Last year, Drake got his big break opening for Lil Wayne after returning from his own So Far Gone tour, where he rocked the mike at universities and small colleges across the country. This year, though, he’s the main act on “The Away From Home” trek. But he’s in no rush to move on to arenas and amphitheaters just yet — 2010’s most buzzed-out MC wants to revisit the cities and venues that helped make him 2009’s breakout star. “I loved the intimate experience,” he says about his previous tour. “I’m kind of scared of that day when I got to do like 15,000 people. I don’t know, there’s just no way for me to look them in the eyes and make them all feel important.”
To keep the ambiance going, Drake will incorporate a live band into his set. With hand-picked opening acts Francis and the Lights and K-Os, he’s hoping to recreate the vibe of his introductory shows.”It’s a musical experience, it’s about a mood,” he says. “Woman can come out and feel sexy. It’s gonna be good.
“I picked the show that I would be at, you know?” Drake adds. “I don’t know how people are gonna receive it. I hope that they come to my tour with an open mind, because it’s not me and Pleasure P and Trey Songz. It’s not what people would necessarily expect. It’s not the tour that’s based around hip-hop or R&B music. To me it’s based around refreshing sounds.”
The 23-city tour kicks off April 6th at Eastern Illinois University and runs through May 8th, where the trip concludes in Plymouth, New Hampshire. After that, he’ll prep the release his highly anticipated debut, Thank Me Later, which is tentatively slated to arrive May 25th. Drake took to his personal blog on Wednesday and revealed he was working on the album’s last track.
In late February he told Rolling Stone he and his producers, Boi-1da (”Best I Ever Had”) and Noah “40? Shebib (”Successful”), were in Jamaica to try to finish up the project. With an array of talent reaching out to contribute to his album, Drake discovered that having a wealth of star power at his disposal wasn’t necessarily what he needed.
“You realize sometimes, you sit with all the producers that you thought would make the change for you, you go to a bunch of places that you thought would be inspiring,” he explains. “But sometimes you realize that simple shit, when it was easy and carefree, you realize that’s where you need to get back to.”