Smiley is fresh off of the release of his latest project, Buy Or Bye 2. Fans of the Toronto rapper have anticipated the follow-up to his 2018 project throughout the past two years. The rapper formally cemented his connection to OVO this summer after it was announced that he signed a deal with the Canadian label. Then came his first Billboard Hot 100 entry with “Over The Top” ft. Drake.
We recently caught up with Smiley for the latest edition of Rise & Grind where he discussed his latest project, his connection to OVO, and his relationship with Drake. When the two locked in for “Over The Top,” Smiley explained that he had a bit of reluctance with his verse. “I wrote my first part of the song, like ‘the Prada and Gucci’ — I was just freestyling in the car. I liked that part, so I remembered it, wrote it down, and when I went to the studio, I put that there. From there, I kept writing my verse, and I finally got a verse. I put it down,” he recalled, though he said that when he sent it back to Drake, he said he felt he could do better.
“He liked it right away, and I told him, ‘Yo, I don’t know if I should redo my verse. I think I could do better, but I don’t know.’ Smiley continued before revealing the words of encouragement from Drake that boosted his confidence. “He was like, ‘I hate when you say you want to switch your verse. Just be confident in your verse and just keep it. I f*ck with it.’ From there, he gave me that confidence.”
Drake’s encouragement for Smiley isn’t limited to their studio sessions. Drizzy’s previously stated that Smiley is his favorite rapper right now but that’s been the case for a few years, now. Back in 2017, an alleged exchange between Drake and a Toronto rapper named KG leaked. KG not only insulted Drake but Smiley, as well. “Smiley eating your food in the city along with like 10 other n***as,” Drake responded.
“I was like, ‘Yeah, this guy’s riding!'” Smiley recalled. “It was a confidence boost because I knew this guy — ‘cause if you know why he was mad and saying, ‘Why are you supporting Smiley?’ and all this sh*t. I was like, ‘I like to see those things because it means something good is happening.’ People get mad at that. They hate, or it’s always a conversation about something. It motivates me more.”
Check out the full interview with Smiley here.