Rapper Drake heading back to studio post-injury

Fri Oct 9, 2009 11:10pm EDT
 
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By Gary Graff

DETROIT (Billboard) - With his knee nearly healed from a July stage injury, Drake says he's ready to get back to work on his debut album, still tentatively titled "Thank Me Later" and due out in February.

"I'm able to walk around, so I'm working very hard on the album," the singer-rapper-actor told Billboard.com, adding that his physical rehab period impaired his writing as well as his mobility.

"I've been out of the scene for so long because I've been off my leg," said Drake, who will head to Los Angeles on October 11 for more writing and recording. "Sitting at home in your apartment and having a doctor come over every day and eating healthy and going to the gym -- there's not much of a rap album to be made off that. I have to get my inspiration and start seeing things and going to dinners and meeting people again and just finding stories to tell for this album. I'm trying to make something timeless."

Drake -- whose EP, "So Far Gone," debuted at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 in September -- plans to release the album's first "story," the single "Shut it Down," soon, but that might not be until January.

Drake described the track, which features The-Dream, as "an R&B song ... It's sexy. It's slow, but there's an energy to it. I rap on it. Me and Dream both sing on it. It's cool."

It also has a "message," he said.

"It's like an anthem for (women) to be at your house with your girlfriends getting ready, what you listen to before you get (to the nightclub). It's a song for the non-famous woman to make her feel special and just to let you know that even though I'm up here and have the option to mingle with these 'upper-echelon' women, if you will, that sometimes I'd rather be with the girl from back home or a student or a girl that works at Walmart. They don't have to be a star or rich or anything like that; that's kind of the gist of the song. It's an empowering song for all women."

Drake said Jay-Z, Kanye West and his Young Money label chief, Lil Wayne, are still slated to be on the album, and he promises "a couple of guests that may be very much surprises for a hip-hop album. ... I like to open up the minds of the fans in my genre."

But even as the album's release looms, Drake is plotting his next acting move. "I'm working on that right now," the "Degrassi: The Next Generation" star confirmed. "One of my best friends in this industry is Jamie Foxx ... so hopefully we'll get to do a movie together. And I'm a big Judd Apatow, comedic-timing fan. I love all those movies that they do. So, yeah, I really want to get back into acting. It's definitely something I'm interested in and always will be."

(Editing by SheriLinden at Reuters)