Drake Talks Balotelli and His New Album at the FIFA ’14 Release Party

The hip-hop artist chats with Maxim before squaring off virtually against Red Bulls Player Tim Cahill.

You’re taking on Tim Cahill tonight in FIFA ’14. How do you feel about your chances?

Man, I’m going to be honest. Tim is obviously on the Red Bulls, but I‘m going to come through with Cristiano [Ronaldo]. It’s going to be over pretty quick. I went to play with some kids today, they play on the soccer team at Martin Luther King High School, and the goalie tried to play me. I scored on him in the first two minutes – it was done pretty quickly. Tim wore a suit tonight and he looks sharp. That’s pretty much as good as it’s going to get for Timmy tonight.

Are you usually a pretty competitive person?

Yeah, just across the board in life. FIFA is just something that I do well.

When you play FIFA, do you usually play as Real Madrid?

Yeah, I’m faithful. I don’t really play as anybody else. I switch Benzema and Ronaldo, so Ronaldo’s coming up the middle and Benzema is on the wing. My cross and my long shot games are crazy.

In reality, is that your soccer team?

I don’t really have a soccer team. Soccer is like a religion. I feel like you have to be somewhere to have a soccer team, you know what I mean? I’ve been scrutinized before for going to Manchester City, Manchester United, and Chelsea games. I have friends that play soccer; Balotelli is one of my close friends. Didier Drogba is one of my favorite players ever, and also one of my close friends. I’ve been to a lot of different soccer matches, but I don’t necessarily have a favorite team. I just support the people that I like.

Which soccer player do you think would make the best rapper?

It’s gotta be Balotelli. He’s like the Tupac of soccer.

Totally. He’s pretty much got all the parts of the rap game down besides the actual rapping.

Haha, yeah! He definitely does. 

Your new album Nothing Was The Same is dropping now to great reviews. People have been saying it’s a “tougher” album – do you agree?

I think I’ve found a way to successfully blend my melodic side and my rap side. I think that’s why it comes off a bit tougher, because there are no ballads on there like the last album. There’s not really any down moments, even when I’m singing – I chose to take a more aggressive stance while in production and during recording. It’s not tougher in a way where you are going to hear a bunch of gun and drug raps; it’s just a bit tougher in the sense that it’s got an energy coursing through it, and I’m really excited about that.

You’ve written for a lot of other artists. What is your songwriting process like?

I try to figure out where someone is at in their life. I usually ask them to divulge some personal information to me. I’m not really good at writing generic songs; I need pieces of someone’s life to write about. If somebody gives me enough, “This is where I’m at, this is what’s going on,” then I can find a beat that suits that, then start writing the song. It’s cool to write about people I feel that I know. I’ll write what I think is right, and then they’ll be like, “Man, how did you know that’s me?”  Those moments are always good moments.

Have you ever thought about getting back into acting?

I’m on top of it right now. Just got to get this tour out of the way, and then I really want to start acting again.

Who is your dream director to work with?

I don’t know if I necessarily have a dream director, but I really want to do movies with Gosling, Clooney. I like Jonah Hill, of course he’s one of my friends, but I’d like to work with him and Seth Rogen and Judd Apatow and that whole crew, Michael Cera. I was actually in one of my dream movies, which was Anchorman 2. That was a dream come true.

Photos by MLSsoccer.com