Lil Wayne protege Drake, a.k.a. Aubrey Drake Graham, is the Toronto MC so relentlessly hyped he’s already sparked a major bidding war amongst major labels (many say he’ll go to Universal Motown) — with little more than a series of mixtapes and a long-running role on Degrassi: The Next Generation to his name.
Now, Billboard.com is reporting that a label called Canadian Money Entertainment (not affiliated with Wayne’s Young Money label, despite the name) has taken songs from his most recent mixtape, So Far Gone, to cobble together an album they dubbed The Girls Love Drake and released May 28th to iTunes, Rhapsody and Amazon.
And plenty of people were fooled; the album would have landed the #1 spot on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart if it had been not been disqualified because of its murky legal status.
Drake’s manager Al Branch sent acease-and-desist notice to the retailer after discovering it on iTunes, telling Billboard, “This is a straight bootleg, a scandal. We are behind promotingrecords at radio, but haven’t sold it. iTunes’ position is that they are a store andthey stock everything. They have a waiver and as long as peoplesign it and are responsible for the product they submit, then theygo for it.”
Canadian Money founder Peter Greenwood counters that Girls is just an album they had been promoting on the undergroundscene for the last six months: “Breaking him in the states along withother Toronto artists has always been our goal. Drake is ourhometown hero.” Branch, unswayed, says they still plan to sue.
What do you think, Mixers? Does Greenwood have a leg to stand on? Is Drake worth the crazy amount of media attention? Or is he a still-unproven talent most famous for reportedly holding Rihanna’s umbrella ella ella?