Less than two weeks before dropping his highly-anticipated debut, Drake finds himself visiting Lil Wayne in the slammer at Rikers Island and speaking about it to a room full of people after. “It’s just one of those days,” he expresses from the control room at MSR Studios in New York City. Yes, Thank Me Later has made it into leaked territory, but if it wasn’t such an exorbitant brand of merchandise, there wouldn’t be such attempts.
As loved ones and press swarmed around the skinny models serving lobster crumpets, chocolate, and white wine, listeners heard a highly-orchestrated, upscale album. “I represent a bunch of kids that live life thinking every day is Woodstock—peace, love, and happiness,” Drizzy explains after describing his influences, including Nas, Jimi Hendrix, family, women, and money, or as he retorts, “The things that at 23 years old control my life.”
Take a walk through the cramped hallway of MSR, turn around and there goes Slim, Birdman, and Lauren London, just chilling and taking in the scene. Five minutes later, a photo op is captured with Chris Brown, Bow Wow, and Universal Motown President Sylvia Rhone. Aubrey Graham sure brings out the big wigs. And back inside, Drake reveals a special version of his Jay-Z-assisted track “Light Up” on which Lil Wayne spits a hard verse “live from Rikers” over a non-mixed, raw-sounding beat.
Must be the punctuality of the bright, young suitor, but the event ended exactly on time. All that’s left to do is thank him for his exceptional work on the album—either now or later would suffice.