Vulnerable Canadian rapper/crooner Drake likes to talk about girls, like, a lot — the ones he had, he has, or he will have — so it's surprising when he says in his new GQ cover story that Will Smith, the noted relationship expert, recently blew his mind with a new theory about love.
In the piece by Michael Paternetti, Drake takes the world on a tour of his $7.7 million San Fernando Valley ranch while his inner circle of old friends chase girls around a pool on a recent afternoon. But Drake falls back and avoids the women at this particular party. He's being abstinent, kind of, while he's prepping a new album, Nothing Was the Same, that's supposed to come out in August. "You know the way fighters don’t fuck before the fight?" Drake asks, sort of rhetorically. "Sometimes I feel like I’m so focused on training my body and getting my mind right to create this album that sex isn’t one of my main priorities. If someone is around that I know and trust, I’m down. But I’m not going to end up with some stranger at this party." But he's also maturing as a person and learning from past mistakes — like fighting in a SoHo club with Chris Brown — and discovering new things about love from unusual sources. One thing that changed the way Drake looks at women, love and companionship was the "profound" advice he received during a recent lunch with the Fresh Prince, Will Smith:
"I had lunch the other day with someone I extremely look up to," he continues. "Okay—I had lunch with Will Smith, and listening to him talk, it made me think I don't know what love is. He said something profound. He said love is when you become one and you need that person. It's not about wanting anymore, you need that person. Hearing that, I don't know if I've ever felt that way. I've held women in very high regard almost to the point where I felt like I needed them for a very long time, but I don't know if I comprehend it yet, and I'm okay with that.
Drake still can't comprehend what Will Smith told him about love, which not surprising, considering the rest of the world is still recovering from Smith's "profound" comments during the After Earth promotional tour. Never forget that Smith is a "a physicist" at heart, at least according to what Smith told New York's Claire Hoffman. "I look at everything in my life as trying to find the single equation, the theory of everything," Smith told Hoffman. Apparently his theory about love was a little bit too much for Drake, and had an effect on Drake's new album, too. "I've made a lot of music about love being the only thing I'm missing," Drake tells Paternetti. "I think this is the first album I've made saying, I'm okay. I'm enjoying it right now. Maybe this is my time to grind it out, make a run for it and add some memories with my boys."
Drake also touches briefly on that Chris Brown feud. He wishes they could squash their rivalry that erupted in a New York club, over Rihanna, of course, but doesn't think that will ever happen. "I wish we could sit down, just like you and me are right now, and talk it out man-to-man," he says. "But that's not going to happen." No new friends really is Drake's motto du jour.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.