How What A Time To Be Alive Got Its Name

“I don’t think naming a mixtape is the world’s greatest accomplishment, but it’s cool,” says Ernest Baker, who Drake has credited for naming his new tape with Future.

September 21, 2015


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Just before Drake premiered his new mixtape with Future, What a Time to Be Alive, on OVO SOUND Radio last night, he went through a list of shoutouts. All of the standard names from FGBOVO were there—40, Oliver, Metro Boomin, DJ Esco. But Drake reserved the most time to talk about writer Ernest Baker, explaining what Baker had already trumpeted on Twitter—that the tape's title originated with Baker, via a text to Drake.

The FADER chatted with Ernest Baker—who previously spent some time with Drake at Coachella—late Sunday night on the phone. He was calling from L.A., where he recently hosted an installment of his party, The Night Shift, and says he is working on a pilot, called Cuffing Season. What follows is a lightly edited transcript of our short conversation about how the mixtape was named:

ERNEST BAKER: One of the nights [Thursday, August 20] of The Night Shift, we were around the club . We're playing songs to get things warmed up and there was a festive energy in the air. Out of nowhere, Drake hit me—and we hadn't talked for a while. He said like, "I've been lost in Pluto." Then he said, "I've been with Future and we have a tape."

It was funny because I had exciting news of my own, I had the book deal, I had this TV opportunity that came to fruition, and TNS was taking off in a special way. So that was my response, like, "That's fucking crazy, that's amazing, I have the book deal, I have the TV coming. What a time to be alive." And he was like, "That's a good title." And I was like, "Yeah that would be, whenever we chill and get to vibe creatively, we'll come up with all types of shit."

And he's like, "Yeah, but we need a title for the tape. I want to say Ernest named the tape." I hit him back with "what a time to be alive" in all capitals.

[Drake and I] have mutual respect for each other. The energy circulates. I don't think naming a mixtape is the world's greatest accomplishment, but it's cool that these circumstances have come together that allow me to have something like this happen in my life.

How What A Time To Be Alive Got Its Name