Free Smoke

Album: More Life (2017)
Charted: 36 18

Songfacts®:

  • Drake introduces his More Life playlist by firing off on a laundry list of achievements and re-asserting his dominance over the rap game. The Toronto MC also takes the opportunity to fire more shots at Meek Mill by flipping the script on his nemesis' ghostwriting accusations.

    How you let the kid fightin'
    Ghost-writin' rumors turn you to a ghost?
    Oh, you niggas got jokes.


    According to Drake their beef has resulted in Meek being labelled as a lesser rapper, turning him into a "ghost."
  • Drake chants "Free smoke! Free smoke!" throughout the cut, daring people who want to dethrone from his position at the summit of the rap game. He warns them that if they do attempt to test him out, he'll crush them. Drake first used the term on his 2016 remix of Dave's "Wanna Know", when he rapped:

    Free smoke, anybody want it they can get it
    No joke, call up landlord, nigga that's bro
  • Drake admits during the song to drunk texting Jennifer Lopez after the two stars ended their rumoured brief romance. Dreezy admits his text messages were never actually received by J-Lo as she has since changed her cell phone number.

    I drunk text J.Lo
    Old number, so it bounce back.


    Drake and Lopez were first romantically linked after she posted an Instagram photo cuddling Drrezy in late December 2016. The Toronto rapper then reportedly surprised the Latina songstress with a $100,000 diamond necklace from Tiffany & Co. However, their relationship is said to have cooled off just over a month later. According to Lopez, they had merely been working together.
  • The song opens with Nai Palm, the lead singer of Hiatus Kaiyote, musing "Is it the strength of your feelings overthrowing your pain using you high to be reaching." The pitched up sample is taken from their 2015 track "Building A Ladder." Drake had previously included the song during his Boy Meets World tour on a pre-performance playlist.

    Nai told Billboard magazine how the sample came about: "I think his people reached out to Salaam Remi, who is the head of our label, Flying Buddha [Sony]," she recalled. "Someone hit him up and asked him about it being on the record."

    Drake's producers originally attempted to re-create the tune with different arrangements and musicians, but failed to capture the original's power. They decided instead to sample Nai's haunting vocals and keyboardist Simon Mavin's minimalist accompaniment. "Then we did a conference call with [Drake's] producer and his management, and they played it to us over the phone," the Aussie singer said.
  • Boi-1da and Allen Ritter's production also samples the intro of "Roll Up," a track from Danny Brown and Tony Yayo's 2010 collaborative mixtape Hawaiian Snow.
  • Drake is friendly with Golden State Warriors stars Steph Curry, Draymond Green and Kevin Durant. Here, he raps about flying on their team plane and $20,000 bets on jump shot competitions with Curry (Chef, as in Chef Curry) and Kevin Durant (KD).

    I know the question rhetorical
    I took the team play from Oracle
    Mama never used to cook much
    Used to chef KD
    Now me and Chef KD
    Bet on shots for 20 G's


    Warriors coach Steve Kerr confirmed to the media that Drake did once get a ride on the Golden State Warriors team plane from their Oracle home court.

    "Years ago, we were flying to LA after our home game, and Steph and Draymond weren't on the plane at the departure time. And Steph said, 'Oh my fault, I'm with Drake and Draymond, we're at the arena still.' We had a team rule at the time that you could bring a friend on the plane a couple times a year, and unbeknownst to me, Steph decided to use one of his slots for Drake. So Drake got on the plane that night with Draymond and Steph, and I fined all three of them for being late. And Drake paid his $500 fine."

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