LARGE UP Exclusive: Drake Threatens to Drop a Dancehall Record

January 27, 2011

Words by Eddie STATS Houghton


So apparently at 5am the day after New Year’s your dude and mine Drake sat down with the host of Much Music‘s Rapcity for the first interview of the relaunched show (please note: that’s Rapcity, one word, not to be confused with BET’s Rap City). Since the host, T-RexXx, also happens to one of Toronto’s top movers and a core member of Drake’s OVO clique, the early morning conversation feels more like a rambling vibe session between friends than the prepackaged interviews we mostly get nowadays and the conversation eventually turned–as any 5am vibe session naturally will–to dancehall.

Now when the 2nd-most retweeted person of 2010 touches on an outlaw artform like dancehall even briefly, it’s bound to be big news–bigger, probably, than CNN weighing in. But of course Drake didn’t just touch on the subject. He did the entire interview rocking a Mavado tee, announced that where other artists may turn celebrity DJ for an evening he has his own sound–Voodoo Child Sound–and tried out some method acting patois to proclaim that “any sound test jus’ kill aff, dog.” All of that was just window dressing, however, for Drake’s offhand mention that he “really wants to do something for Jamaica,” and had just hit up Mavado’s manager Julian Jones-Griffith to send him up some tough dancehall riddims to voice. To get the story from the JA side, we shouted Julian, who confirmed:

Drake linked me on New Year’s Day to say he wanted me to send him up some hot dancehall beats, because he is coming up with melodies and ideas that he felt would fit a dancehall beat. Drake loves dancehall and Jamaican culture so him and a dancehall beat is a natural synergy and I’m sure it’s going to be straight fire.

Being the point person for the whole Alliance movement as well as Mavado, Julian promply sent Drake some Daseca productions to listen to while on the road in the US and Europe. (We can only hope the collaboration will help repair Drake’s official standing on the island, where some teeth got kissed after he cast Mavado as a vengeful coke don in the video for “Find Your Love.” Less reported of course, was the fact that he also threw down 25 large bills in support of ‘vado’s Gully Side charity in Cassava Piece.) In any case, if you don’t believe us check the full, unedited interview, which posted yesterday on Much Music–and do remember: you heard it here first!