On Monday morning, a vocal track of Drake covering the song "These Days"—written by Jackson Browne and memorably recorded by The Velvet Underground and Nico—surfaced on the internet. Many speculated that the track would appear on Drake's upcoming album Views From The 6, but it was soon confirmed that the track floating around was actually unfinished, and had been recorded as part of a collaboration with Tumblr rap collective Barf Troop's Babeo Baggins.
Drake's connection to Barf Troop dates back to over a year ago, when he was photographed in a Barf Troop T-shirt. In December 2015, Baggins announced that they would drop an EP of covers, which would feature a Drake rendition of "These Days."
Baggins released that EP of covers in full on Tuesday morning, due to the leaks, they explained in a phone call with The FADER. Baggins hasn't spoken to Drake yet about the leak or release, but said that there was absolutely no bad blood between them over the leak. The singer said they were upset by the leak and the EP's rushed release, but is trying to see the upside of the situation. "Just understand when bad things happen, we're defined by our reaction to it and this was just my reaction to it," they said, echoing a statement they wrote on Twitter.
Below, Baggins details more about how their duet with Drake happened, and the country feel of their covers EP.
A rep for Drake did not immediately return a request for comment.
What was your first response when you saw the leak?
Of course, when things like that happen it sucks. From my perspective, it's not something I've dealt with before. Most of my music is made with my team and no one is looking to leak it, so it was super unexpected and I didn't really know how to go about things. It was definitely disappointing because I've been working on it for a long time—over a year now. Just revisiting it, re-recording different sections.
How did this track originally come to be?
Basically "These Days" is my favorite song. I'm a big music fan of every genre that there is, but "These Days" holds a very special place with me. I just shared it with my friend, he had never heard it before. He connected with it too, he thought it was a really great song. That's how it came to life. Just two people connecting with a song that came from the past that really resonates no matter which era it came from.
I saw you tweet that you were blown away by the positive reaction to the track. Why were you so surprised?
At the end of the day, Drake is a super popular musician and he has a really dedicated fan base—me being one of them, one of the biggest Drake fans of all time. I automatically assumed that people wouldn't want to hear me plus him when they can just listen to him. Not necessarily because the version that I did was bad—it was fantastic—but just because right now, because of the way the music is and the way that the internet is, people receive things quickly and throw them out. They don't really understand and respect the music for what it is. I was concerned with the leaked version, that no one would receive it how it was meant to be received. When I posted [the finished version], I was really blown away with everyone being so receptive to it and was so happy.
Tell me about the sound of the rest of the EP. There's a lot of country vibes on here, especially the Patsy Cline cover.
What I'm working on right now is an exploration into country as a genre because country is the root of all genres. A lot of people don't really realize that. A lot of people shun country music, which is upsetting. It's so rooted in lyricism and truth, like hip-hop. People sort of push it off to the side because of current country music and how it sounds, and how it is on the radio. I want to reimagine an older sound of country along the lines of Patsy Cline, and Lee Hazlewood, Hank Williams, Santo & Johnny. Very raw, rooted in honesty. I want to open up the world of country music to people who wouldn't receive it otherwise.