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Drake Brings Out Stevie Wonder, Nas & Lil Wayne: OVO Fest 2011

August 1, 2011

Was lucky enough to be at the OVO Festival last night, where surprise guests included Nas, Stevie Wonder & Lil Wayne, in addition to the scheduled roster of Rick Ross, The Weeknd and Drake himself.  Nas was great but only performed 2 songs (If I Ruled The World & Got Yourself A Gun), Stevie was predictably brilliant and Lil Wayne was amazing. If I wasn’t going to be out of the city August 19th when he plays Toronto, I would snatch up those tickets asap.

Drake spoke to the crowd at length about how much he loved the city and how important the night was to him, and it showed. Without being too lengthy, Drake’s performance was everything his music is – exciting, honest, and surprisingly intimate. At one point during a performance of one of his new tracks, he sang something about people complaining his music is “too emotional.” Drake is amazing because of his emotional, introverted, self reflective and poingnant lyrics – its unfortunate that only the more commercially viable songs from Thank Me Later were released as singles – as a lot of people have written him off because of it. Maybe with good reason; its hard to take a rapper seriously who has so many references to the mall.

That said, it looks like sophomore LP Take Care (October 24th) is shaping up with a little more focus on the intimate ventures with slow jams like Marvin’s Room, Headlines and Trust Issues being released online thus far. Or maybe he’s just sitting on a few club bangers to go out all-out for the major radio/video tracks.

Drake has long ago proven one of Toronto’s best exports, but yesterday he cemented himself as an artist that’s just as valuable within Toronto as without.

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