Better than: Watching a bro-comedy film.
Is Step-Brothers now to hip-hop what Scarface or kung-fu movies used to be? With Kanye quoting the film in interviews and Eminem doing the same in concerts, it’s difficult to not compare the loving push-and-shove between Drake and his mentor Lil Wayne to that of Brennan and Dale.
Still grasping on to the gangster daydreams of Al Pacino’s classic and the fantasy fights of the kung-fu canon, ‘Drake vs. Lil Wayne’ proved to be a mix of the old school with the new school as the two essentially acted out a playdate between friends on stage.
The premise of this particular collaborative tour emphasized the “Vs.” in the title — Drake and Lil Wayne would be battling against one another on-stage with hits and deep cuts that were either their own or guest verses for friends. Because everything involves an extra technological level, the show had the extra step of involving the video game battle app, but not many people seemed to be utilizing it. In between the not-so-sly app advertisements and cheesy cartoon renderings of the Young Money kings, the pair wove together several solo mini-sets with some banter and collaborative moments.
As one would expect, the crowd for this concert was exceptionally wild. It’s difficult to not get hype listening to songs by either of these stars and to see them on-stage with one another is nothing short of exhilarating. Though Lil Wayne prodded at Drake that his songs were classics while the other’s were hits, the difference was indecipherable. Wayne’s solo sections, packed with jams like “Money On My Mind,” “Da Sky Is Da Limit,” “Go DJ” and “Drop the World” were heavy on energy brought to life by his inarguable skill. The response was stunning to witness.
Yet, there’s no comparison to the type of year Drake has had. The singles he drops randomly on the OVO Soundcloud have been even hotter than his acclaimed recent album Nothing Was the Same, and he is one of the few rappers able to successfully carry the tropes of pop stardom. When he wasn’t killing his own verses, like the incredible “0 To 100,” or killing his peer’s guest verses, like Big Sean’s from “All Me,” Drake was flying over the crowd and hitting on the ladies in the audience while singing the wonderfully mopey drunk-dial anthem “Marvin’s Room.” As Drake put it, he’s willing to do what other rapper’s won’t do, a fact that has made him continuously one of the most intriguing and meme-able characters in the game. The fact that he kept a looped video of himself lint-rolling his leg during a basketball game while performing “All Me” is a great example of his humor and willingness to embrace the always important ridiculous nature of a pop concert.
In the end, Drake won the battle even though Lil Wayne gave “A Milli” his all. They hugged it out and ended a show with a collection of their collaborations like “The Motto,” “HYFR” and a new song off Lil Wayne’s up-coming fall release. However, that wasn’t without further promotion of both their upcoming albums. But it’s not like they needed to sell anything to us. The audience was already deep in the cult of Young Money and probably went straight home to watch Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” video once the show was over.
Critical Bias: I went straight home to watch the “Anaconda” video.
Overheard: *while singing along to “Hold On, We’re Going Home”* “Oh, if you’re a good girl, you should definitely let me know.” Creeps stay creepy.
Random Notebook Dump: Why do male Drake fans think that using Drake lines to pick up girls will work for them? YOU ARE NOT DRAKE.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 20, 2014