I went to Coachella for the first time and as a rookie, wound up discovering many do’s and don’ts. Even though I got lucky enough…
Curious to know what happened at Drake’s 9th rendition of OVO Fest? Well, as a matter of fact the festival turned out even better than expected.
Night One was dedicated to throwbacks to some of the hottest R&B and Hip Hop acts from the early 2000s. Drake paid his respects to some of the today-underappreciated–but not forgotten–artists from almost two decades ago, including B2K, Ying Yang Twins, Chingy, Mario, Pretty Ricky, Lloyd and Bobby Valentino. The show wound down with Mario and his solo ensemble and then closed with B2K’s performance. B2K claimed at the show that it had been over ten years since the group had performed on stage together. They went on to display a short video reflecting the history of B2K from its birth to its break up and what that did to fans and the boy band culture.
It was unreal seeing the four of these men back on stage, dressed in all white, and in typical boy band fashion putting on a spectacle of choreography, playing at the heart strings of fans at the Budweiser Stadium. The blast from the past that was Night One made for a heartwarming experience–but it was just the warm up.
With Night Two brewing, everyone knew to expect surprise guest performances. Rumors were even spreading around the stadium that there may be appearances from Lebron James or the Toronto Raptors. Leveraging his incredible repertoire of high-profile relationships, Drake delivered an even higher volume of special acts than anyone anticipated. First off, he opened with an ode to the Raptors, setting the stage for a historically energy-filled night that could not have happened at any other moment than the summer of 2019–following through after his home team’s ground-breaking championship. From there, the night erupted with an explosive display of the hottest in the game. Starting out with Lil Baby and Gucci from Atlanta, Drake made it clear that it was going to be a memorable night. The show quickly transitioned to the west coast with Tyga and YG filling the stadium with their modern g-funk braggadocio. But then, Drake made a twist–making sure to pay respect to the intense fusion of Caribbean heritage present in Toronto, bringing out Jamaican dance-hall phenom Popcaan. The burst of Caribbean beats midset was a nice change of tempo from the otherwise Hip Hop heavy line up. Think that wasn’t enough? How about the next 45 minutes of the show: Maybach Music’s Meek Mill and Rick Ross, Cardi B and Offset, and then, just to really shut the stage down and put the cherry on top, non-other than Mr. Chris Brown himself.
In all, Night Two was an exhibition of the Hip Hop game’s most concentrated clout. Disclaimer: I’m a huge fan of Drizzy. But I have to admit, all of this couldn’t be possible without his positive energy and the ability to muster genuine lasting relationships with top artists from every region wide and far. Was it worth changing my flight last minute to stay for Night Two on a Monday evening? I’ll let you decide. See you summer of 2020, Toronto.