It’s easy to forget how many hits Drake created in his nearly 15-year music career. But he delivered an emphatic reminder with an intimate concert at Harlem’s Apollo Theater on Saturday, their first show at the legendary venue.
During the performance, the four-time Grammy winner teased that new music might be on the way, despite having released two albums last year.
“I thought about a lot of things in life, but right now, none of those things stop making music for you,” Drake told the loving crowd. “I hope I can generate more emotions for you, maybe this year, I could get bored and do another one.”
The first night of two Apollo weekend shows hosted by SiriusXM featured the 36-year-old singer ripping songs at a frenetic pace, most with just a verse and a chorus, satisfying day one fans with deep cuts that are not radio fan favorites. as well as those only familiar with his No. 1 hits. The recorded performances will air on Drake’s SiriusXM Sound 42 channel in the coming weeks.
Noting that this was his first show in about five years and then stating “I’ll be on tour a lot this year”, the artist with the most streams on Spotify in the US last year told his enthralled audience that the show was all about gratitude.
“I wanted to make this a show about gratitude,” Drake said. “This is a little story that we put together: my deep love for my family, for my dear friends and for each and every one of you who have been supporting me for a long time.”
In pigtails while wearing baggy jeans and a blue and yellow Jimmy Brooks basketball jersey, a nod to his days as an actor on the teen drama series “Degrassi,” Drake opened the performance with “Over My Dead Body” as celebrity guests like Justin. and Hailey Bieber, former NBA MVP and current Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant, NFL star Odell Beckham Jr., rappers A$AP Ferg and A Boogie in the hoodie spotted.
Sitting on a bed set to stage right, modeled after his mother’s basement bedroom in Toronto, where he said he wrote songs, Drake belted out many of his slow-tempo B-side hits like “Wu -Tang Forever”, “Trust Problems”, “Practice” and “No Feelings”.
He also sang his most popular deep cut, “Marvin’s Room.”as the standing room crowd joined in word for word before transitioning into his hook from Timbaland’s “Say Something” as the beat of “Marvin’s Room” continued.
As the bedroom set dimmed and the light shifted to the left side of the stage, revealing a boardroom, Drake changed into a black leather hoodie emblazoned with his OVO owl symbol. The rapper stood in front of an artist playing a record label executive who skeptically noted it was “interesting” that he was a rapper from Canada, before saying, “Okay, let’s see what you got.” (Drake would later remind the crowd how he was ignored by all the major New York record labels.)
Beginning with “Best I Ever Had”, the R&B hit that launched her career, she continued her musical journey with early Young Money-era hits like Headlines, “HYFR,” “Started From the Bottom” and “I’m on One.” The public also accompanied their most danceable records such as “Massive” from last year’s “Honestly, Nevermind” project, as well as “Hold On, We’re Going Home”, “One Dance”, “Passionfruit” and “In My Feelings. “
The final stretch of the 90-minute set opened with a surprise performance by popular early-2000s Harlem rap collective The Diplomats, featuring Drake in Cam’ron’s pink hoodie and headband. He was then joined by 21 Savage to perform songs like “Rich Flex,” “Spin Bout You” and “Knife Talk” from her joint project “Her Loss,” released in November.
The longtime motto for the Apollo is “Where stars are born and legends are made!” So it was either strategic or fortuitous that he ended the show with “Legend.” While it might be too soon to cloak him with the legend moniker in the way that Apollo Walk of Fame icons like Michael Jackson, Prince, Aretha Franklin, and James Brown wear it, he left no doubt that he’s on the right track. .