Drake takes southern California to “the Six”


Drake thanked his crowd at the Forum for his sold out shows. Photo credit: Instagram.com/champagnepapi

Rebeca Partida Montes, Staff Writer/Photographer

Canadian actor-turned rapper Drake brought the heat to southern California. On September 27, Drake played his first of three sold out shows at the Forum in Inglewood, Ca. Featured artists of the show included Roy Woods, who featured Drake on his 2015 single “Drama”, DVSN, and half-time show with Future.

The weight Drake carried on his shoulders for Summer Sixteen has been heavy; his last tour, conveniently titled “Would You Like a Tour?” ended back in 2014. Following that, the Canadian star worked endlessly, releasing singles, mixtapes, and partnering with fellow hip-hop and R&B peers. In 2013, he released his junior album “Nothing Was The Same”, followed by the highly-anticipated release of his most recent work, “Views” which gracefully took the #1 spot on the US Billboard 200 for thirteen weeks straight.

Prior to the release of “Views”, Drake also released two studio mixtapes, one in which he collaborated with Atlanta rapper Future. It came as no surprise to fans when Drake announced the unity of Future and himself on the Summer Sixteen tour.

The atmosphere Drake aimed for fell confusingly between romantic woman-charmer and stereotypical rapper figure. The stage set for the Forum was simple but effective; an end-stage with no runway or B-stage, but rather hundreds of descended globes with illuminated the room with hues of soft purples, blue, and pink lights. Hanging all across the ceiling of the arena, the globes amplified the simplicity of the stage with three-dimensional props. It was sensual, which is rather one of Drake’s most recently adapted vibes. The Canadian rapper has after all made a successful career for himself in music in which glorifies the power of money, parties, and curvaceous women.

With the presence of Roy Woods and DVSN, the crowd prepared themselves for the show of the night. Drake opened the show with Summer Sixteen appropriately enough.

Drake made it an constant effort to take his southern California crowd back to his hometown of Toronto, which he’s famously renamed The Six. With the Canadian-language and culture embedded into him, he spoke proudly of his hometown.  Throughout the first half of the show, he took the crowd back to his earlier days, reminiscing on the memories that followed his days on Degrassi. He had a flare about his character; a smooth-talking, charming man who held power over his audience in the way he spoke about the appreciation for them. He presented a very thankful and humbled speech. “This feels like a dream, I love ya’ll.” Drake assured the crowd of the positive energy he felt, which he broadcasted while performing some of his hit-singles like “Started from the Bottom”, “Headlines”, and “HYFR.”

He seemed to create a timely setlist for his crowd, transitioning from his earlier albums to music from Views. The energy of the stadium intensified when he set the stage on fire with “Child’s Play”. The satirical song is about a woman who he’s dating and tends to use him for his money and fight with him in public so people know who she is, but refuses to stoop to her level of immaturity because his mother raised him better. It set a different tone for the rest of the show, as he began to transition into his hard-beat songs which prepped the crowd for Future.

For forty-five minutes or so, Drake let Future have the stage after performing a few songs from their mixtape. Future introduced his heavy-bass songs with southern rap influences which gave a much intense feeling to the show. He concluded his segment of the show with Diamonds Dancing, a song in which he and Drake collaborated on.

Drake quickly slipped back into his somewhat melodramatic state, hopping on an elevated platform which allowed him to soar throughout the arena while he performed “Hotline Bling.” The illuminated globes constantly changed, creating shapes and changing colors to fit the catchy-toned song.

He continued the show with songs like “Feel No Way”, “U With Me?”, and brought us back to his roots with “Work” and “Controlla”, in which he used more Afro-Caribbean styled music.

Drake delivered  wholehearted show. The confusing stage evolved with him and every song he performed, allowing him and his words to be what held the most focus instead of the use of heavy props, costume changes, or dancers.. He transformed the room into an atmosphere of appreciation, confidence, and this feel of luxurious lifestyle with his swavvy words. Going over his curfew of 11 pm by almost forty-five minutes, he assured his audience he would continue the show until he felt necessary, and until his crowd was satisfied.
“I’ll finish my show and you’ll let me finish whether is costs me $1000, $2000…. $5000 a minute. You can take it out of my paycheck.” And that is exactly what he did. Drake closed his show with “Legend”, a down-tempo piece in which he highlights his own success and assures the world of his legacy.


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