Drake’s major label debut, “Thank Me Later” is out Tuesday, and if it lives up to the hype, the Canadian MC/vocalist could become one of the biggest rap stars on the planet. Or, “Thank Me Later” could flop, making the former actor just another story of short-lived success, lucky to get a spot back on his old television show, “Degrassi: The Next Generation.”
At his show at the 9:30 Club on Sunday night, Drake acknowledged the pressure: “I’ve been on edge – in about 24 hours, I got an album coming out.”
He may have been anxious, but Drake’s performance didn’t show it: with a DJ and band, he ripped through tracks from his mixtapes (including “So Far Gone”), the “We Are Young Money” album and a couple of selections from his debut.
Because Drake is equal parts heartthrob pop artist and lyrically-skilled rapper, the crowd was what one would imagine at a Jay-Z/Justin Bieber double-bill: Guys taking shots, toasting “to Drizzy!” and little kids at their first concert. But brisk radio hits like “Forever” and “Say Something” seemed to please all comers.
Drake also spent a lot of time shouting “Free Weezy” – his “big brother”/label mate/frequent collaborator Lil Wayne is currently serving time on Riker’s Island. And since Wayne isn’t available for guest appearances at the moment, Drake brought out his mentor’s mentor – Cash Money’s Birdman AKA Baby – for “Money to Blow” and “4 My Town.”
At one point, Drake floated a theory. He mentioned a “new wave” of hip-hop, led by artists including himself, Wiz Khalifa, and Wale, who he said are set to unseat rap’s current titans because “you can only have so many albums from the same rappers for so many years.” Arrogant? Sure. But as he closed the show with “Over” from “Thank Me Later,” Drake’s hypothesis started to sound a lot like the truth.
Article written by Sarah Godfrey @ Washington Post