Soooooooo I had intended to post about my trip to see Drake at the O2 many moons ago but apparently contracting some sort of megalurg and rushing round like a blue-arsed fly in prep for LA LA Land is not conducive to healthy blogging behaviour. Who knew?! Sozzles. Despite time being very much against me I didn't want to jet off to Californ-I-A without posting about the fan-foooookin-tastic Club Paradise Tour aka the day I fell arse over tit in love with the man the kids call Drizzy.
I have been a big ol’ fan of Drake’s emotive lyrics, brooding persona and nasal tones since his debut album Thank Me Later but this here gig was my very first time seeing the Canadian YMCMB star live. Any good? I have three words for you and they be OH. MY. DAYZ. Mr Aubrey Graham hit the stage to the Gospel strains of Lord Knows and looking swarve in an all black get up he is met with what can only described as hysteria. Serious like. Some of the fellas in the crowd were screeching louder than the birds in bodycon mini dresses next to them. "Seriously y'all I feel like London is responsible for so much of my career..." he declares flashing those immaculate gnashers of his, “So this isn’t just a concert. It’s a party. It’s a celebration of me!”. And it's this delicate balance of humble introvert and arrogant braggadocio that makes Drake so intriguing and downright yum.
Drizzy effortlessly weaves from the sturdy beats of Headlines, punchy melodies of Best I Ever Had and head-banging sounds of Forever to the ambient narcissistic lament of tracks such as Shot For Me, Crew Love and the bootie-call melodrama that is Marvin's Room . It appears that crestfallen Drake has "had sex four times this week" and is also "having a hard time adjusting to fame". The poor bastard. But just as we begin to get drawn in by his patent angst and self-doubting demons the P.I.M.P is back in the room. Turning the music down low and the lights up high to reveal 18,000 of his fans Drake confidently begins to chat up the audience. One-by-one individual audience members are pointed out and bequeathed with a bespoke Drizzy shout out - "the brother in the red OVO I see you" he salutes, "you with the long hair that's dark at the top and light at the bottom, I like that look girl I see you" he coos before exposing his playful nature "out to the guy in the glasses who can't see a muhtafuckin' thang".
Standout tracks? OBVS the anthemic Take Care went down an absolute storm with Drake even getting down on his knees to play air guitar while the elated audience echoed the lyrics of this introspective dancy ode. I did have video footage of this magnificent moment to share with you all but somehow managed to delete it from my camera. Twat. Although slightly obsessed with Take Care (see here) my jewel in the Club Paradise crown was most definitely staunch set closer The Motto. 18,000 shoulders began to jerk and/or bounce as soon as the 808 drum kick and heavy bass that lay the foundation to this swaggerific track flooded the arena. "I'm the fuckin' man you don't get it do ya?" we trilled. It was an old skool rave-up affair and I was right involved. To the point where I may or may not have attempted to 'Dougie'. Yep.
I entered the O2 that night as a bog-standard fan and left as an absolute fanatic. The obligatory 'we run this' bravado of the hip-hop scene is very much a part of Drake's make-up however his emotionally open confessional style is where he raises the bar. His signature complexities resonate with his fans and give him an edge of realness that is seriously lacking in today's pop industry. Yes Drizzy can be unashamedly cheesy, sickeningly cliché and a little contrived at times but behind his self-assured shtick shines a lovable grace and undeniable talent. Does the future of hip-hop look bright in Drake's hands? HYFR it does.
LOLLI 4 DRAKE 4EVA.