How Lil Wayne improved Drake’s lyrics and writing
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How Lil Wayne improved Drake's lyrics and writing

New Orleans native and Young Money founder Lil Wayne, akin to Dr Dre, has been responsible for many careers. From Nicki Minaj to Tyga, the musician (real name Dwayne Carter) has produced many astounding artists. However, none of his protégés have had more of an impact on pop culture than Drake. Initially an actor, the Canadian-born lyricist joined forces with Carter in 2007 and has since superseded his mentor. However, Lil Wayne taught him a great deal about making quality hip-hop music during his come-up.

Drake (real name Aubrey Graham) was an actor before becoming a rapper. As an actor, Graham played the role of Jimmy Brooks in the Canadian teen drama series Degrassi and was on an upward trajectory. However, choosing to focus on music full-time, Graham released his mixtape Room for Improvement in 2006. He quickly followed up with Comeback Season in 2007 and So Far Gone in 2009. With so much buzz surrounding him after his 2007 project, he got signed by Lil Wayne to Young Money.

Young Money was a potent label and crew during the late-2000s and early-2010s. Acting as a subsidiary of Birdman’s Louisiana label Cash Money. The ensemble comprised of various MCs, some of whom have prospered as their counterparts tanked. The crew released several mixtapes. However, the collective’s mainstream penetration was primarily due to their 2009 track ‘Bedrock,’ the lead single of the outfit’s collaboration album, We Are Young Money. 

However, before the release of Graham’s 2010 debut body of work, Thank Me Later, Carter assisted Drake as he honed his craft. The Toronto rapper’s first high-charting single was ‘Best I Ever Had.’ The track was initially released for the emcee’s third mixtape, So Far Gone. However, the song’s success on the Billboard Hot 100 led to Graham re-releasing it for his album. 

Prior to his third mixtape, Graham was struggling with regard to writing. However, the Canadian musician once revealed in an interview with Rolling Stone, that it was Carter who helped him excel explaining, “Wayne told me to just remember it’s about your thoughts, you got to think about what you want to say beforehand. And then from there, you make it rhyme or you make it connect. But the more important thing is, What’s your message, What’s your point. And that should be the bare essentials of a line or a verse – what do you really want to say and what do you want to say about yourself?”

The OVO artist continued, “I think he gave me that advice truly for me to set myself apart as a rapper, because I know Wayne sometimes raps for the sake of being a phenomenal rapper. And other times you’ll get a song where he tells a story and gets personal. But when he gave me that advice it was almost like him giving me like a cheat code. Here, I’m gonna give you something; I’m gonna give you a piece and see what you do with it. And So Far Gone is what I did with it.” ‘Best I Ever Had’ peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2009, making Drake’s first top-ten single.

You can listen to it below.