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“I’ve never felt like, ‘Oh, people will bite at anything that’s Drake,’” he says. “I’m just not that guy. I don’t feel that way about any of my music… If it didn’t connect, I would have a huge problem.” (Drake)

“I mean, I’m really trying. It’s not like I’m just sitting here, just fuckin’ shooting with my eyes closed. Like, I’m trying. I’m really trying to make music for your life.” (Drake)

“It was like an offering—that’s what it was. It was just an offering. I just wanted you to have something to start the year off. I wanted to be the first one. I wanted to set it off properly.” (Drake … on If You’re Reading This)

“I always used to be so envious, man, that Wiz Khalifa had that song ‘Black and Yellow,’ and it was just a song about Pittsburgh,” Drake says. “Like, the world was singing a song about Pittsburgh! And I was just so baffled, as a songwriter, at how you stumbled upon a hit record about Pittsburgh. Like, your city must be elated! They must be so proud. And I told myself, over the duration of my career, I would definitely have a song that strictly belonged to Toronto but that the world embraced. So, ‘Know Yourself’ was a big thing off my checklist.” (Drake)

“I’ve just become really adamant about leaving fragments in everything I do that belong strictly to my city,” he says. “The world will pick up on it.” (Drake)

“I just want to be remembered as somebody who was himself. Not a product.” (Drake, again)

Need a few more quotes to live by?

Check out more of this guy, Leon Neyfakh’s writing, and Mark Peckmezian’s photography now.