So, I just got hip to this kid Drake a month or two ago, in the barber shop, I admit. I try my best to keep up with the new hot shit, especially rap, so when I hadn't heard of dude, and he was popular already, I wanted to hate. I couldn't. He's got it.
So when I get word that he's performing at Center stage- where I can get in free (YES!!) -- I'm there.
Good to see the new new scene poppin off, and not be whack. Drake brought in badass youngins by the truckload, showing he's the first rapper I've heard in a while who can spit, and keep the ladies entertained. The singing don't hurt. Everybody wins! Thanks Drizzee!
But before we got to the homey Drake, we had to go through what I fear the most in standing room venues- openers. Not always a bad thing, it's just that when there's one, many promoters go crazy, and have like. . . twenty of em. This night it would be the mighty mighty Jazspects ( not mad at that), some guy named Danny Swain, and a little person, who may be Lil Wayne's child, not sure.
Up first was Danny Swain who gave a lesson in "how not to rock a show 101". Firstly, the announcer for the night didn't even prep the crowd for dude at all, as far as I can recall. The last thing I heard him say was "Drake is in the building!". Not necessarily a good setup for an unknown to come on stage, who clearly isn't Drake. Well, Danny doesn't help matters much, because I don't remember him saying his name either. I honestly think he thought that everyone there already knew him. Big mistake. I was assuming at first that the crowd was maybe giving him a hard time because they wanted to see Drake so bad, but after he shit on everybody for "not knowing I'm the illest" or some shit like that, I had less to feel sorry about for him . For some reason he chose to have his band play "The Truth" by Beanie Sigel, so he could show his lyrical skill. That is not one of Beans' hottest tracks, and Danny just wasn't that type of rapper that you would know for being a lyricist. I swear, at one point, I heard him say "splish splash, I was takin a bath"-- you be the judge. I got the idea that maybe the tracks were his strong suit, as I understand he's a producer as well, but they weren't turned up so loud, so it wasn't ALL his fault. When he told the crowd some shit about how he made $200 bucks for the show, all was lost- sandman, come get dude NOW. He had a girl come up and sing one of his hooks, and her voice was so nice and pretty, the crowd actually warmed up a little, but he destroyed that glimmer of hope when he said "yeah, give it up for her, since you won't give it up for me!" Classic. All he needed to do was speak a little louder and clearer, be nicer, and it wouldn't have gone so bad. Soon after, the ref had to throw in the towel on him, and he didn't get to finish his show. I hope he learned something from it, and doesn't think that they just don't "get it".
Next up, Jazspects. They are basically master showmen, all the way around. From the minute they touched the mic, they came with authority, and let the crowd know they were in good hands. The crowd responded accordingly, plus some of em, really has heard of them, and they murdered it as they always do. Playing, dancing, rhyming, all that. Not much to say except I think they could've done oooone less song. Again, when there is a headliner that is in such demand, I'm of the belief that leaving the crowd wanting more is a good thing. I got to track #4 of their new album "polka dotted stripes" on the way home, and it sounds pretty dope. It's in stores now so cop it.
Finally, Drake came up. I was worried that he wouldn't have a show format really, just run off songs one by one, but I was wrong. He had a crazy intro, and he has a really good presence. He's really a good combination of Kanye, and Wayne, cept he's more of a lady killer than both. I hate to use this word, but fuck it-- dude got swag. I just got his mixtapes a couple days ago, so I wasn't that familiar with his songs, but I'm sure that I was the ONLY ONE. Everybody in the room knew his lyrics, top to bottom- he could've just stood there if he wanted. I like the way him and the DJ ran through joints at a nice pace, sometimes going from an extremely slow song to an uptempo banger in a heartbeat. It's always a good thing when you have songs that everyone knows, definitely makes it easier, but I found his intros and banter in between to be cool as well. Trey Songs came out to rock their apparent hit, "Successful", but he really didn't need to sing much at all. Easy job, good money. Goes to show you what a hit song really means- who doesn't wanna be successful? The other ace Drake has up his sleeve is his ability to go across so many genres, from the coldplay intro, to some chopped and screwed shit, to some seemingly backpack, straight lyrical joints. Oh yeah, did I mention the lil dude can sing? He slayed the chicks with his voice, and right when he had em feeling sentimental, he cranked it back up with what looks to be a smash, "best I ever had". He's got a knack for saying things that women like, and men wanna say to women- again, everyone wins. I'm also glad he kept the set short, I'm a fan of that, especially when I don't know all the songs yet, but I'm sure he coulda done another hour and no one would have been mad. I'ma cop his album and claim it's for my sister, LOL.
biggup Janee Bolden for the footage. check more out @ http://ifuxwitit.blogspot.com/