Leader of the new school

Drake, hip-hop’s next big thing, at PSU. Photo by Leon Laing.

June 15.

That’s the new release date for Drake’s highly anticipated Thank Me Later album, Drake said at his April 9 concert at  Bryce Jordan Center in State College. His collaborator, Jay-Z, performed at BJC on Oct. 9, 2009. Initially, Thank Me Later was slated for release on February 14 but was pushed back to May 25.

In 2009, the Canadian-based rapper/singer/actor bucked the trend in the music industry by releasing his classic So Far Gone mixtape. With its airtight production and diverse sound, Drake achieved overnight success with So Far Gone. This success led to a Grammy nod and two BET awards—all this before dropping an album. The Lil Wayne protégé became the No. 1 draft pick of Wayne’s Young Money Entertainment when he signed with the Cash Money Records imprint in June 2009.

“Can I do something from the new album?” Drake, 23, asked the audience during his April 9 concert. Next, the stage lights went dim, leaving only the spotlight on Drizzy. The lighting set the tone for “Fireworks,” the melodic and dramatic slow joint from Thank Me Later. The band helped to stress the quiet-storm and dreamlike sound of “Lust for Life” by extending the song with an instrumental. The crowd went bananas during Drake’s set for the club banger “I’m Going In.” He switched from braggadocio (“I’m Going In”) to emo rap during his performance for “Fear,”his most heartfelt song to date. And the audience sang in unison to hits such as “Over,” “BedRock,” “Money to Blow” and “Best I Ever Had.”

“I picked a show that I would be at, you know?” Drake said about his unconventional lineup of opening acts in an online article. In other words, this wasn’t your typical hip-hop concert. Soul-pop group Francis and the Lights (from New York City) performed first. The group doesn’t spit bars, but its harmonious sound blended with Drake’s style. k-os, 38, opened up next for Drizzy. Like Drake, k-os hails from Canada and is a rapper/singer. He, too, gave the crowd a mishmash of sounds, ranging from reggae to hip-hop. His look reflected his eclectic music: dreadlocks, black hoodie, skinny jeans and high top sneakers with paper-thin soles. With his non-traditional style, k-os said the crowd probably thinks he’s a “black alien from Canada.”

—Written by Leon Laing and edited by Maurice Boyer

6 Responses to “Leader of the new school”

  1. 1 Vincent Smaldone April 11, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    great coverage as usual homie keep up the great work!

  2. 2 Leirow April 12, 2010 at 11:49 am

    i agree…excellent capture of the show…i really wish i could have made it…i like drake

  3. 4 karl April 12, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    Nice article. Check out George Reefah – also out of Toronto. I think his style fits nicely with your taste.

  1. 1 Upcoming events « vigoronline Trackback on May 19, 2010 at 12:55 am
  2. 2 ‘Thank Me Later’ giveaway « vigoronline Trackback on June 16, 2010 at 2:42 am

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