Last night, Drake played the first of two shows at Radio City Music Hall, alighting triumphantly on a New York stage after two horrifically abortive attempts earlier this year. But last night was uniformly dubbed a triumph, a coronation for the young rap star. We’ll have a review of tonight’s encore for you tomorrow; in the meantime, a quick user’s guide for everyone else thinking about hitting Craigslist and joining in on the second night’s slate of festivities. Is it worth it? You decide:
If You Don’t Already Have Tickets, They Won’t Come Cheap
Last night, Drake brought out Young Jeezy, J.Cole, Birdman, Francis from Francis and the Lights, and Young Money weed carriers Tyga and Mack Maine.
That’s not bad, though cross your fingers for Jay-Z (“Light Up” repeat from Yankee Stadium?), Nicki Minaj (“Up All Night,” please god), and Alicia Keys, all people who could credibly step out onstage tonight.
Get Ready to Scream For Lil Wayne
He did it at Yankee Stadium during Jay-Z’s set, and he definitely did at Radio City last night, bringing out Birdman and doing “I’m Going In” at top volume for their incarcerated partner. Better start learning the words if you don’t know ’em already.
Ditto for Aaliyah
From Jon Caramanica’s account of last night:
Drake paid tribute to just one person on Tuesday night at Radio City Music Hall, his first of two sold-out shows there, but it wasn’t a rapper. It was Aaliyah, the coy R&B sensualist who died young, at 22, in a plane crash in 2001. Her face floated on the circular screen hovering above the stage while snippets of her hits played.
Aaliyah is something of a fixation for Drake. Last month, he penned a letter to her on the occasion of the anniversary of her death. “Unforgettable,” from his debut album, “Thank Me Later” (Aspire/Young Money/Cash Money), is based heavily on a sample of Aaliyah’s “At Your Best (You Are Love),” one of her breathiest singles.
Cue venue-destroying Jeezy cameo on that exact song.
So What’s The Deal With Rihanna, Anyway?
Famously, Drake had a mostly unreciprocated crush on Rihanna, and even rapped about it on Thank Me Later‘s “Fireworks.” But he left that verse out last night, and she was spotted in the crowd, singing along. Later that night, cameras caught the two of them hanging out at Greenhouse together:
There won’t be much here, but there’ll be something. Can you spot the moment/omission/subliminal that will move this sub-plot forward? Because it’s gonna happen…
Last But Not Least, Whatever You Do, Don’t Riot, Please