Jim Jones turned down an opportunity to sign one of the biggest stars on the planet.
The Dipset rapper revealed that he had the chance to sign Drake, but ended up passing on the Canadian MC.
“Drake definitely ran across my desk,” Jones said in a recent interview, according to Complex. “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, uh, he’s an actor, he’s on ‘Degrassi.’ I’m like, ‘Who the f**k is Drake on ‘Degrassi’?’ He let me hear him rapping, like this boy could rap his ass off.”
However, Jones said he was unsure how the hip-hop community would perceive Drizzy, who was then best known for his role as Jimmy Brooks on the Canadian teen drama series “Degrassi: The Next Generation.”
“Then I looked at him, I’m like, ‘Boy, what do you mean? What am I going to do with boy?’” recalled Jones. “He’s an actor, he’s in a wheelchair on like, uh, what is it, Disney Channel?’ I’m like, ‘Boy, I don’t know how to make this work out.’”
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Jones credits Lil Wayne for having the ability to see Drake’s superstar potential and gave props to Drake as a lyricist, even though he thought he didn’t look the part.
“Once again, I just wasn’t seeing past what I seen in front of me and shit like that,” Jones admitted. “Weezy was smart enough to do so, and 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 ni**a is dead nasty, f**k what he look like.’”
This isn’t the first time that Jones has made the shocking revelation. Not only did he pass on signing Drake, he also claims that he refused to sign J. Cole because he wasn’t reflective of his vision at the time. “He was more of a Kanye, college kid, College Dropout type of shit,” he said of the Dreamville rapper.
Jones isn’t the only one who missed out on signing one of music’s biggest names. Akon also had the chance to sign Drake around 2004-2005, but he thought he sounded too similar to Eminem.
“Kardinal Offishall brought him to me in 2005, I think it was, or was it ’04?” Akon told VladTV. “It was right before ‘Best I Ever Had’ blew up, because at the time, it was more mixtape-ish. At the time, believe it or not, Drake sounded more like Eminem. With that demo that I heard, he sounded more like Em.”