While Drake has been claiming Universal Republic as his recording home in the media, he may actually be signed to Universal Motown.
According to Billboard, Motown reps have requested that Drake’s chart entries be credited to Motown, not Universal Republic. As previously reported, in the upcoming issue Fader, Drake told the magazine, “I went through Universal Republic because I don’t fuck with Motown, at all.”
There are conflicting reports from both Drake and Motown’s camp. A source close to the Toronto rapper says Drake is indeed signed to Republic, while Motown is distributing the album. The source adds that president Sylvia Rhone seeks to take “credit for anything involving Drake.”
On the other end, Universal’s source tells Billboard that Drake’s deal with Republic was never finalized, and alerting the media was premature. While the source says the move to Motown was last minute, he or she does not know what prompted the switch but suggested Motown may have first choice on Young Money and Cash Money artists despite artist preference, for contractual reasons.
The source adds that Drake’s dislike for Rhone roots back about two to three years ago, before linking with Lil Wayne. After an audition in New York, she passed on signing him.
Drake alludes to the snub on “Say What’s Real,” from this year’s So Far Gone mixtape, rhyming, “I’ve always been something that these labels can’t buy/especially if they trying to take a piece of my soul/and Sylvia be telling ‘Tez, ‘Damn, Drake fly’/and he just be like, ‘silly motherfucker, I know/That was your bad, how could you pass up on him?“
In related news, Young Money’s America’s Most Wanted tour has added 10 tour dates to its schedule. It is uncertain if Drake, who tore his ACL earlier this summer, will be making any more surprise appearances. –John Kennedy