"I'll never forget the night, man, when I went up to Hot 97, and it wasn't scheduled," Drake explained. "It wasn't like, you know, 'Drake's coming up here Tuesday.' It was literally like, 'Funk Flex wants to meet you,' and bam, like, two seconds later, it was like, 'Let's go on the radio and just kill New York.' I'll never forget how nervous I was. It was such a rookie hip-hop moment — and, obviously, the controversy of me pulling out my phone and rapping off my phone because I just wasn't prepared. A lot of people don't know the difference between freestyle or off the top and coming to a radio show knowing you got to go there, so you got verses cued up in your head, whether they be off your upcoming album or verses just that you have laying around. A lot of artists get that preparation time."
Drake said the moment was an important steppingstone.
"That moment, just as far as hip-hop, as far as MCing goes, that moment was one of those ... it was just, 'Whoa! I'm really here and I got to get better. I got get to be better than this. I can never be caught off guard again,' " Drake said. "That was probably one of the most interesting moments of my life this year. I'm a writer, man. I appreciate the elements of hip-hop. I appreciate a guy like Common who goes city to city and just spits at the crowd for 10 minutes about everything he sees. I admire talent like that, because that's just not my creative process. So, you know, as far as moments this year go, though, I've had amazing stories. I don't want to tell them all in interviews, because then Thank Me Later will just be empty, so I think I'm going to tell them in this album as vivid as I possibly can."