TORONTO â€” Hip-hop star Drake says he’s stepping up to the mic as host of the NBA Awards.
The NBA announced the inaugural event last fall, which is slated to take place in New York on June 26.
Drake spoke about his role with the NBA Awards during an interview on the “Cal Cast” podcast with University of Kentucky men’s basketball coach John Calipari.
The rapper, who is the Toronto Raptors global ambassador, has plenty of experience as the MC of awards telecasts.
Drake hosted the Juno Awards in 2011 and the ESPY Awards in 2015.
He told Calipari that he plans to expand on the work he did as the ESPYs MC.
“I love hosting,” said Drake, noting that he is also producing the NBA Awards.
“I love being in a room full of iconic, legendary people that I look up to and having that pressure to make them laugh and enjoy their evening. Hopefully, that will go well.”
In the wide-ranging, nearly hour-long conversation with Calipari, Drake also signalled that his desire to take the reins as a TV host may extend beyond the NBA Awards.
“Another person I really look up to, and sort of a point in time that I miss, is Johnny Carson and the appeal of … that sexy late-night TV that’s funny,” he said.
“As I continue on along this journey, I hope to get there one day as well where I can just put on amazing suits every night…. I just want to put on Tom Ford (suits) every night and sit with a glass of wine and laugh with people that I’ve spent years with in the business, in the industry, or just friends of mine, and give people something to watch that makes them feel good and makes them laugh.
“Hopefully, I’ll get there. There’s a lot left.”
The former “Degrassi” star also expressed a desire to return to acting.
“Acting is another thing that I just can’t wait to really dive into,” Drake told Calipari.
“I think that after I release ‘More Life’ â€” which is this playlist that I’m working on â€” and finish this tour, I think I’m going to really position myself in the acting world and hopefully take some great roles.
“I’m working on producing things and developing. So that’s really exciting.”
The Canadian Press