''Best I Ever Had'' and ''Over'' became huge hit singles. Now, the R&B singer gives us a preview of his debut album, ''Thank Me Later''

By Brad Wete
May 14, 2010 at 04:00 AM EDT

Heavyweight producers
Expect an eclectic mix of thumping cuts created by some of music’s biggest names. Drake, 23, enlisted the superstar production services of Kanye West (”Find Your Love”) and Timbaland (”Thank Me Now”), along with one far-less-famous collaborator: buzzed-about ’80s-pop revivalist Francis Farewell Starlite, who records as Francis and the Lights. ”I wanted to take what I love about his music and bring it into my world,” says Drake.

Teenage love
The former Degrassi: The Next Generation actor’s ”Karaoke” is about the perils of early fame, recalling how he felt when his first love — whom he fell for at age 15 — told him she couldn’t love a star. ”It killed me,” Drake says. ”I can’t wait till she hears it. She’ll know it’s her.”

Jay-Z drops knowledge
Just when Drake (born Aubrey Graham) starts to sound like he knows it all on Later’s ”Light Up,” Jay-Z drops in to set the kid straight. ”He lets me know how young and naive I really sound,” Drake says. ”It’s an incredible moment. He’s like, ‘This is how it really is. Because I’ve lived it.”’

Will it be a hit?
”I didn’t make this album for commercial purposes,” he says of the June 15 release. ”A lot of the verses are extremely long. I just made it to share with people. I hope they can enjoy.”