Drake wants you to stretch your mind like a canvas.
That’s the idea behind his new W magazine pictorial. He was commissioned by Sotheby’s in New York to create a song for an exhibition and private sale of works by important African-American artists, including Theaster Gates, Wangechi Mutu, David Hammons, and Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Drake said: “The art at Sotheby’s moved me like a song would. I saw music in those paintings. I now try to treat each single as a piece of art. I try to attach the sound that I’m making to an image in my mind.”
The photos above are an affect of that profound insight. Check those out plus read some highlights from the corresponding interview:
I can’t wait to get back into acting. No one ever asks me to do movies, and, although music is my focal point now, I’d love to do a film. That was the life that I lived before, and it would be interesting to live it again.
What it was like being a muse for this project for W?
It’s the first time I’ve ever been a “muse,” but I’m used to collaborating. Curiosity is the best part of working with any kind of artist. You want to see how somebody else’s process works. It’s like learning a secret. My mother was a teacher, and she brought all kinds of things into our house. So I learned early on that inspiration could come in many forms, from many people.
Were you raised around art?
We didn’t really have paintings on the walls, but I grew up with album covers! I loved the Marvin Gaye cover for What’s Going On. It made me want to hear the music, to be in that world. I liked anything visual that pulled me into the music.
You still live in Toronto. Most people leave…
Really? Most people I know stay in Toronto. I plan to spend the rest of my life there. The talk, the smell, the sound that comes out of that city is home to me. When I think about the girls I want to get romantic with, it’s a girl from Toronto who knows what I’m talking about when we drive around the city.
When you wrote, “I signed up for greatness,” what exactly did you mean?
Realizing that I had a larger purpose was one of the most comforting, peaceful feelings. With music, especially, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m a vessel to deliver emotion to people. I want to provide the background music to your life as you live it. I’m there for you in heartbreak and tragedy and joy. The thought of being remembered is what keeps me going. What I was trying to say is, the negatives don’t matter—it’s history that counts. At 19, I was just really, really excited to be in the room. Everything was romantic then. Now, nearly a decade later, it’s a bit different. I have to speak against negativity and conflict. There’s so much bullshit that you’re forced to address, but it’s okay. I’m afraid I sound boosie.
(According to Drake, the word ‘boosie’ means “talking that talk”).