Drake Talks Working With Stevie Wonder, Evolution As A Rapper

Drizzy talks about recording with the legendary Stevie Wonder and how he's grow as an artist since he first burst on the scene.

With as many hit songs as he's appeared on this summer alone, it's hard to imagine that Drake had enough time to record his own music. Now, however, in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, the Young Money reveals that his sophomore LP Take Care will arrive on schedule this October 24, and that it's picked up a few key collaborations along the way.

Drizzy explained that he was able to enlist R&B legend Stevie Wonder to record a song with him, titled "Doing It Wrong." According to Drake, the song found him venturing out of his pop-oriented comfort zone and looking back to Stevie Wonder's discography for inspiration. He also said it's the first song he's recorded that's made listeners actually tear up in front of him.

"I had a song that’s very powerful, it’s called 'Doing It Wrong,' and Stevie [Wonder] boosted it to another level," he said. "[Noah '40' Shebib] produced it, but Stevie has a solo on it that he plays. It’s a great piece of music...He brought life to it. I was only trying to use extremely strong R&B songs on this album if I’m going to use R&B at all. Before I’d have scattered interludes and songs where I’m experimenting with things. Here I wanted to get back to 'Brand New,' 'Bria’s Interlude' days. It’s going to be really tight writing and shit that’s sexy as fuck. That’s my thing. I’m going to do the type of R&B I’m good at. With Stevie it’s hard for me to explain. It’s an incredible thing I witnessed that night. He heard a song that he saw some potential in and he added some key pieces that made it come to life.

He added, "I’ve never played a song for people and they’ve cried and gone into their own private zone in their mind where they’re really thinking about some situations that hit home. And this song has done that for me. I’ve never seen that before. I’ve heard stories where it’s like, 'So and so cried when they heard this.' And I’d be like, 'Yeah, okay, cool.' But I’ve seen people tear up listening to this song that me and Stevie did...I think me and Stevie immediately formed a relationship where he wants to see me do well. He’s expressed to me adamantly that he wants to see me succeed. He wants to see me on the moon. It’s boosted my confidence."

Drake also spoke on his evolution as an artist and as an emcee. He said that many fans tell him that he's not the same artist as he was on his smash mixtape So Far Gone. As much as he wants to cater to his fans' needs, however, Drake recognizes that he can't stay stagnant as a lyricist, and that in order to grow as a person, his approach to music will have to change as well.

"[P]eople always say 'I miss the old you.' And I take it. I go, 'I hear you man,'" he said. "I don’t ever lash out online or whatever. What’s interesting is that they don’t really miss the old me, because any real fan would want me to evolve and get better. And I think what people miss are the time markers. For a lot of people our albums are time markers...[s]o when people say that, I just think they’re saying they miss that time in their lives...With this record, I knew I couldn’t talk about 'Oh, I miss my old friends.' On Thank Me Later I said something like 'I wish wasn’t famous. I wish I was still in school.' At that time that was really how I felt. But when I listen back to it...I’m more confident now...This album is about living it and owning it and letting you know exactly what I go through. It’s not Drake on So Far Gone and it’s not Drake on Thank Me Later. I can’t go back to the old me. It’s impossible. I’m proud of who I’ve evolved into, for sure."

He added that his personal growth has factored heavily into the manner in which he writes and delivers lyrics, saying, "The other day me and 40 found a box of So Far Gone CDs - like actual CDs that we gave out around the city when I dropped the mixtape. That night I drove home listening to it and it hit me right there. As well put together and different as it was, it hit me that, 'You can rap better than this now.' It was like I told myself, 'Congratulations, you can spit better than this now.' But it’s hard for me to pat myself on the back. My arms don’t reach that far. I can’t really get a good pat. [Laughs] I’m pushing myself. I’m 24 and there are a lot of eyes on me, a lot of pressure on me. And I just want to be someone they remember. I want to speak for this generation."

The full article can be found on Entertainment Weekly's website.

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14 Comments

  • Daniel

    Drake has really evolved from when i started listening to him. He's become such a good artist. i saw him in Chicago in the summer of 2010 right after Thank Me Later dropped. He really has fun and really means what he says in his songs. His music has such an influence on me that there's no way I'd ever stop being a fan of his. i rap and sing to soo i feel connected to what he says and the music he goes in over. so there can be people who say "ohh its just too soft and i'm more of a listener to raw verses and flow" @LukeSoup12 there's nothing wrong with that but as a hip hop fan u gotta realize whats goin on right now. Hip-hop today is just about a beat and a hook to a majority of it's listeners. Don't get me wrong though, i like some of the raw songs like John by Lil Wayne or Snapbacks Back by Tyga and Chris breezy. but what ever happened to lyrics that mean sumthin like when Biggie, Pac, Tribe Called Quest, New Edition, Bel Biv Devoe, Stevie Wonder, The Commadores and more? I feel as though Drake is one of the few that are stickin to lyrics and to good sounding beats. Just my opinion. if anyone else agrees with me thank you for reading this.

  • LukeSoup12

    Look I'm not doubting Drake has some rap skills but for god sakes he is just so soft. No one ever remembers anything about his verses he's all about hooks. and I'm more of a listener to raw verses and flow.

  • Peter Francis Schneider

    Young Angel needs to man up and work on that bullshit flow

  • Anonymous

    Evolution As A Rapper??? Drake mean evolution as a singer lol

  • Anonymous

    Not, or never was a fan of Drake's music...but I gotta respect his mentality as an artist. He just may be the most matured artist on that Young Money label.

  • john

    I wish someone would just kill the whole young money group, what a joke.

  • Eddie

    I wish someone would just assonant the whole young money group, what a joke.

  • Mr Flamboyant

    LOL at the picture, him grinning like Chester the Chess Cat, and that Freddie Mercury ass tank top. Even though I really don't care for his music overall and may never will, I respect this from him. One, he's comfortable in his own skin (albeit...well... I'll just say he's who he is) and two, he's about progressing as an artist. I do wish to hear this song with the great Stevie Wonder and am looking forwad to it. Personally, I think Drake tries to hard with this persona and it tends to get old and annyoing. But if he's actually being him, recognizing that he has room for improvement and strives for such. Cool. I'm all for it. Just make solid product. That's it. And be true to yourself and not sell yourself sort. No need to have regrets later if you can properly do things off tippany.

  • Tha Kid

    "...he wants to see me succeed. He wants to see me on the moon." Hate to break it to the nigga but Stevie ain't gonna "SEEING" shit....lol

  • money

    wtf is drake gonna be prime minister of canada next. Them jews looking out for there boy

  • LOL

    I can't stop laughing at Drake's face in that picture. Nigga looks like he just got hit with some laughing gas on some other h=shit.

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