Superstar rapper Drake, the highest profile headliner for Austin City Limits Festival 2015, recently broke a year-long media silence. We didn’t get that interview. Instead, swept up in pre-fest anticipation, we pieced together this fictional encounter with Drake, constructed out of song lyrics and contextualized by blog gossip and sleep-deprived fever dreams. For your own imaginary encounter with Dreezy, listen along in this Spotify playlist.
It’s late in the afternoon when the rapper also known as Aubrey Drake Graham agrees to meet on the balcony of his upscale hotel room. He’s wearing a black hoodie, which is strange because we’re in Texas and while it’s technically fall, the temperature still lingers in the uncomfortable nineties. But he doesn’t sweat. Instead, the hood frames his face in a way that accentuates his thick, perfectly groomed eyebrows. It makes him look preternaturally earnest. He picks at a perfectly plated gourmet taco — seared scallops with jicama slaw and a mango salsa —never touching the pile of fresh, chopped jalapenos he requested on the side. When he speaks he uses the same hypnotic, sing-song cadence that made him a radio star. It’s almost like listening to him at your desk, over a pair of cheap ear buds that need to be replaced.
Austin360: You got caught up in a high profile beef with Meek Mill over the summer.
Drake: I got enemies, got a lot of enemies. Got a lot of people tryna drain me of this energy. (“Energy” on “If You’re Reading this It’s Too Late,” 2015)
Your feature on “R.I.C.O.” off Meek Mill’s new album was hot. Were you surprised when he came after you like that?
I seen it all coming, knew they would push a button. East egg hunting, they gotta look for something. Done doing favors for people, ’cause it ain’t like I need the money I make off a feature. (“Charged Up,” single, 2015)
You’re at the top of the hip-hop game right now.
Yeah, been on the move like the lease is up, and I can’t even name one person that’s keepin’ up. (“0 to 100/The Catch Up,” single, 2014)
Has that changed the way other rappers treat you?
They been off for a minute now. You know they all sentimental now. You know they all actin’ different now .(“Legend” on “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late,” 2015)
How has your perspective changed?
I just listened to (his second mixtape)”Closer To My Dreams,” wide eyed and uneducated at 19. I can’t rap like that, all young and naive, not after all of the (expletive) I’ve seen and the things I believe (“30 For 30 Freestyle” on “What a Time to Be Alive” Drake & Future, 2015)
The biggest criticism lobbed at you is that you’re soft.
I used to get teased for being black, and now I’m here and I’m not black enough, ’cause I’m not acting tough, or making stories up ’bout where I’m actually from. (“You & the Six” on “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” 2015)
Let’s switch gears. You’re a big fan of Houston.
H-town my second home like I’m James Harden. (“No New Friends” on DJ Khaled’s “Suffering From Success” ft. Drake, Lil Wayne and Rick Ross, 2013)
What is it about the city that resonates with you?
The music all slow and the (expletive) all pretty. (“What Up” on Pimp C ft. Bun B., Drake, 2010)
But you really rep for your hometown, Toronto. How does that city’s vibe affect your music?
My heart is cold. It’s prolly ’cause I’m from the snow, with all my woes. (“6 Man” on “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” 2015)
Wait, who are your woes? Are those your old school homies?
I still ride with my day one (expletive), I don’t really need no new friends, no new friends, no new friends, no, no new. (“No New Friends” DJ Khaled ft. Drake, Lil Wayne and Rick Ross, 2013)
Got it. What can people expect from your ACL show?
Now I’m on the road, half a million for a show, but we started from the bottom now we’re here. (“Started From the Bottom” on “Nothing Was The Same” 2013.)
You and your woes, right.
Me and my friends we got money to spend. Me and my friends we got money to spend. (“Change Locations” Drake & Future on “What A Time To Be Alive”)
So it’s a big production?
Diamond, diamond, diamond, diamonds on me dancing. (“Diamonds Dancing” Drake & Future on “What A Time To Be Alive”)
Sounds, uh, fantastic.
You could thank me now, go ahead. Thank me later, yeah I know what I said. But later doesn’t always come. So instead, it’s ok, you could thank me now. (“Thank Me Now” on “Thank Me Later” 2010)
Well, OK. Thank you, Drake