For their 150th issue, XXL magazine profiled Drake in a cover story. The Toronto, Ontario actor/emcee helps the New York-based publication celebrate its 16th anniversary with an interview.

Asked about next month’s third studio album, Nothing Was The Same, Drake spoke of competing with #1 albums by Jay Z, Kanye West, Wale, A$AP Rocky and J. Cole.

“I remember coming into this year thinking, ‘How am I going to cut through all these people and shine?’ I’ve never been part of a year when so many legends are dropping projects,” said Drake. In 2011, with Take Care, Drake competed against #1 albums from Lil Wayne, Bad Meets Evil, Mac Miller, Lupe Fiasco, J. Cole and Kanye and Jay’s joint effort, Watch The Throne. “How am I going to be seen? I’m going to be like the kid waving in the background in the photo with all of his tall relatives. And, I guess, those were my initial thoughts, and not to say that I haven’t enjoyed some of the stuff that has come out this year, but it didn’t pan out the way I thought it was going to.”

To Drake, Nothing Was The Same is an important proving-ground. “I think I am going for it, to really establish what are murmurs or things being said quietly, ‘Um, I think that Drake might actually…’ On September 17, I want people to be like, ‘Oh, we were right.'”

Read the full preview of Drake’s XXL cover-story.

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