While there are as many as three major labels battling it out to sign Drake, the Toronto-born MC affiliated to Lil Wayne's Young Money label is close to signing a deal with Universal Motown, a source close to the negotiations confirms.
Sources say three majors are in possibly "one of the biggest bidding wars ever" in hopes of signing Drake, including Universal Motown and Atlantic Records. The presence of Warner Music Group's CEO Lyor Cohen and COO Julie Greenwald at Drake's recent New York show further intensified the speculation that WMG was making a serious play.
"Drake is very talented," rapper Bun B, who collaborated with Drake on his popular mixtape "So Far Gone," told Billboard.com this week. "There's a difference between trying to be an artist and being one. Drake has the confidence to go very far and the chance to make history."
Although another source says Universal is the closest to snagging Drake, especially given the already established relationship between Cash Money/Young Money and the label, another label has allegedly offered $2 million dollars up front in order to further persuade the young artist to join its roster instead.
"Just know that whatever label we sign to it'll be because they'll add to what we've created on our own," Drake, who offers no clues about which label he'll choose to sign with, told Billboard.com last month. "I am very happy in my situation now, which is signed to Cortez [Bryant] and Gee Roberson at Young Money and management through 'Hip Hop Since 1978.' The most important thing for me is being around my team - they are stronger than any label."