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One Take Drake: The Backstory Behind "The Motto"

"I shit you not, man, he recorded that song in one take."
Drake in the studio.

Your favorite rapper has almost certainly claimed to have recorded a track in one take. While some of them might be telling the truth, the vast majority need multiple takes—we're talking 10, 11, 20 takes, even—in order to deliver a perfect version. 

Not Drake, though.

According to Bay Area native DJ Franzen, who was a guest on the R.O.A.D. Podcast in late January, the OVO head honcho recorded Take Care bonus track "The Motto" in Las Vegas in one take.   

"I shit you not, man, he recorded that song in one take," Franzen said. "That song is in one take."

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Franzen credits himself for Drake selecting the T-Minus-produced beat for "The Motto," explaining that Drake was originally only set to record a hook for Rick Ross on what would later become "Diced Pineapples."

In the song's final verse, Drake even gave Franzen a shout ("Me, Franny, Mally Mal at the cribo").

In December 2017, T-Minus spoke with Genius about the making of the record, going out of his way to mention how quickly Drake had a finished version. "He ended up writing the record, recording it. The day after, he said the song was already done," he said. 

None of this should come as a surprise considering Drake has bragged about his recording session perfection in the past ("First take Drake, you know I rarely have to take two it" —"Weston Road Flows"), but just because he can record a song in one take doesn't mean that is his normal practice. 

In a 2013 interview with GQ, Drake's producer Noah Shebib, known more commonly as 40, revealed that, while they usually record multiple takes, the first one is typically the best. "We can do fifteen takes, and I swear, we almost always go back to the first one. That’s the one in which the emotion and flow and original thought is captured," he said.

Now, we just need to find out if all of Drake's radio-friendly, interchangeable rap hits are recorded this way. 

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