Drake brings all his friends to 6ix
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.