With his knee nearly healed from a July stage injury, Drake says he's ready to get back to work in earnest on his debut album, still tentatively titled "Thank Me Later" and due out in February.
"I'm able to walk around, so I'm working very hard on the album," the singer-rapper-actor tells Billboard.com, adding that his rehab period impaired his writing as well as his mobility. "I've been out of the scene for so long because I've been off my leg," explains Drake, who's planning to head out to Los Angeles on Oct. 11 for more writing and recording. "Sitting at home in your apartment and having a doctor come over every day and eating healthy and going to the gym -- there's not much of a rap album to be made off that. I have to get my inspiration and start seeing things and going to dinners and meeting people again and just finding stories to tell for this album. I'm trying to make something timeless."
Drake -- who's EP, "So Far Gone," debuted at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 in September -is planning to release the album's first "story," the single "Shut it Down," in the near future, though it might not come out until January.
Drake describes the track which, as first revelead on Billboard.com last month, features The-Dream, as "an R&B song...It's sexy. It's slow, but there's an energy to it. I rap on it. Me and Dream both sing on it. It's cool." It also has a "message that's never really been explored by male singers," he says. "This song is sort of like an anthem for women, like pre-the club. It's like an anthem for you to be at your house with your girlfriends getting ready, what you listen to before you get there. It's a song for the non-famous woman to make her feel special and just to let you know that even though I'm up here and have the option to mingle wtih these 'upper-echelon' women, if you will, that sometimes I'd rather be with the girl from back home or a student or a girl that works at Wal-Mart. They don't have to be a star or rich or anything like that; that's kind of the gist of the song. It's an empowering song for all women."
As he prepares to get back to the album, Drake says Jay-Z, Kanye West and his Young Money label chief Lil Wayne are still slated to be on it, and he promises "a couple of guest that may be very much surprises for a hip-hop album. I just want to give people a musical experience. I like to open up the minds of the fans in my genre."
But even as the highly anticipated album looms, Drake is also plotting his next acting move. "I'm working on that right now," the "Degrassi: The Next Generation" star confirms. "One of my best friends in this industry is Jamie Foxx...so hopefully we'll get to do a movie together. And I'm a big Judd Apatow, comedic timing fan. I love all those movies that they do. So, yeah, I really want to get back into acting. It's definitely something I'm interested in and always will be."