Grammy-award winning rapper Drake discovered the artwork of Kadir Nelson while recording his new album “Nothing Was The Same” at Marvin’s Room, the LA studio once owned by the inimitable Marvin Gaye. Drake aspires to be Marvin Gaye – “I just want to sign the world’s triumphs and problems on one record.” He hopes the new record’s R&B tracks, like “Hold On, We’re Going Home”, achieve the rare kind of cultural resonance that Gaye’s 60s recordings did–that they get listened to by soldiers far away from home and become wedding song classics. The album drops September 24 but you can preview the lyrics (“I want your hot love and emotion endlessly”) here at, er, rapgenius.com.
Definitely a marketing genius, Drake did the right thing by commissioning Kadir Nelson for the cover art. (Nelson is a big fan of Gaye, too. Check out his portrait of Gaye lounging on a black velvet sofa in the studio, circa 1972.) Nelson created two paintings for the album: a profile portrait of Drake as a young boy (for the standard edition) and one of Drake as a man (the deluxe version). Neither looks like a conventional hip-hop album and that’s the point.