Rod Wave Ghosted Drake On This Major Feature Chance For "Lemon Pepper Freestyle"


| LAST UPDATE 08/16/2022

By Mahlik Campbell
Rod Wave
Paras Griffin via Getty Images

Before he was a chart-topping artist shifting the emotion and style of popular hip-hop, Rod Wave grew up listening to Drake. But when he finally got the chance to collab with his idol, Rod let it slip away.

Rod Wave just dropped his third official album 'Beautiful Mind' packed with 24 tracks and a guest verse from Jack Harlow. To celebrate, he sat down for a rare interview with Complex and Speedy Morman and revealed why he turned down a spot on Drake's "Lemon Pepper Freestyle."

He explained how he was still adjusting to his lifestyle as a famous and successful artist when Drizzy DM'd him and sent him the song, though the lo-fi beat didn't immediately connect: "It took me a week to even just record [my verse]. I was listening to it like, 'I don't what to do here.'"

There are a lot of acts in rap, R&B and beyond who claim to be Drake fans. But Rod Wave is really about that life, not only sampling the timeless intro to "Over My Dead Body" during his Tiny Desk Concert but dedicating a whole song to Drizzy's charm in 2018 with "Girls Love Drake."

Once he got over the shock from the feature request from Drake, Rod did his verse for "Lemon Pepper." But the performance felt too forced and never made its way to Drizzy, who brought Rick Ross along for the ride instead. Drake applauded the tough decision via an IG comment.

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"This is an act of true respect I could never be upset this is some real artistry and holding yourself to a standard where you don't bend for anybody just cause they are somebody much love for ya brada," he wrote.

With "Lemon Pepper" peaking at #3 on the Hot 100, Rod Wave now has something in common with Trippie Redd, who infamously missed out on a feature for Drake's "God's Plan" in 2018. (He said he was too tired from touring.) That song later won a Grammy and is certified 11x Platinum.

Drizzy is staying true to his most iconic line on "God's Plan" where he raps, "I only love my bed and my momma, I'm sorry!" The 35-year-old recently debuted a fresh face tattoo of his mom Sandi Graham's initials.