Here’s What Went Down at Night One of Drake’s New Tour: A Virgil Statue, Floating Sperm and Golden Oldies


Of course, he still found time for newer tracks like “BackOutsideBoyz” and “Jumbotron Shit Poppin.” A brief DJ interlude included some of Drake’s poppier records like “Find Your Love” and “One Dance,” before co-headliner 21 Savage took over and brought a menacing chill over the arena. When Drake returned, he wore a mask and blood-red butcher’s apron for “Knife Talk,” as a Ghostface-style horror villain hung suspended from the ceiling. The pair reeled off four more tracks, including three from their Her Loss album, and “Jimmy Cooks” off Honestly, Nevermind.

Producer BNYX (who produced Drake’s conspicuous Kim K-sampling track “Search and Rescue” earlier this year) shared that the tour was executive produced by himself and Noah “40” Shebib, Drake’s longtime collaborator. BNYX revealed that they revamped many of the older tracks to “[make] a lot of the songs sound bigger and hit harder.”

One poignant aspect of the show was the presence of a massive Virgil Abloh statue, a nod to Drake’s late friend and collaborator, who grew up in Illinois and first cut his teeth in Chicago. From tribute tattoos, dedicating last year’s Honestly, Nevermind to “our brother V,” and including that album’s hit song “Sticky” with a classic Virgil soundbyte, Drake continues to honor his late friend on a grand, public scale.

Drake has spent much of 2023 uncharacteristically out of the beef cycle after igniting a run of feuds on last year’s Her Loss. (He’s still a crucial supporting character in the bad blood between Jim Jones and Clipse, however.) But the roar of a supportive crowd had Drake feeling zesty: During one moment of crowd banter, he took aim not only at listeners who have criticized the quantity of his recent output, but also at peers who are less prolific.

“I saw people complaining about how much music I put out but I look around and see all these faces and realize it’s summertime and I have to give you some shit. I’m not like the rest of these guys that take three, four, five, years off and not say anything about it,” Drake said.

Most took this as another subliminal in the long-standing—but, it should be noted, entirely assumed—cold war that Drake and Kendrick Lamar have been embroiled in for the last decade.

One shot that was very clear? A headline ticker read: “The overrated and over-awarded hit song ‘This is America’ was originally a Drake diss record.” Donald Glover told GQ earlier in 2023 that the original conception of the track was for it to be “a funny way” of provoking Drake, but that after spending more time with the beat he decided to pivot.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Drake tour without some visual provocation—this is the guy who’s recently been wearing outfits that say “Hard Feelings, Harder Dick,” after all. The second-most-shared graphic from last night’s show has been a projection of floating sperm that appear to swim over Drake’s head as he performs. Maybe he’s taking the rumination on how he got here a little too far back, but as with lots of late-career Drake shenanigans, maybe the provo

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Here’s What Went Down at Night One of Drake’s New Tour: A Virgil Statue, Floating Sperm and Golden Oldies

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