Drake Brings Out Future at ACL Day 2: 'I Tried to Put Something Special Together'
In the 13 years preceding this edition of the festival, Austin City Limits has hosted only three hip-hop headliners: Kanye West in 2011, plus Eminem and Outkast last year. It was a fact that Canadian rapper Drake, dressed this night in a simple black T-shirt and matching jeans, seemed astutely aware of from the outset of his 90-minute performance on the Samsung Galaxy Stage, which began promptly at 8:30 p.m. (CT).
“I knew I was coming to Austin, Texas, so I tried to put something special together,” he said after blazing through three brief renditions of “Legend,” “Trophies,” “Headlines” and “Over,” a couple of which were marked by dazzlings bursts of pryo.
It was clear by their relentless rapping and singing that the tens of thousands in attendance – mostly in the young 20-something range by the looks of it – would’ve praised his set as a success no matter what. But the 28-year-old hip-hop star continued to butter them up – “I consider Texas my second home … there’s no love like Texas love,” he proclaimed – before the reveal of that “something special,” all the while barreling through a dozen career spanning snippets, including critically acclaimed cuts “Tuesday,” “Blessings,” “HYFR” and “Started From the Bottom.”
“All I have for you tonight is a reward for being the best crowd I’ve seen all f---ing year,” he said after leading a thunderous a cappella chant-along to the latter track’s final chorus.
With that, Atlanta-bred rapper Future strode onto the stage to perform a hat-trick of his own material, “F--k Up Some Commas,” “Trap N----s” and “Where Ya At,” with Drake’s verse on that final song serving as a bridge to the live debuts of two selections – “Jump Man” and “Big Rings” – off the duo’s just-released chart-topping mixtape, What a Time to Be Alive.
Drake arguably squandered his chance to wow in a similar situation over two consecutive two weekends in April at Coachella by failing to bring out any guests save for an apparently tongue-hungry Madonna (it’s still awkward), so his live collaboration with Future here was a smart idea. The move, along with a few bursts of sky-high fireworks, imbued him with just the right amount of extra oomph to conclude with the aptly titled “Energy” on a convincingly commanding note.