Finale Friday 9E/6P
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August 7th, 2012
Appearing on stage dressed in an all-white ensemble (OVOXO tee included), it became apparent quickly that all Drake wanted for his third annual OVO festival was a party for his city. The Toronto-native ensured that every moment of the night was used to its fullest by not only showing endless amounts of love for his city (including the freshly tatted area code 416 on his ribcage), but to introduce his guests in well-scripted ways, such as his monologue on hearing Toronto around the world, including Atlanta – cue 2 Chainz.
The 2012 OVO fest had no shortage of performances from the years biggest names in rap, including A$AP Rocky, and The Weeknd, as well as Meek Mill, French Montana, Wocka Flocka Flame, Rick Ross, Snoop Lion (Dogg), and to everyone’s surprise, Nicki Minaj, who performed her verse on Make Me Proud as well as her song Beez in the Trap.
Amongst the Take Care-heavy setlist, Drake made use of heavy strobes, clouds of fog and large screens providing artistic visuals for his performance, including a video montage of Aaliyah during We’ll Be Fine. With the massive success of Drake’s 2011 sophomore album Take Care and the growing demand for tickets to this one-night event, it’s only natural that the show’s progress would match that of Drake’s career, ensuring that its offering was fresher, larger, and a more tangible, inclusive experience for its audience.
These additions were exciting, but they did not overshadow the man of the night. Drake’s aggressive delivery in songs like Forever and Underground Kings, vulnerability in Trust Issues and Marvin’s Room, and even his fun-loving self in HYFR all translated well in a live setting. This veracity in his performance is attributed to both his established strength as a performer, as well as the accessibility of his music for a wider audience. This was particularly true when Rihanna’s vocals began to blare through the speakers for his stand-out hit Take Care, where he fell into a back-and-forth conversation with fans as they submerged themselves into the woes of the song. It’s this kind of relatedness and honesty that has propelled Drake to stardom.
At the end of it all, Drake is a kid from Toronto, who wanted to share his love for music with the city he adores. With intentions to move OVO Fest to the Rogers Center, it’s clear that he won’t be stopping anytime soon. And if this is the kind of dreams that a Toronto-native like him wants to execute, then I have no problem keeping my eyes peeled.Tweet