As I am sure you are all aware, this year’s NBA All-Star Weekend is taking place in Drake’s home city of Toronto. Before I go on to explain the significance of this, let me bring it back to a year ago when the All-Star festivities took place in the greatest city on Earth, New York City.
February 12, 2015.
Kanye West, in collaboration with Roc Nation, threw a free concert in the Flatiron District for upwards of 10,000 people. Kanye was premiering his first Yeezy collection with adidas that same weekend. It was a BIG weekend. What a time to be in New York.
The concert was chaotic yet amazing, with Kanye bringing out the rest of his starting lineup–Big Sean, 2 Chainz, Pusha T, and Travis $cott. Unamused by most, ‘Ye also brought out this unknown rapper at the time, Fetty Wap, who was bubbling in the streets with his song, “Trap Queen.”
For all of you non-New Yorkers, Jay Z happens to own a club in that area called the 40/40 Club. Once the show ended it felt like the entire audience wanted to get through those doors. Don’t ask me how but I got in. Rihanna, Beyonce, Jay Z, Drake, and every other musician walked by me to get upstairs into the VIP section. It was almost overwhelming. Somewhere between midnight and 4 a.m., long after I had left, Drake decided to steal the spotlight of NBA All-Star Weekend…before the weekend had even started.
He dropped a mixtape called If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late. It eventually went platinum.
The Drake effect is real, whether you want to admit it or not. Drake is the Chris Paul of rap. Before you yell blasphemy think about it for a second. What do French Montana, 2 Chainz, Kendrick Lamar, Meek Mill, YG, Migos, and many other artists have in common? A Drake verse put them on the map.
Don’t get me wrong, a lot of these artists had been in the game a while and relatively known, but Champagne Papi catapults them to another stratosphere. You think people really knew Migos before “Versace” dropped? C’mon now.
Drake’s presence at last year’s ASW, along with his continued support towards the NBA, the Raptors, and his home city of Toronto are the reasons why tons of people will be traveling to Canada to see Kobe suiting up in his final All-Star Game. It’s certainly possibly, actually probably, that Drake will steal the spotlight yet again at another All-Star weekend. The 6 God will have club appearances, hosting commitments, and a celebrity team to coach…all while riding the wave of his latest smash, “Summer Sixteen.”
I was tasked with coming up with a 10-song Drake playlist that would encompass every feeling a fan deals with during ASW in Toronto. The anticipation. The excitement. The late nights. The slow mornings. The quiet before the storm. The finish. Any Drake playlist limited to 10 songs is tough–this one was even harder. Scroll through and read this as if you are in Air Canada Centre watching Kobe one last time. This is the Perfect Drake Playlist for NBA All-Star Weekend.
image via Universal Music