Desiigner’s Panda played in the O2 arena as I sat high up waiting for Drake to take to the stage, so high up that I genuinely had a nosebleed during the show. I couldn’t help but overhear the comments of the girls sitting beside me. “I’m so glad they made a song about my favourite animal”, one said whilst her friend dabbed a bit too enthusiastically. I find myself switching from Drizzy fan boy to Drizzy hater on a regular basis. How many hip-hop artists could sell out the O2 for so many dates? On the other hand, his music has infiltrated the mainstream to such an extent that his core fan base is starting to consist largely of a group that don’t appreciate many other hip-hop artists. Is this good for the culture?
All of my questions disappeared as soon as the lights dimmed and the horns of Trophies started to blear. What ensued was an hour and a half of pure energy, with the six god rattling off tune after tune, and the crowd eating up every second of it. From performing the hooks of classic hits such as Headlines, Over and The Motto to more recent bangers, including Fake Love and Hotline Bling, Drake’s enthusiasm had onlookers jumping all night.
Drake flexed his vocals on the slower, more romantic Find Your Love and Feel No Ways, and well as the more upbeat Work and Too Good. He proclaimed, “You know you have to play the RiRi tunes to make the gyal dem feel sexy”. He switched up the vibe throughout, sensing when to play his more upbeat songs yelling, “I’m tryna do a show for the people, I ain’t tryna fuck nobody right now!” at his keyboard player.
Drake’s obsession with London and the UK grime scene was evidenced as he brought London’s Dave, Giggs and Kyla out to join him on stage, much to the audience’s excitement. Dave joined forces with Drake to perform their hit single, Wanna Know Remix. Giggs was the next guest, performing Whippin Excursion, and making Aubrey go full fan boy for the five minutes that he was on stage.
In a brief intermission, we were treated to a preview of a Drake and Giggs’ collaboration and a giant light-up globe rose through the centre of the stage. Drake returned to the stage to perform Pop Style leading nicely into Know Yourself. The crowd went off as Drake screamed “I was running through the six with my woes” and it was by far the most hyped part of the of the show. Drake ended the show declaring, “If I die, Imma die a legend”.