Drake said that he was hopeful throughout that the months of work he put in with the rapper/businessman would allow the two to achieve a creative synthesis.
“Everybody is looking for this one joint with me and Jay, so that needs to happen,” said Drake. “My goal at this point is to keep making that organic music. I don’t wanna feel pressure now that I have a single and music that’s hot.”
Drake explained how the song, produced by Tone Mason and co-produced by his October’s Very Own cohort Noah “40” Shebib, came to fruition.
“When I heard that beat, the drums that they had come up with, it was like, ‘Man, this is a moment,'” he said. “‘This sounds like where I’m at in my life.’ So, we took it and 40 did what he does to pieces of music that I see potential in – he took it to the next spot. Jay-Z’s on it. The song is phenomenal. It’s done now.”
The track will be included on the rapper’s forthcoming debut, Thank Me Later, which is tentatively slated for a March release. The pair previously worked together on Jay-Z’s “Off That,” from Hov’s The Blueprint 3 project.
That track, however, only featured Drake on the hook instead of contributing a verse alongside Jay. This time, the two MCs both had their say on “Light Up.” But while the upstart MC was able to recruit the Roc Nation head into the fold for his first album, in addition to expected collaborations with Lil Wayne and Kanye West, Drake said he is trying to downplay the guest list and focus on his humble beginnings with Thank Me Later.
“At the end of the day, one of the biggest things I’ve been toying with on Thank Me Later is that it’s kind of hard for me to come out and be like, ‘I’m still the underdog,’ ” Drake said.
“I can’t rap about the same things [as I did] on So Far Gone, so it’s just really trying to tell the greatest story that’s never been told, which is the story of a rapper’s upbringing, and tell it without being corny or bragging or sounding like, ‘Feel sorry for me.’ It’s going to be a very interesting record because I’m really going to have to dig deep and tell stories that people can relate to. But it’s kind of hard, because my life is at a very different place now.”