Drake, PR Firm Split After 'Rolling Stone' Cover Debacle
Two weeks after Drake slammed Rolling Stone for swapping out his planned cover story for a Philip Seymour Hoffman memoriam, the rapper and PR firm ID-PR have parted ways, Billboard has confirmed.
Drake had been working with ID for the past year to handle publicity for third album Nothing Was the Same, as well as his current Would You Like a Tour?, which wraps March 26 with three dates at London's O2 Arena. According to a source, ID initiated the split soon after the Rolling Stone debacle.
The magazine feature, which ID helped arrange, prompted a series of tweets that have since been deleted in which Drake clarified his comments regarding Kanye West's Yeezus, saying that they were shared off-the-record, and that he was "disgusted" that the magazine ran with the Hoffman cover instead of his. "I'm disgusted with that. RIP to Phillip Seymour Hoffman. All respect due. But the press is evil." In the only tweet that's still active, Drake added, "I'm done doing interviews for magazines. I just want to give my music to the people. That's the only way my message gets across accurately."
On Feb. 14, the five-year anniversary of the day his So Far Gone EP debuted online, Drake issued a more detailed account of his thoughts on the cover to his official OVO blog. "Today I was forced out of my character and felt the need to react swiftly," he wrote. "These days are the worst ones. Waking up after a great night in the studio and it's your day to be picked apart. After dwelling on it for a few hours or days, you will come to the conclusion that you brought it on yourself almost every time."
In a statement to Billboard, ID said, "Drake is an incredibly talented artist and we're proud of our results for Nothing Was the Same and Would You Like a Tour? We wish him the best."
Drake has been known to be difficult to manage when it comes to print interviews, setting availabilities for photo shoots and interviews often at the last minute and forcing magazines like Rolling Stone and others to make difficult decisions at press time, according to multiple sources who've worked with Drake on previous features. (Drake was featured on the cover of Billboard in August 2013.)
Prior to ID, he was repped by The Chamber Group, while management had been previously handled by The Blueprint Group (Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj) before he consolidated with OVO's Oliver El-Khatib Adel and "Future the Prince" Nur.
OVO's Adel and Nur had no comment when reached through reps by Billboard.
Nothing Was the Same debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Oct. 1 with sales of 658,000 copies, Drake's best first week ever, and went platinum a month later. In its 16th week on the chart, the album slipped to No. 22 this week. Take Care bowed at No. 1 in 2011 with 631,000, while full-length debut Thank You Later entered at No. 1 with 447,000 in 2010.