HITS Daily Double


With more than a billion streams, a million-plus in sales and a near-continuous reign at #1 on the radio—at times competing with or replacing himself at the top—there is no arguing this was indeed the season of YMCMB/Republic's Drake, Summer Sixteen.

The Summer Sixteen Tour, presented by Apple Music, is a ferociously fun live performance mixed in with intimate, friendly chattiness by the superstar and serves to conclusively anoint his status as the Biggest Pop Star in the World.

For the (six-six-six!) sixth and final show in Los Angeles (three at Staples Center, three at The Forum) Drake filled the bases with hit after multi-platinum hit from “Started From The Bottom” to “Controlla” while launching a few home runs straight out the park by bringing two hometown heroes onstage. Ice Cube appeared first and torched the scene with “Straight Outta Compton” then later, the one and only Dr. Dre arrived in the building and shook the whole Forum down when he started rapping the bars to “Next Episode.”

“This man right here was the first person to ever give me a paycheck to make music,” Drake said of hip-hop’s first billionaire, Andre Young, “This man really in some way shape or form is responsible for everything that goes on in rap music today. He’s one of the most important figures in the world. A mentor to me, an inspiration to me and a mutherfuckin’ legend on the West Coast.”

Other special guests that stormed the stage to join Drake with their verses on his various collabos included Big Sean, Young Thug and French Montana.

While there was plenty of pyro and flames to accent the blistering hype of the high energy rap from both Drake and Future—who seamlessly flowed into the show at the halfway mark but minus his right-hand partner DJ Esco, couldn’t quite match the energy Drake had with the crowd—this concert setting can also morph into an intimate space at times. This was due to the brilliant staging, including hundreds of illuminated, suspended light globes that shape-shifted into different formations above the crowd. The effect was mesmerizing in person and oh yeah, also photographed perfectly on an iPhone.

Drake’s banter with the audience was also a high note; at one point he climbed into a basket suspended low over the crowd and circled the entire arena while waving, pointing, and commenting one-on-one with different fans in the crowd. We’re talking specific—down to what people were wearing or what drink they were holding, giving up that once-in-a-lifetime, remember-it-forever moment for any true fan. I’ve never seen an artist do this so genuinely, and it was pure charm. Charisma is this man’s greatest superpower, after all, and he uses it to great effect live.

The love back was audibly insane—16k people shouting out every lyric and singing back choruses in such loud unison it visibly set the star back on his heels. “You know L.A. is my adopted hometown now… this means a lot to me,” he told the crowd. In fact, the vibe was so lit Drake went 45 minutes into overtime. “I don’t care what it costs—write the check,” he said. “This crowd is crazy. We’re doing the long show tonight!” And as the final song of the night kicked in, the tone was perfectly set for what the artist had just spent the last two hours proving onstage. With a page from Drake’s own prophecy, told to us over a year and a half ago when he released If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late: “LEGEND.”