Drake is famously secretive about his work. Toronto’s own hip-hop megastar prefers to carefully reveal the details of his albums, piece by piece, slowly building the tension to epic heights before dropping it on us.
The rapper’s fourth annual hometown OVO Fest happens Monday, August 5 at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre. Even with the loss of R&B crooner Frank Ocean, who was forced to drop off the bill after suffering a vocal cord injury, the single day affair will no doubt be packed with special appearances, and Drake’s headline set will more than likely feature the unveiling a new track or two off his forthcoming third LP, Nothing Was the Same.
The album isn’t due until September 17, but the rumours of potential track names and guest stars have been swirling for months. To clear up some of the confusion, here’s a list of everything we know (and a few things we think we know) about Drake’s 'Nothing Was the Same.'
1. This is the album cover
Drake's album art is reminiscent of previous kid-pic covers by LIl Wayne and Biggie Smalls, but as he <a href="http://www.mtv.com/videos/news/949860/drake-explains-nothing-was-the-same-album-art.jhtml" target="_blank">told MTV</a>: "It's a child version of myself staring at myself now. Sometimes when I try and think back on this journey, it's so hard to pinpoint all of these moments and it gets foggy."
It’s called 'Nothing Was the Same' (and has a new release date)
Drake revealed the album’s title way back in March in a <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hx7TcxXmw8o" target="_blank">Grammy red carpet interview</a> with Ryan Seacrest. More recently, he posted the promotional video below, in which Drizzy and his pals sip alcohol out of his freshly delivered Grammy award. More more recently, he announced the record would come out <a href="https://twitter.com/Drake/status/370362629958537217" target="_blank">a week later on Sept 24</a>.
“Started From The Bottom” is the first single
With its memorable hook, its Shoppers Drug Mart-themed video, and its <a href="http://neonlimelight.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/drake-started-from-the-bottom.jpg" target="_blank">billboard</a> that sits above a Toronto highway, the first single from "Nothing Was the Same" can only be described as a genuine smash.
Once again, things are going to get personal
As the first single, “Started From the Bottom” set the tone that "Nothing Was the Same" will once again be a confessional piece focused on the intimate details of the star’s life story. Drake gave the <a href="http://www.gq.com/entertainment/celebrities/201307/rapper-drake-in-america-july-2013" target="_blank">first interview</a> of the new album cycle to GQ for a cover story dubbed "How To Drake It In America." Elaborating on the album’s themes, he said, "This is my fucking moment to say if I wanted to rap all the time, really rap, I would, but I also love to make music. I'll do this for you right now. But it's for me, too. It's my story...I'm trying to get back to that kid in the basement. To say what he has to say. And I'm trying to make it last."
The first track is called “Tuscan Leather”
In that <a href="http://www.gq.com/entertainment/celebrities/201307/rapper-drake-in-america-july-2013" target="_blank">GQ interview</a>, Drake revealed the album’s first track. The song contains a Whitney Houston sample, and the title is lifted from "a Tom Ford fragrance that some say smells like a brick of cocaine.”
Jay Z is on it
A few months back, Aubrey was pictured in the studio with Mr. Carter in this photo from the Instagram account of Roc Nation A&R man Lenny Santiago @kodaklens. More recently, Las Vegas’ DJ Franzen <a href="http://rapdose.com/2013/07/15/drake-jay-z-cake" target="_blank">claimed that</a> the latest collaboration from the hip-hop megastars is called “Cake,” and it will appear on NWTS.
At least part of it was recorded in Marvin’s Room
In the past, Drake has taken much inspiration from Marvin Gaye, going so far as to name one of his most famous songs after the studio where the R&B legend crafted much of his late-‘70s material, including famed 1978 album "Here, My Dear." A few <a href="http://wordonroad.net/news/drake-heads-back-to-marvins-room-photos/" target="_blank">recent Instagram photos</a> suggested that Drake was back behind the boards in Marvin’s Room.
Jamie XX will be involved in a bigger way
Drake is known for his close relationship with producer Noah “40” Shebib, but way back in March 2012, he said he was <a href="http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/news/id.19189/title.drake-updates-on-third-album-speaks-on-work-with-2-chainz-jamie-xx-noah-40-shebib" target="_blank">eager to collaborate with Jamie XX</a>. “I really want him to have a big presence on this next album,” Drake said, of the UK-based producer, beatsmith, and sonic guru behind The XX.
It features vocals from rising Los Angeles R&B star Jhene Aiko
Sometimes, all it takes is a simple Drake tweet to keep churning out the news. He confirmed the addition of this up and coming singer to the 'NWTS' lineup in June.
That “leaked” track list was a fake
The hip-hop world was buzzing back in May when it appeared Drake’s dad had <a href="http://www.mtv.co.uk/music/urban/10079-drake-s-father-reveals-tracklist-for-nothing-was-the-same-album" target="_blank">accidentally revealed</a> the track list for "Nothing Was the Same." But with the details that have trickled out in the months since, the widely discredited track list looks increasingly bogus.
Migos say they’re on it
Drake contributed a verse to his remix of “Versace,” the smash hit by Atlanta-based trap trio Migos. In this interview with DJ Self, Migos claimed they’ll feature on a track from "Nothing Was the Same."
It contains some words of wisdom from Curtis Mayfield
Drake also <a href="http://www.complexmag.ca/music/2013/06/drake-covers-gq-july-issue-talks-chris-brown-sex-and-nothing-was-the-same" target="_blank">revealed to GQ</a> that the album contains a line from Curtis Mayfield at a 1987 concert in Montreux, in which the legendary musician says, “Having the same fears, shedding similar tears, and of course dying in so many years, it don't mean that we can't have a good life.”
Drake recently spent time in the studio with Anthony Hamilton
Drizzy took to Twitter in late May to say that he was in the studio with “one of my true heroes,” Grammy-award winning soul star Anthony Hamilton. Whether or not this means Hamilton will feature on the new album, we’ll have to wait and see.
It could include the newly dropped track “All Me”
Drake tweeted the title of this jam recently, which features guest spots from 2 Chainz and Big Sean, and an opening sample of Aziz Ansari. When the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/01/mtv-first-aired-music-videos_n_3690085.html?utm_hp_ref=canada-music&ir=Canada%20Music" target="_blank">song appeared this week</a> on his October’s Very Own blog, the world learned that Drake slept with his former babysitter. Huh.
The Weeknd could still be in the picture
Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye quashed persistent rumours of a growing feud with Drake in a recent <a href="http://www.complexmag.ca/music/2013/07/weeknd-interview-cover-story/page/3" target="_blank">interview with Complex</a>. And after a recent Justin Bieber concert in Toronto, Drake posted an <a href="http://instagram.com/p/cQtwm0jQBY" target="_blank">Instagram photo</a> taken in the studio with his mysterious collaborator. Could they have patched up their differences in the name of music? OVOXO