Arts

The Drake Versus Lil Wayne Tour

The YMCMB Duo Perform to Soud Out Crowd

By Brad Popkin

Drake and Lil Wayne performed before a sold out crowd of over 17,000 rambunctious fans at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, N.J. on August 26. This marked the twelfth stop for the Cash Money duo on the Drake verses Lil Wayne tour.

Both artists have vastly contrasting approaches to the art of hip-hop, one derives more from the heart while the other from the streets, which lent itself to the premise of their entire tour. Each night was a battle with a winner declared at the end. While it’s not clear who won on this, the real winners were the fans.

Drake and Lil Wayne went toe to toe for roughly two and half hours, entrancing the crowd with the old and new like “I’m Goin’ In,” “Go DJ,” “Mr. Carter,” “Money To Blow,” “Over,” and “I’m On One.” From the beginning of the night, right up until the end, the labelmates traded barbs arguing about who had the most hits or who had the best hooks and features on their resume.

“I wasn’t talking about getting on a song after it’s already a hit. I was talking about making a song a hit,” said Canadian rapper Drake.

Lil Wayne was up first and he was not about to let his understudy get the best of him. Weezy performed boisterous songs like “Leather so Soft,” “Pop Bottles,” and “Drop the World.” The New Orleans rapper had the crowd as amped up as he was but the tide was slowly about to turn.

Drizzy took the stage donned in a slinky white t-shirt and outfitted in gold chains, while being his usual happy-go-lucky self. While Drake’s body of work is not as long as his apprentices’, he didn’t really have to reach that far to entice the crowd to its feet. The 27-year-old performed “We Made It” and “Draft Day,” both singles from this year.

On this night, it wasn’t just about YMCMB, it was about Bobby Shmurda. Following his first act, Drake brought out the Brooklyn rapper and Vine star to perform his hit “Hot N****” to which the crowd went into a frenzy.

As a long-time fan of both of these rappers, I would have appreciated it if the pair went back to their days as up and comers. Regardless, it was not a necessity.

As the show moved along, Wayne proved just how much of an accomplished rapper he is by pulling hooks from hit singles like “Make It Rain.” He even tried bringing something reminiscent of Drake’s repertoire, by performing “How to Love.” Wayne also performed “John,” “Got Money,” and “Rich as F***”.

Drake would come back with a vengeance, performing recently minted classics like “0 to 100” and “The Language” but decided that he needed to connect more with the female fans in attendance. Drake took to the top of the set to perform “Find Your Love” then “Hold On We’re Going Home.”

However, he was not done there. Drizzy transported via a small platform and pole throughout the audience, while performing “Marvin’s Room,” to shout out to all those from New Jersey, New York, and the surrounding areas in attendance. Also performed by the multi-talented rapper, were “Headlines” and “The Motto” from the album Take Care.

Drake and Lil Wayne shared the stage together at points, trading song for song, then performed together on tracks like “Believe Me” and “Grindin.” The two who were determined to find out which is more skillful also have profound respect for each other.

“The one reason I am still standing on this stage today,” said Weezy in reference to his predecessor.

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