10 things we learned from LeBron James’ barbershop interview with Drake
In the days leading up to his debut as a Los Angeles Laker, LeBron James has been moonlighting as a talk show host. On his HBO interview series, The Shop, the NBA superstar sat down with Drake to talk fatherhood, his public beefs and music. Here are 10 things we learned from the interview:
1. Drake’s mom was hesitant to bring him to a black barbershop in Toronto
As the title suggests, The Shop is shot inside a barbershop. Drake, who was raised primarily by a Jewish-Canadian mom, says he rarely went to a black barbershop for a cut as a kid. “My mom had a couple tough experiences where she kinda felt disrespected or alienated in that situation,” he explains before cracking a self-deprecating joke about the not-so-sharp hairline he sported in the early days of Degrassi: The Next Generation.
2. Drake put Kanye West on blast
Drake reveals that there were some shady Kanye-related events surrounding album release dates. According to Drizzy, his former friend and collaborator Kanye was well aware that Drake’s album Scorpion would drop on June 29. Kanye got the jump on Drake by dropping a slew of seven-song GOOD Music albums, including his own, between late May and mid-June.
3. ‘Lift Yourself’ was intended for Drake’s album
Kanye’s soulful “Lift Yourself” beat was supposed to appear on Scorpion, according to Drake. He says he started writing verses to the track, but West leaked the song early with a “Poop-di-scoop/ Scoop-diddy-whoop” nonsense verse. “This guy’s trolling me,” Drake says. “That was a manipulative, ‘I want to break you’ thing.”
4. The most infuriating part of “The Story of Adidon” wasn’t the revelation of Drake’s son
Drake says he got over the fact that Pusha-T rapped about his secret son on his dis track, “The Story of Adidon.” What was unforgivable was Pusha blindsiding Drake’s good friend, producer 40, who has MS. “OVO 40 hunched over like he 80—tick, tick, tick/ How much time he got? That man is sick, sick, sick,” Pusha spat.
“This is dark,” Drake tells LeBron. “There’s a price you have to pay for that.”
5. Drake toyed with the idea of responding with his own scathing dis track
“The Story of Adidon” pushed Drake to write something even more destructive. “I said terrible things,” Drake admits. But the response track, which fired at both Kanye and Pusha, was never released. “It wasn’t something I ever want to be remembered for,” he says.
6. Drake channelled his anger at Pusha and Kanye into Scorpion
Instead of channeling his frustration into retaliation, Drake says he focused that energy on his new album. The tracks. “Mob Ties,” “Nonstop,” and “In My Feelings” were all born of that rage.
7. Adversity breeds greatness
“To create a great story, there has to be perseverance,” Drake says. LeBron responds by sharing a story about his first trip to the NBA finals, when the Cleveland Cavaliers were crushed by the San Antonio Spurs. He believes that series only motivated him to want to become a champion. “That’s never happening again,” he says. “Failure is beginning of achievement. Even Cinderella lost her shoe.”
“That’s a bar,” Drake jokes. “’Bron has bars.”
8. Drake was hard on his father, Dennis, for not being present
LeBron and Drake bond over the fact that they were both raised by single moms. Drake explains how he used to be critical of his parents for being so divided. “It was a childhood that I had to wrap my mind around as I grew,” he says. Now that he’s trying to navigate parenthood himself, he has a better understanding of what his parents went through.
9. Drake once wanted to start a family with Rihanna
One of the scariest aspects of having his son, Adonis, Drake explains, was telling his mom, Sandi, that the mother of her grandson was someone she never met. Having a baby with, say, Rihanna, would have made for a much easier conversation. “I wanted that too at one time,” Drake joked.
10. Despite their imperfect relationship, Drake has “unconditional love” for Sophie Brussaux.
Despite the complexities surrounding his relationship with French painter Sophie Brussaux, Drake says he wants to be a great father. Growing up, he said his mom often spoke poorly of his father, and he doesn’t want that for his own son. “We’ve had our moments,” Drake says. “But I don’t ever the world to be angry at his mother.”
Drake then shows LeBron a photo of Adonis and threatens to bring the toddler to the James’ estate for basketball lessons.