Drake review: a nice guy with a lot of stamina

The O2, London
Dazzling visuals have no story to tell in a disjointed set with killer hits – and money – to burn

Towards the final stretch of Drake’s The Assassination Vacation show, the stage in the centre of the O2 transforms into a laser-etched basketball court. Like some kind of hip-hop Jim Bowen, Drake invites a plucky audience member to shoot hoops for cash, with a £20,000 bonanza if he can score from the halfway line. When tonight’s contestant becomes the latest to fail to land a difficult shot in front of 20,000 strangers, Drake is in a bind. “I’ve still got £20,000 to give away,” he frets theatrically. “I might just have to find a pretty lady and take her to Harrods.”

For the biggest pop star in the world, this is the equivalent of putting small change into a collection tin. With his relentless output and memeable videos, the Canadian rapper and singer has dominated the attention economy of the streaming era in the same way that Madonna commanded the MTV age, but for even longer. Apart from a brief interregnum in 2017, Drake has had at least one song in the Billboard Hot 100 every week for the past 10 years, including three No 1 hits from his latest album, Scorpion. Passages of his Wikipedia entry read like a corporation’s report to its stockholders. By any criteria, the 32-year-old reigns supreme, hence seven sold-out nights at the O2, which has been temporarily rebranded the O3 in reference to a lyric from one of those chart-toppers, God’s Plan.

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Source: The Guardian – Drake review: a nice guy with a lot of stamina

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