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Drake has done a lot of maturing since he dropped his debut album Thank Me Later, which was full of emo-rap tracks about groupie bedroom adventures, strip clubs and searching for missing love. Today, nearly three years later, the 26-year-old rapper graces the July cover of GQ magazine and he says his upcoming third studio album is all about enjoying his success and staying away from industry distractions (such as jumpoffs and Chris Brown).

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Here are a few highlights from his cover story, titled “How To Drake It In America.”

On his search for real love:

[Will Smith said] It’s not about wanting anymore, you need that person. Hearing that, I don’t know if I’ve ever felt that way…I’ve made a lot of music about love being the only thing I’m missing. I think this is the first album I’ve made saying, ‘I’m okay, I’m enjoying it right now.’ Maybe this is my time to grind it out, make a run for it, and add some memories with my boys.

On why he’s no longer searching for groupie love:

You know the way fighters don’t f-ck before the fight? Sometimes I feel like I’m so focused on training my body and getting my mind right to create this album that sex isn’t one of my main priorities. If someone is around that I know and trust, I’m down. But I’m not going to end up with some stranger at this party.

On why he doesnt want his name associated with Chris Brown:

I hear he has everything he could want now. I don’t want my name to be synonymous with that guy’s name. I really don’t. I wish we could sit down just like you and me are right now, and talk it out man-to-man. But that’s not going to happen. I’m not confrontational, but if someone challenges, I’m not going to back down. If I think about it too much, I feel it wrapping around my foot, like I get a feeling it could end really badly…Like, it gets really dark.

On how he handles criticism:

You notice they don’t criticize the music itself, though…I’m okay with that.

On his hit record, “Started From The Bottom:”

I think a lot of people wish their favorite rapper wrote it—as if a song like that should be gangster—but I was the one who wrote it, and everyone has their bottom.

As for my whole story, I wouldn’t change a thing. I’ve told bits and pieces of it—and I’ll tell more. Maybe because I had friends who grew up in the hood, I could have acted like I had, too, and perpetrated a different lifestyle, and it would be eating away at me because it wouldn’t be the truth. I’m actually here in front of you living the truth. I wake up in the morning and my heart is light, man. It’s not heavy. I don’t have skeletons in the closet on their way out. This is my real age, my real name, my real past, and I’m good with that.

Leave your thoughts about the “new and improved” Drake below.

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