During his Beats 1 interview that aired Thursday night, Drake was asked his take on a wide variety of subjects including some hitting closer to home, ones that he’s avoided discussing in recent months. Host Zane Lowe was finally able to pin down the 6 God and have him share his take on the “tough times” going on between the Young Money and Cash Money camps and where his relationship stands with all the people involved.
It’s no mystery that the house that Baby built off Lil Wayne’s back has been in a bad position for months now. The in-fighting over contracts and royalties has been well documented. What’s been missing throughout are comments from Nicki Minaj, who’s spoken on it briefly, and, more importantly, Drake, because both are integral pieces in the legal battle between Lil Wayne and Cash Money.
Drake addressed the Situation with a PC approach that managed to pay proper respect to his two mentors. “I’m just a person who is grateful for all the names you mentioned, specifically Birdman and Wayne,” he said. “It’s tough to watch, I’ll be honest with you. I have a mutual respect for both guys and pray every day that it gets worked out, and that we’ll all find an amicable place again one day.”
From there, Lowe quickly asked Drake on the current status of his relationship with Nicki, which may be even more strained than the one between Baby and Wayne. The 29-year-old admitted their communication is next to nil — “I don’t really talk to Nicki,” he said — because she shares a bed with his rap foe Meek Mill. Their lack of interaction isn’t new by any means since he previously rapped about the two not being in touch with each other, and both have spoken on the nature of their relationship, indicting that hectic schedules and personal agendas often keep them too busy to talk. No Love lost, according to Drizzy.
“Again, another person I have a lot of love for, a lot of respect, not only for our the past and how much work and time we put in,” he said. “But even just the way she dealt with the situation at hand. I understand what love is and I understand a personal situation. She dealt with me how I would expect her to, which was with class. I would do the same, you know. There were times I was sitting there, waiting to see, you know…how deep is your love? You gotta ask yourself. I always have respect and love for Nicki, but unfortunately we haven’t spoke. Even if we don’t speak, she knows what it is. It’s always love.”
From there, the conversation switched back to the competing label bosses and their public fallout. “[W]ith Birdman and Wayne, that’s business, man. It’s not like stuff, I mean obviously that’s our new form of entertainment. But at the end of the day, it’s a situation that I pray gets resolved because… it’s a legacy… It was amazing to see Kobe go out and score 60 points. I wanna see them go out and score 60 points.”
Without analyzing his words heavily, we do have to note he said “them” instead of using a first-person pronoun. For anyone else, the word choice is a casual oversight and that could be true for Drake, too. But, as measured as he was throughout the conversation, it’s hard to believe he’d make the mistake of not including himself in the Young Money-Cash Money equation. The reason he probably said “them” instead of “us” or “we” is because he’s ready to move forward with or without either party’s guiding hands. He also probably didn’t want Birdman screaming down on him or attempting to have him killed, but those two things are just wild guesses.
As fans, we tend to view rap crews and label families as unbreakable entities, even though we know that’s far from the truth. Many are formed under contractual terms, not friendly endeavors or even artistic ones. There are bosses, managers, and employees. They’re meant to generate music and income and survive for short runs, not enduring dynasties. Rap’s most lauded squads — from Wu-Tang and G-Unit’s in-fighting to Roc-A-Fella falling apart — have eventually dissolved, and Cash Money is no different.
What remains after they run out of gas is exactly what Drake and Lowe said: legacies. No matter what happens, Cash Money and Young Money’s respective legacies will outlast them. Right now, things do look messy and “tough,” but history won’t recall those dirty little facts. Instead, the past will tell the future about how powerful YMCMB was, and the hits they created that will be heard louder and for longer than anything said or done right now as the situation continues to dissolve.
I think it’s been discussed here before, but Drake’s been slowly shifting to a point where October’s Very Own will be his vehicle of choice. He, Oliver, and the rest of their team continue bringing new artists to the table for his fans, establishing their shift from vanity imprint to a sustainable recording home. Guys like dvsn, Wizkid, and PartyNextDoor are on Views, replacing features from Nicki and Wayne that we’ve grown accustomed to hearing on previous outings. If the situation remains unchanged, it may be a while if we ever get a “Make Me Proud” or “HYFR” again.