Drake vs. Lil Wayne
September 22, 2014
Last night, because God is good, Drake and Lil Wayne performed together at the Hollywood Bowl. For the L.A. stop on their current video-game inspired "Drake vs. Lil Wayne" tour, they rapped and told jokes and danced and put on what was basically a hip-hop variety show version of the Jerry Lewis telethon. Drake smiled a lot, and sometimes Weezy smiled too. At one point Drake flew over the audience on what Wayne thereafter referred to as a flying stripper pole. It was altogether magical.
The show was set up as a Street Fighter-inspired competition between the labelmates, and the two took turns performing their hits and roasting each other. "I been at this shit since he was in a wheelchair," announced Wayne, referring to Drake's paralyzed Degrassi character Jimmy Brooks. "The worst thing about starting the show out with Degrassi jokes," Drake countered, "is that no one thinks that shit is funnier than I do."
The audience was young and sexy, or, as Drake labelled them, very "who's who." He thanked everyone who paid actual money for their ticket. He wore neon orange Nikes, a white OVO t-shirt and a pair of ripped white jeans that probably came ripped like that. Wayne sported a pair of cut off sweatpants, black Nike Cortezes and sometimes, a shirt. His abs were ridiculous. Both guys were impressively spry, running around the stage and dancing with the precision and agility of No Strings Attached-era N'Sync. Wayne's footwork was especially fancy. At at one point he ran so quickly across these stage that he tripped and fell on his ass.
The two dipped back and forth between old and new stuff, with Wayne establishing his historical hit superiority over Drake's current radio domination with 2004's "Go DJ," 2009's "Drop the World" and The Carter III party anthem "Got Money." The entire audience, except the guy next who us who spent the entire show Instagraming, waved their hands back and forth like, this a way, that a way.
Drake returned and countered with "0 to 100/The Catch Up" and then Wiz Khalifa came onstage (blunt in hand, obvs) for "We Dem Boyz." Drake then did a bit of A$AP Rocky's "Fuckin' Problems" and his verse on Migos' "Versace."
Wayne and Drake seemed to have genuine affection and respect for each other, and their playful chemistry and facetious beef was cute. Drake called it the biggest show of the best tour he's ever been on.
The next segment was all about sexy time, with Drake levitating over the audience on the aforementioned floating stripper pole and shouting out individuals in the audience while singing his panty-dropping slow jam "Hold On, We're Going Home."
"I see you got the ladies all turned up in this beyotch," Wayne observed, before doing his own sensitive man track "How to Love" and then turning the raunch vibes up with "Every Girl" and "Lollipop."
Both guys sounded tight and on point. The lighting and visual elements were simple , yet sophisticated. The affair peaked when Drake and Wayne rose out of the stage "Street Fighter" style and then went back and forth on their feature verses from other people's songs. Wayne sat down and looked at his fingernails while Drake did his rhyme from "No Lie" and Drake tried to keep a straight face and failed, breaking into a smile while Wayne rapped his part on "Good Kush and Alcohol." Drake is extremely earnest.
Capcom, the company that made the first version of Street Fighter in 1987, produced a Drake vs. Lil Wayne app for this tour, and the final segment of the show was introduced by a bunch of cool comic book visuals featuring the two guys as superheroes. The audience was instructed to turn on their apps and vote for the night's winner by pressing a button for the guy they liked more. To earn points, Drake and Wayne both pulled out the big gun hits. For Drake this was "Worst Behavior" and "All Me," while Wayne did "No Worries" and "A Milli," which he destroyed.
But of course only one dude could win, and that dude was Drake. "I am selling my house in L.A.," Wayne announced after his defeat. But one gets the feeling he'll survive. To close things out, the duo plugged their forthcoming albums and performed "Believe Me" and "HYFR" while fireworks shot out of the stage, bursts of smoke and confetti filled the air, and the audience, from the boxes to the bleachers, shouted "fuckin' right, fuckin' right, all right."
Personal bias: Drake knows exactly who I could be.
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Approximate number of Instagrams the guy next to me posted during the show: 24.
Random Notebook Dump: Drake and Wayne should host the next Academy Awards.