Brown feud.
"It's embarrassing, the amount of media coverage," he says. "Two rappers fighting over the woman. He's not even a rapper, but still, it's the last way you want your name out there. It distracts from the music. But he's made me the enemy, and that's the way it's gonna stay, I guess."
When I say he seems somewhat Zen about it now—after all the back-and-forth between them this past year, trading barbs on radio shows or blasting them out in song lyrics—he says, "If I think about it too much, I feel it wrapping around my foot, like I get a feeling it could end really badly."
He talks about the time that Will Smith taught him about love:
"I had lunch the other day with someone I extremely look up to," he continues. "Okay—I had lunch with Will Smith, and listening to him talk, it made me think I don't know what love is. He said something profound. He said love is when you become one and you need that person. It's not about wanting anymore, you need that person. Hearing that, I don't know if I've ever felt that way. I've held women in very high regard almost to the point where I felt like I needed them for a very long time, but I don't know if I comprehend it yet, and I'm okay with that."
How fitting is it that the "soft" rapper from the '90s is teaching the new king of emo rap about the true meaning of love? That's poetry, right there.
The rest of the profile focuses on Drake's past, his relationship with his father, and how his confessional lyrics and willingness to be himself in his music and in a public forum set him apart from other rap moguls in the Summer of Rap. It's only fitting that the profile dropped on National Yeezus Day. [GQ]