There has probably never been a time in recent memory where Drake has ever felt the need to defend himself. His recent fallout with Pusha T in the build-up to the release of Scorpion certainly coloured some of the content on the record.
One song where Drizzy is in particular defense is "Sandra's Rose." In a new interview with The Fader, DJ Premier talks how the track came about.
It all started with a little convincing from his manager. "When it came down to Drake, Ian was like, Drake is working on a new album called Scorpion, you should get on that one. I was like, Dude I'm not going to ask but it's not like we haven't met," he remembers.
"So I hit up 40 and said if there's a slot, let me know and I'm down to rock on one. He said: We actually do need you on one, let me get back to you. Maybe a week or two passed and he said, hey I have a guy who's signed to me — I knew him as DJ M Rock." That guy is OVO writer and producer, Maneesh and is responsible for additional production on the track.
Premier was offered two tracks to mess with. "One was called "Sail," like a sailboat. I worked on that, and he said, "[Drake] wants you to do that Preem bounce. Do your drums, your bounce, your instrumentation, the way you do your beats." I did it, I sent that one back, then I started working on "Sandra's Rose,"" he remembers. "I thought that was a tentative name of the sample, not the song title."
"Maneesh gave me the "Sandra's Rose" sample and I sent it back at like four in the morning, the night I worked on it, maybe closer to five. I get up very early — I take my son to school — I wake up 6:30 or 7 in the morning," he adds. "As soon as I woke up, the first thing I said when I opened my eyes was "thank you."" Everything from this point went in fast forward.
"Soon as I said that, the phone did the iPhone alert, the doo-doo-doo. When I looked it was 40. I figured he was going to say, "I got the beat I heard it, Drake's gonna listen to it." It was a video with the vocals already laid," he said. "That was a short window from me sending it, going to sleep, and waking up and it's already done. He ended up jumping on that before the "Sail" beat which he had already sent me. Rick Ross actually spit on that one and Drake never put his vocal on it to finish it."
Fun fact: Premier had scratches on the song which they didn't use because "he really wanted to let the song breathe." But he isn't mad. "Maybe the scratch version will see the light of day later. As far as finishing it up, he finished it two days ago [27 June]. They were still recording new songs. They were doing new stuff right up until it got released."
Does that give you a new appreciation for the record?