Legendary— the word repeatedly used to describe the fourth annual OVO Fest held at the Molson Amphitheatre on Monday, August 5. Like always, those in attendance were in for an epic night filled with great music from their Prince, Drizzy Drake, and his special guests.
To begin the evening, James Blake and Wale opened up the show followed by Drake, who came out dressed in all white. The highly anticipated OVO Fest had started. With the knowledge of previous artists who have graced the stage alongside Drizzy, the crowd knew anything was possible. The diehard fans rose as they welcomed their beloved Prince of Toronto. The love was real.
Drizzy began with “Headlines” and transitioned into “Crew Love” with The Weeknd by his side rocking an OVO shirt. As the song ended, Drake exclaimed his love for his hometown says, “Toronto is the most beautiful city in the world!” The ecstatic crowd roars in agreement.
The music switches to “5 AM In Toronto” then into “Clique” with Big Sean joining Drake on the stage. Big Sean performed “Mercy” then there is a paused. The excerpt from “Funny People” starts and Big Sean and Drake wait with smiles on their faces for the Hook of “All Me”. The audience sang and rapped the new anthem. At the end of the song, Drake talks to his city and says, “Tonight is a celebration of our city. We were overlooked. Let’s live this dream together!”
French Montana appears and starts with “Ain’t Worried About Nothin” as Drizzy acts as his hype man jumping up and down. The audience followed suit and bounces. The music changes to “Pop That” and the two rappers continue to keep the crowd bouncing, dancing, and rapping.
As French leaves the stage, Drake switches the atmosphere as the beat for “Poetic Justice” starts. Drizzy goes through “Motion” and “Girls Love Beyonce” before Wale joins him out stage to rap “Bad”. Continuing with the same pace, Drake sings “I Get Lonely Too” before he welcomed TLC alongside their dancers to take over the stage and perform “FanMail”, “Waterfalls”, and “No Scrubs”. Everyone was in shock. No one had even remotely considered TLC in attendance. Nonetheless, it was amazing to see Chilli and T-Boz back on stage performing with the help of Lil Mama as what seems to be symbolic gesture.
Drake reappears onstage and says, “You want me to bring out one of your favourites or what’s up?” He continues, “Cause I know my city, I know who y’all love. And there’s one other nigga, he’s about just as tall as me and looks a lot like me. I feel like it’s his time right now, let’s go.” With that, J. Cole slowly walks out on stage and says, “Cole World,” as the fans cheer with excitement! He screams, “Toronto, sing this shit!” And with that, the beat of “Nobody’s Perfect” starts and Cole swiftly begins his set. He transitions into “Forbidden Fruit” and then “Power Trip” with Miguel who appears to sing the chorus. Cole thanks Toronto for the love and leaves Miguel onstage to perform “Adorn”.
As “Adorn” ends, Drake reappears with a new outfit. He goes through a quick set and performs old favourites like: “Successful”, “Uptown”, “Forever”, “Best I Ever Had”, and then finally, “Over”. After this set, Drake speaks about his first concert that he ever attended with his uncle which happened to be in the same arena. So he tells his fans he wants to relive that night and made some phone calls. He ends by exclaiming: “Toronto, just know I do this shit for you and nobody else, let’s go!” What happens next is what made history…
The instrumental of “Victory” starts, the arena is dark and everyone is anticipating what is about to happen next. Diddy appears and the crowd goes fanatic! With the crowd completely in awe, Diddy performs “Victory.” He then stops and expresses his excitement for being in Toronto. He asks the audience if they’re ready to make history. With the crowd’s response, he brings out Ma$e to perform “Feels So Good” which was very fitting considering the original Bad Boys reunited on one stage and it never felt so good. The Bad Boys continued with “Mo Money Mo Problems”, “I Get Money”, “All About the Benjamins”, “I Need A Girl” and “Same Damn Time” with Drizzy Drake bopping along on the side.
Following Diddy and Mase was ASAP Rocky jumping up and down to enter the stage and start “Fuckin Problems”. ASAP Rocky states that he does not want the regular type of audience. He wants titties out, crowd surfing, bar spitting, and all that crazy shit. Appropriately, he then gets into “Wild For The Night” with Drizzy’s assistance.
Drake introduces the next performer with a quick freestyle: “Niggas keep sayin’ I should give the chain back/That’ll be the same day I give the game back/You know the next question, dog, ‘Yo, where Wayne at?/Nigga we both busy, I ain’t gotta explain that/What up with you and ‘Ye, man? Are y’all ok man?” With that, the lights turn off and out from the curtains comes Kanye West with a red light on him.
This is one of Kanye’s first appearances since the birth of his daughters. Yeezus performed “New Slaves” as the crowd went bananas at the fact that he was present at OVO. He continues with “All Of The Lights” then Yeezus states, “Me and Hov would of never made “Watch The Throne” if this nigga wasn’t putting pressure on us like that,” in reference to Drake’s music. He then finishes his set with “Can’t Tell Me Nothing”.
Drizzy reappears on stage and starts “HYFR” and out of nowhere comes Lil Wayne. Once again, the crowd is in shock. Previous years, Lil Wayne has not been allowed into Canada due to his criminal record so to see him on stage with Drizzy was phenomenal. The dynamic duo continued their set with “Motto” and “Love Me”. Before Wayne leaves, Wayne kindly says, “Before I leave this mother fucking stage, can you please please make some noise for what this man has accomplished!” Drake responds with: “Imma be riding with this man until the end of time!” He also states that Wayne is the “best rapper alive”. Wayne leaves Drake onstage to perform his last set.
Toronto’s very own, gets back on his mic and tells his city: “Every time you hear my voice, you’re listening to a piece of this city because like I said, that’s all I give a fuck about! Let’s bring it home Toronto!” Drake closes out the night with “Versace”, “No New Friends”, and the Canadian anthem “Started From The Bottom.” With that, Drake leaves the stage and leaves his diehard fans on a joyful high, completely overwhelmed with what they had just witnessed at the fourth annual OVO Fest.
The show will go down in history as one of the greatest hip-hop shows ever. I applaud my favourite artist, Mr. Aubrey Graham. Once again, he has outdone himself. The ONLY thing I was disappointed in was that the only Canadian artist Drake brought out was The Weeknd, not even Party Next Door (I really wanted to hear “Over Here”). With that being said, Drake is a businessman and makes strategic moves. I guess we’re going to have to wait until next year to see what he has in store for us…