Ali's Basement

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My Life: Drake @ 9:30 Club

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I’ve been a big Drake supporter since I heard his mixtape So Far Gone about a year ago. I think I may have played ‘Best I Ever Had’, ‘Houstatlantavegas’ and ‘Successful’ on repeat for a few weeks when I first downloaded it. There was something about the rapping and singing combo, which i know has been a trend in hip-hop for a few years, that really spoke to me. It was a good soundtrack for that moment. So, I got an e-mail about his secret show at 9:30 Club and I immediately hit up my favorite female Drake supporter to pick up a set of tickets. With the release of his debut Thank Me Later set for June 15th, I knew we had to check out this show, especially since it was coming to D.C.

Before the show, we headed to Masa 14, an Asian fusion spot, on U St and enjoyed some tapas-style dishes. The doors opened at 9pm and at 9:30pm there was a line around the block. We thought we were going to miss portions of the show and got bummed, but the line moved fairly quickly and we were inside by 10ish. We missed the opening act, Francis and the Lights, who produced Drake’s ‘Karaoke’ which is one of my favorites off of his album, Thank me Later. But minutes after we got our drinks and found our place in the crowd, the lights went down and the crowd let out a scream … Drake was about to hit the stage.

Before I give you my review of the show, I wanted to provide a little background on this rapper who has taken the music industry by storm. He’s a Canadian born rapper, with a Jewish mother and a Black father from Memphis, who was an actor on the Canadian teen hit, Degrassi. He’s mentored by Lil Wayne, endorsed by Jay-Z and Kanye West, written for Alecia Keys among other accolades, so you can say the pressure is enormous on his 23-year old shoulders.

Drake hit the stage running, rapping his portion of the banger, Forever, over a roaring D.C. crowd that welcomed him with open arms. Drake acknowledged the pressure of TML: “I’ve been on edge – in about 24 hours, I got an album coming out.”

He might have said he was nervous but he seemed like a veteran on stage. He had a simple stage set up with a live band, DJ, and stage lights but it worked for this intimate show at 9:30 Club. But, the Canadian-born rapper ripped through a set list of some of his hits from the mixtape (‘Best I Ever Had’, ‘Successful’, ‘Unstoppable’), his features (‘Say Something’, ‘Money to Blow’, ‘4 My Town’), We Are Young Money record (‘Bed Rock’, ‘Every Girl’), and two cuts from Thank Me Later (Over’, ‘Find Your Love’).

Drake had everyone jumping out of their shoes and hyped as he closed the show with ‘Best I Ever Had’ and ‘Over’. You could hear the entire crowd singing/rapping along. I know that my friends and I had a euphoric feeling as we sang “What Am I doing? What Am I doing? Oh yea! That’s Right, I’m doing ME! I’m doing ME! I’m living life right now, mayne, this is what I’ma do till it’s over, till it’s over, and it’s far from overrrr”

I can’t think of a better anthem. Isn’t that what life’s all about?

video via

Update: I highly recommend checking out his MTV Documentary Better Than Good Enough.


Written by Ali's Basement

June 14, 2010 at 2:59 pm

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