Behind The Mic: The story of how Drake created his song ‘Marvins Room’
(Credit: Hip Hop Hero / Alamy)


Behind The Mic: The story of how Drake created his song 'Marvins Room'

Drake is one of the most decorated artists in hip-hop. Exploding onto the scene in 2009 alongside Nicki Minaj and Tyga as part of Young Money, Drake has gone on to achieve incredible things in his career and ascend dizzying heights.

During the 2010s, Drake was unstoppable. With four Grammy awards, 13 BET awards and a whopping 34 Billboard awards, the Young Money artist broke all kinds of musical records and was even awarded the accolade ‘Billboard Artist of the Decade’. 

With such esteem, it’s often fascinating to find out how artists we admire piece small things together to create these fantastic works like a mosaic. In this article, we’re going behind the mic to find out all the facts about how Drake made his 2011 ‘Marvins Room’.

‘Marvin’s Room’ was recorded as the lead single for Drake’s second full-length studio album, Take Care. Drake recorded the song in a Hollywood studio founded by Marvin Gaye, which operates under the name Marvin’s Room. Produced by Canadian artist 40, the track and its production were seminal in forming Drake’s sound as an artist.

As what could be considered a downtempo, R’n’B track, Drake incorporated live instrumentation into the melody to add soul and even recruited pianist Jason Beck, also known as Chilly Gonzales, to provide an acoustic piano solo for the outro of the track. Drake knew Gonzales’ father and had previously sampled his song, ‘The Tourist’, for his mixtape, So Far Gone. The rapper also brought Adrian Eccleston on board, a jazz guitarist, to provide additional elements to the track. 

Lyrically, the song sees Drake talk from the perspective of an intoxicated man who is in love. We hear audio of the rapper drunk dialling an ex-girlfriend telling her he loves her and things of that nature. The track is highly introspective and reflective. 

Initially, the track was posted directly to Drake’s OVO blog on June 9th, 2011. Upon positive feedback from fans, it was released commercially on June 28th. The track, taken from the Toronto rapper’s album, Take Care, was extremely popular and was remixed and covered by numerous artists, including Chris Brown, Lil Wayne, Teyana Taylor and JoJo. In an interview with Billboard Magazine, JoJo stated: “I was drawn by the boldness and honesty of Drake’s lyrics. If something speaks to me, I get the itch to take a stab at it.”

There was some minor controversy surrounding the album version of the track. This version included an interlude featuring uncredited vocals from singer Ericka Lee. Lee filed a suit on February 2nd, 2012, after declaring that she had been promised four to five per cent of publishing royalties which she never received. However, the two parties reached an out-of-court settlement, and the case was dismissed on February 2nd, 2013.

This is the story of ‘Marvin’s Room’ by Drake. You can listen to the song in the video below.