Around the time that Kanye directed “Best I Ever Had,” it seemed like there was strife between your camp and Cudi’s camp because Kanye was so enamored of you while Cudi’s project was being worked on.
Drake: I wasn’t aware of that. Even so, I could understand. If Wayne were to be enamored—which is a great word—of another young artist, I would be like, “Damn, I’m here too!” But at the same time, it happens in more than one situation. It happens with ‘Ye, and I have a great relationship with Jay, and Jay’s got Wale and J. Cole, who’s one of my favorite dudes rapping right now. I’ve happened to have had more success. I made the most money, I have number-one records, those guys don’t have that shit. And it’s just facts, it’s not even my feelings or that I feel I’m more talented. That’s what the game is about, making great music that earns profit. When it comes to my relationship with the new dudes, I’m just excited for them. I get to sit back in a cool position and be like, “Yo, I’m excited to see you do it now because I know what it’s like, it’s gonna be so much fun for you…”
You feel like you’re at the finish line?
Drake: I’m at the starting line. Those guys are at home, putting on their tracksuits, getting ready to make their attack. When J. Cole gets it super-right, I think he’s gonna have a place as a Nas-type character who really stands for hip-hop, but still makes ill records that everybody fucks with.
If J. Cole is Nas, then who are you?
Drake: [Laughs.] I’m the young big homie!