Posted: 2:21 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013
Drake made his way through the ESPN tables this morning on a tour to promote the new FIFA game and his album. Everyone has clearly seen Johnny Manziel's affinity for Drake's OVO brand by the tattoo on his wrist, and if you read the off-season story from Wright Thompson, you know they spent some time together in Toronto.
His first stop was with Paul Finebaum. I missed the segment, but I assume it was at least less than Eminem/Musberger awkward.
Drake's next stop, which I did catch, was with Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless on ESPN's First Take (which is much better than Darren Rovell's FIRST LOOK). They immediately jumped into his relationship with Manziel, and the entire spot seemed incredibly open and honest.
What was obvious is that Drake really values his relationship with Johnny. In Wright's piece we see Johnny travel to Toronto to spend a weekend with Drake, and his family coming to the realization that he has more in common with a famous rapper than he does with them. Drake made it clear that this is true. He sees them as equals, and more importantly, as good friends.
Drake talked about what a Johnny fan he is, down to the fact that he should have a "JFF" tattoo on his wrist, and he has the Aggieland Radio app on his phone. That alone was much cooler than the 2009's random West Coast Bad Boys track where Snoop Dogg decided to lean out in some pre-bevel A&M; gear.
Stephen A. led off with the question that drives every journalists argument for why they continuously hammered on Johnny earlier this month. Drake didn't basically agreed, saying it is on Johnny, but he is still learning, and Drake has provided his own brand of mentoring.
Stephen A: "How much culpability do you think he has to put himself in some of those situations?"
Drake: "It's a learning experience. ... To go from 0 to 100 right away, the spotlight's on, brighter than ever, I think he is just going through the mostions ... I encourage him to have stronger discipline than anybody else. This postion that were in takes major sacrifice. ... There's a bigger picture here, and we are in it for the longterm. ... Let's have that discipline, let's sacrifice all of the fun .. don't worry, just play your game."
Drake also feels like guys like himself, and Johnny, have it much harder today than famous people in the past due to the nature of social media. Everyone has to learn to live in this new world, and it's not always easy.
Drake also talked about his weekend with Johnny in Toronto, and about Johnny's parents reaction to that. Drake was a little upset that his parents assumed hanging out with him would put him in a bad position. By Drake's account, he made sure that Johnny wouldn't be put into any trouble, because he cares about him and his future.
"My goal, I wan't to see this kid thrive and succeed. So I would never put him in jeopardy. ... I'm the guy that's making sure no one is taking pictures, even if we aren't doing anything wrong ... it's not about me looking cool because I hang with Johnny manziel, I care about this guy."
It was a good segment, and a good look at that side of the story. Here is the full segment video (higher quality coming when upload completes):