Drake signals his plans to stand out with “Nothing Was The Same” against 2013 albums released by Jay Z, Kanye West and others.

For their 150th issue, XXL magazine featured Drake in a cover story. The Toronto, Ontario actor/emcee helps the New York-based publication celebrate its 16th anniversary with an interview.

When asked about next month’s third studio album, Nothing Was The Same, Drake spoke of competing with #1 albums by Jay Z, Kanye West, Wale, A$AP Rocky and J. Cole.

“I remember coming into this year thinking, ‘How am I going to cut through all these people and shine?’ I’ve never been part of a year when so many legends are dropping projects,” said Drake. In 2011, with Take Care, Drake competed against #1 albums from Lil Wayne, Bad Meets Evil, Mac Miller, Lupe Fiasco, J. Cole and Kanye and Jay’s joint effort, Watch The Throne. “How am I going to be seen? I’m going to be like the kid waving in the background in the photo with all of his tall relatives. And, I guess, those were my initial thoughts, and not to say that I haven’t enjoyed some of the stuff that has come out this year, but it didn’t pan out the way I thought it was going to.”

To Drake, Nothing Was The Same is an important proving-ground. “I think I am going for it, to really establish what are murmurs or things being said quietly, ‘Um, I think that Drake might actually…’ On September 17, I want people to be like, ‘Oh, we were right.'”

Read the full preview of Drake’s XXL cover-story.

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