Drake is nearly untouchable in rap these days. When it comes to the likes of Kendrick Lamar and A$AP Rocky, who have arguably dropped the greatest albums this year, Drake has to continue to widen the gap between his competition. He’s successfully given fans several summer anthems with If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late. He’s grown into a cultural tastemaker, co-signing his latest favorite artist Fetty Wap and remixing “My Way.” He’s also helped give his newest OVO signee, iLoveMakonnen, his first platinum plaque with “Tuesday.” So, in terms of influence, Drake has a lot of power.
Consistent radio hits and consistent platinum-selling albums means your live show has to be on point. Trust us; Drake has proven himself to be an exciting performer before. Despite the lukewarm response, Drake still shined with his electric performance at Coachella this year. At other Jungle Tour stops — Houston and Toronto, for example — the OVO leader kept the excitement levels at an all-time high. But his New York stop at this year’s Governors Ball was different.
After concertgoers were warmed up with excellent sets from Rae Sremmurd, Future, Chromeo and Florence and the Machine, the GovBallNYC Stage transformed into our portal to The 6. Thousands of fans gathered to watch Drizzy close out the first night. At exactly 9 p.m., his punctuality took the crowd to another level. When the opening scene of his short film Jungle projected on screen, everyone knew it was time to turn up. This was going to be the best concert of the summer. Here’s why.
He changes lyrics to show love to your city: Drake aims to please. Throughout his renditions of “Legend” and other songs that shout out other states, Drizzy made it clear that he was in New York. Midway through his set, he loved the crowd energy so much that he teased a possible OVO Fest in NYC. We wouldn’t mind seeing him and Kanye West rocking together or a Young Money takeover with Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj.
No surprise guests? No problem: Many in the crowd speculated that Drake would bring out special guests. Not this time. This show was 100 percent Drake featuring Drake. When he did songs that had other collaborators — “Crew Love,” “Tuesday,” “My Way,” “Blessed” and “All Me,” to name a few — he let the crowd do their parts or he would do them himself. Either way, those non-solo hits still banged.
He slows it down for the ladies in attendance: The beautiful thing about Drake is that he can cater to fans from both genders. He set aside a few minutes to play his R&B jams that had just about everyone singing along. After “Find Your Love” and “Take Care,” he fittingly performed “Jungle” and shared a new verse just for the New York crowd. “I gotta sing about the candles and the showers,” he joked before picking up the pace again.
“Know Yourself”: It’s the song everyone wants to hear. “I was running through the 6 with my woes!” was a phrase that could be heard before his show, during his show and even after his show. We saw what Toronto did this week when the song dropped, and New York definitely wanted to top that. Even Drake was curious about how dedicated NYC fans were to “Know Yourself,” requesting that we give him the “craziest reaction.” We’re gonna call it right now: “Know Yourself” will be played multiple times after what New York did. They had to set the record for the loudest city so far.
You’ll see a lot of fireworks: Who knows if this will be a recurring theme on the Jungle Tour, but fireworks really take your show from nothing to something. Every once in a while, fireworks would shoot from the stage to add emphasize to a bass drop or a lyric. During Drake's finale, where he performed “Legend” one more time, there was an explosive display that echoed throughout Randall’s Island. Ending at 10:45 p.m. sharp, it was an early conclusion to an epic night.
We Made It
My Way (Remix)
Find Your Love
Hold On, We’re Going Home
0 to 100
Started From the Bottom
Click here for a chance to win a trip to the 2015 BET Awards!
BET.com is your No. 1 source for Black celebrity news, photos, exclusive videos and all the latest in the world of hip hop and R&B music.
(Photo: C Flanigan/WireImage)