“I know that it’s coming, I just hope that I’m alive for it” Drake rapped on “Successful,” from 2009’s So Far Gone mixtape. Now seven years later, the Toronto MC sits at the top of the mainstream hip-hop totem pole with his recent record-breaking album, Views.
The experience of being at Drake and Future’s Summer Sixteen Tour Friday (Sept. 9) in Los Angeles highlighted more than Drake’s lyrical prowess and pop domination. It was more than just an energetic and fun time — although the energy of the crowd was on a another level. It was poignant, inspiring, and moving if you were paying attention. Here are 6 reasons why the Drake and Future Summer Sixteen Tour is more than lit, it’s motivational.
Having a Chip On Your Shoulder is Not Always a Bad Thing
From the opening song “All Summer 16,” Drake asserted himself as the person the industry perhaps may not have thought would make it big, but he’s beyond there now. Watching him perform “Started From the Bottom” evoked emphatic emotions where one could relate to how it feels once you reach a certain point of success in your life after working so hard from the ground up. Reminiscing back to a clip in his 2015 short film Jungle, where his team documents a moment in 2008 waiting outside of a club wondering if a year later they could get in without IDs, you see the glimpse of a man who was counted out by everyone else but pushed through and made it because he counted on himself.
A Setback Is Just a Setup For a Comeback
After picking up manager Anthony Saleh in late 2014, and releasing a strong set of mixtapes, Future bounced back form a lackluster debut of Honest. Since then, Future has ascended into hip-hop royalty boasting a solo album, DS2, a joint project with Drake titled “What a Time to Be Alive,” and another solo project, Evol — all of which debuted number one on the Billboard charts. Watching Future perform in front of a crowd of more than 14,000 attendees, who were noticeably very hype for his show, was short of inspiring. He’s gone from an Atlanta favorite to an international rock star.
You Either Stand for Something or Fall for Anything
Future opened his popular “March Madness” song (from DJ Esco’s 56 Nights mixtape) to imagery of him standing on a cop car being shot at by police. Similar to Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On, Future draws attention to a line in the song where he raps “cops shooting n—-s, traffic”. Who knew your turn-up anthem has a message behind it as well? Drake closes out the show noting how everyone should continue love and embrace each other just as they had at the show.
When on Your Way Up, Don’t Forget Who Came With You
At one point during the show, Drake got on a contraption that took him away from the stage and into the crowd where he could shout out different people in attendance. He singled out fans carrying signs, wearing tour merchandise, and even couples and individuals who were having a good time. “I’m nothing without you, trust me,” he told the crowd. Drake is obviously close to his fans and wants them to feel like they are on the journey with him.
You Are the Company You Keep
Drake complimented Future on how great of a tour partner he was and remarked how he never goes on tour with anyone else. Frequent collaborator Metroboomin, though not present, was mentioned several times in song. Drake has Guy Pavelo and Steve Kidd of GP-SK Design & Production to thank for the lighting and production of the show, as the hanging globes were a nice touch and provided fresh aesthetic offerings.
The More Effort You Put in, the More Rewards
As the night progressed and the clock neared 11 p.m., Drake, who was still running on adrenaline, asked the crowd if they wanted the concert to go. Unanimous cheering ensued and the “Hotline Bling” rapper went on for another 30 minutes, closing out with “Legend.” It’s clear with the evolution of a solid and captivating live performance and a new onset of hits this year, Drake is willing to put in the work, and he’s reaping all of the rewards.