Drake On His New Album, Versace and Returning to Acting

Marcus Holmlund

Last night, we braved the "DRIZZY!"-screaming throngs of Drake fans outside the 5th avenue Versace boutique, where the 24-year-old Torontonian TV star-turned-emcee was guest DJing at Fashion's Night Out. Our eardrums are still paying for it. Of course, the evening was completely worth it, insanity and all, and the former PAPER cover star was kind enough to chat with us about his eagerly anticipated sophomore effort, Take Care, to be released on his birthday, October 24th.

It's been one year since Drake and his major label debut LP, Thank Me Later, changed the hip-hop soundscape entirely. Just listen to the melodically submerged, moody sounds currently flooding R&B (Frank Ocean) and hip-hop (Kid Cudi, Big Sean) and it's relatively simple to identify its root. "It's Toronto. One hundred percent," says Drake modestly when we ask if he's played a hand in R&B's resurgence. "I wouldn't say I created it, it's just the sound of my city. Same for [Abel Tesfaye of] The Weeknd. He's just out there writing music, making music that comes from the most beautiful city in the world. Why wouldn't it sound beautiful, you know?"

Mixtape track, "Marvin's Room," has been creating internet buzz for Take Care thanks to the slew other artists revamping and covering it. Early-aughts tween pop-star JoJo had one of the most popular, in which she, for the first time, delved into adult territory. And Drake took note. "In JoJo's case, she actually took the time to write really potent new lyrics," he says. "It was really shocking, I think, for her audience since throughout her career she's been kind of stereotyped as this teen pop star and then she comes out with this different kind of substance. It's very rare that people take your song and do it over like that."

His connection to Versace, you ask? "I'm a huge Versace fan," he declares. "I love the history: the class, the regal sort of feel; there's just something about it that possesses this characteristic that I think I stand for, too, something that my mother and her friends instilled in me growing up in Forest Hill. I grew up seeing women in Versace, the women of class around me. So, I was just floored when they asked me to do this. For me personally, it's one of the most exciting calls I've gotten in a while."

Fans of the emcee's Degrassi days run will be excited to learn that he's interested in returning to his previous trade. "As soon as I submit this album, I'm in the process of signing with an agency and starting my acting up again."

The first single off Take Care, called "Headlines" is now available for download on iTunes.

PAPERMAG's Complete Spring 2012 Fashion Coverage 

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