An old clip has resurfaced on social media of Jim Jones, who made a name for himself as a member of Dipset and also as a solo artist. The Harlem-bred rapper later landed an A&R role at Atlantic Records in the early 2000s, and in this clip, he discusses how he regretted not signing Drake.
“Drake definitely ran across my desk,” Jones recalls. “I got a call from [music executive] Alan Grunblatt. I think I was on tour, and Alan was like, ‘I got this guy named Drake, he’s an actor, he’s on Degrassi.’” Jones then shared his reaction to Grunblatt’s pitch, adding, “I’m like, ‘Who the f— is Drake on Degrassi?’ He let me hear him rapping, like, this boy could rap his a– off.”
Although Jones was impressed with his rapping skills, he then wondered how he would market Drake which ultimately led to his decision to pass on the future “Certified Lover Boy”.
“Then I looked at him, I’m like, ‘Boy, what do you mean? What am I going to do with boy? He’s an actor, he’s in a wheelchair on the Disney Channel.’ I’m like, ‘Boy, I don’t know how to make this work out.’”
Well as “God’s Plan” would have it, Drake ended up getting signed to Young Money with Lil Wayne and Jimmy applauded Wayne for not making the same mistake.
“Weezy was smart enough to do so,” Jimmy recalled per Atlantic Black Star. “I remember being on another tour in the back of the bus and hearing Weezy and Drake rapping, and Drake saying something about Princess Diana, and it’s going crazy. I’m like, ‘Wow, life is crazy. This n—- is dead nasty, f— what he look like.’”
Jones also praised the Toronto rapper saying he’s the only one that could go toe-to-toe with Jay-Z in a VERZUZ battle.
“The person I would say that would put up the best fight, it would be Drake hands down,” Jones revealed to Complex in January. “I know that Drake hasn’t been here for the duration that Jay has been but Drake has put out platinum hits every time he’s put a record out and we all know that every single one of Drake’s hits for the past 10 to some odd years that he’s been in this game, which is a long stretch doing music, and he’s breaking a lot of records when it comes to entries. When it comes to 20 hits, I think that Drake would be the top candidate to jump into the ring with Jay.”