Imagine a 20-year-old Aubrey Graham sitting in his mother’s basement with dreams of gracing festival stages all over the world with his face on Billboards. In 2007, that didn’t seem based in reality. Less than a decade later, Drake’s new album Views from the 6 has his brand all over billboards, staring down from a pedestal in the clouds at his peers.
While he isn’t the first artist to stare down their city from a giant sign, the commanding message from his recent billboards presents a more stern tone for his opposition. With the NBA circus descending on Toronto for All Star Weekend, signs are popping up everywhere that prove the 6 God’s ubiquity is not to be f****d with. Overlooking Dundas Square, the 416 equivalent to Times Square, is the word ‘VIEWS’ with dozens of all-seeing Eyeballs Staring down. Meanwhile, the short-haul airport Billy Bishop Airport saw more direct branding efforts.
The #6god just landed at @BBishopAirport. Welcome home. #vft6 pic.twitter.com/OEGBeNX8b4
— Billy Bishop Airport (@BBishopAirport) February 9, 2016
All told, Drake’s doing something he promised to deliver from that same basement 10 years ago. Taking to Flow 93.5 FM, the city’s now-irrelevant but only existing hip-hop radio station in 2007, he took over OTA Live on a Tuesday night to speak on his message board beef, his start in entertainment and most importantly, how he had something special for Toronto when he was situated enough to deliver his album.
A photo posted by champagnepapi (@champagnepapi) on
“People in the city are excited,” he said. “I’m excited for this summer, I’m excited for next summer. Finally, we have a group of dudes standing in line ready to go. Toronto is a very hard place to please people.”
On his approach to music: “I want to let people in and I want to be honest with them through the whole process. I’m tryna be the guy that can hit the mainstream and get those 106 & Park girls screaming, but at the same time, like Eminem said on 60 Minutes: ‘I’ll give you those couple of singles, but once you buy the record, it’s too late.’ I’m in your house, I’m in your CD player and I’m going to talk to you.”
On stories: “I might tell stories that I know about or bear witness to but it’s not necessarily about me. There are legendary dopeboys that have amazing stories to tell. There are single women and teenagers and people who are trying to help the world and you gotta tell the stories of these individuals and make it interesting.”
While the entire interview is worth a listen, it’s worth noting that most of what The Boy predicted a decade ago has been spoken into existence in exact details. For those still deliberating whether the eyeballs staring down at them from the sky are propaganda or a legitimate warning to naysayers, take a listen to this interview and gauge whether you want to risk it.
Views from the Six is coming sooner than you think.