Drake brings all his friends to 6ix

Ottawa Sun - - SHOWBIZ - JANE STEVEN­SON

Where there’s a will, there is most def­i­nitely a way.

So it went Mon­day night as Drake clev­erly recre­ated the cover of his 2016 al­bum, Views, fea­tur­ing him sit­ting atop the CN Tower, at Toronto’s Bud­weiser Stage.

Two OVO Soundem­bla­zoned black cur­tains dropped dra­mat­i­cally to re­veal Drizzy seated on top of a faux ver­sion of T.O.’s most fa­mous land­mark as his por­tion of the eighth an­nual OVO Fest got un­der­way.

“I called 19 com­pa­nies to build me a CN Tower and they all said no, and then I called the 20th!” the 30-year-old rap­per said about half­way through his Toronto-love­fest to huge cheers from ec­static fans who were on their feet, climb­ing chairs and fill­ing the aisles from his first song, Free Smoke, un­til his last, Gyalch­ester.

“This is my favourite night of the year!” Drake gushed at the top of the evening.

Yes, Drizzy, as is his way, pulled close to a dozen rap and R&B acts — Play­boi Carti, Rae Srem­murd, French Mon­tana, Tory Lanez, Cardi B, Mi­gos, Travis Scott, Par­tyNex­tDoor, Nelly, The Weeknd (fresh off his Osheaga gig in Mon­treal), and Baka Not Nice — on stage with him as sur­prise guests over two hours, but it was his CN Tower that was the hit of the night.

Es­pe­cially since you only had to turn your head to see the real thing twin­kling in the dis­tance.

I think it just may be time to take this baby on the road.

Pre­vi­ously, Drake, whose big­name sur­prise guests at OVO Fest over the years have ranged from Jay-Z to Eminem to Kanye West to Ste­vie Won­der, has hinted at stag­ing the fes­ti­val in Lon­don. FAS­CI­NAT­ING FACT: Fox has cast Maya Ru­dolph to help lead the live TV mu­si­cal this win­ter. She will play the mother of nine-year-old Ral­phie Parker, the boy at the centre of the mu­si­cal who dreams of land­ing an air ri­fle for Christ­mas. The show will air Dec. 17.

I say there’s no time like the present.

Given his big­gest guest this year was fel­low Toron­to­nian The Weeknd, whose two Air Canada Centre shows Drizzy crashed back in May, they seem to make a good case for Canada in­ter­na­tion­ally.

In fact, The Weeknd, who Drake re­ferred to as “the King of Queen Street!,” per­formed a few of his own songs like The Hills and Star­boy be­fore join­ing Drake for Crew Love.

Drake, who told the crowd at the end of the night that he was go­ing to make his next al­bum in Toronto, even sug­gested it was time for “an OVO XO” project, prompt­ing a ma­jor re­ac­tion.

The other big name was Nelly, whose Ride Wit Me and Hot in Herre went over well with the crowd, who were be­ing filmed by a doc­u­men­tary crew tak­ing in all the ac­tion.

Drizzy had made us sweat be­fore he an­nounced OVO Fest — named af­ter Oc­to­ber’s Very Own (his birth­day is Oct. 24) — a mere six weeks be­fore Mon­day night’s big show, which co­in­cides with Toronto’s Caribbean fes­ti­val ev­ery year.

The rap­per was ex­tra­busy over the long week­end af­ter open­ing a flag­ship 1,600-square-foot OVO cloth­ing store at York­dale mall ear­lier in the day on Satur­day.

For OVO Fest Mon­day night, Drizzy brought along such OVO Sound sign­ings and Toronto and area artists as an­i­mated singer Roy Woods and R&B acts DVSN and Ma­jid Jor­dan as his open­ers with short 15-to-20minute sets each.

But then the real fun started once Drake started play­ing guess the rap­per and ac­com­pa­ny­ing hit — Rae Srem­murd’s Black Bea­tles, Cardi B’s Bo­dack Yel­low, and so on — in be­tween his own no­table tunes like Know Your­self, One More Time, Pas­sion Fruit and Teenage Fever.

JACK BOLAND/POST­MEDIA NET­WORK

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