Sensei and student—Lil Wayne and Drake—descended on Queens, N.Y.on Tuesday (Aug. 19) to find out which rapper reigns supreme (and give you some Street Fighter nostalgia, at the same time). Here are some reflections on the showdown.
1. Of the eight people who were actually seated for Yo Gotti’s early opening set, a surprising portion of the NYC audience moved to songs like “F-U” and “Act Right.” But the highlight of the Memphis rep’s set was rapping over the head-nodding Jahlil Beats instrumental that Bobby Shmurda made famous.
2. Also: Drake needs to hop on the remix to Yo Gotti’s latest single “Errbody.” Immediately.
3. After a crowd vote on who should open the show via an app made for this tour, a shirtless Lil’ Wayne kicks off the main event, running through a quick medley of hits like “John” and “We Be Steady Mobbin.” Says Wayne: “I been doing this shit since the little boy was in a wheelchair,” referring to Drake’s character on Degrassi. Drake retorts: “Tonight I have to roast my boss.” Get used to this kind of banter.
4. This is basically a rapper version of a DJ battle—Wayne and Drake trade hits, fan faves and some friendly taunts. But what would take this show to the next level is a lite lyrical battle. Something like Wild Style, on Nick Cannon’s Wild ‘N Out. Put those jabs into a rhyme!
5. Nothing pre-Carter makes the set list; the earliest Wayne track performed is “Go DJ.” And you kind of get it after the “meh” response to “Money On My Mind,” the third track on Tha Carter II. If you’re looking for Cash Money taking over the ’99 and the 2000, better bump Tha Block Is Hot in the car on the way there.
6. The truth is often said in jest. So when Drake boldly declares “I know his career is longer but my shit is stronger, dog!” you start give it some consideration. There’s a noticeable jolt with each record Drizzy drops that’s a decibel higher than Wayne’s. He owns this audience.
7. Still, the whole crowd cooed along to “Mrs. Officer.” Exploded when “I’m Goin’ In” played, sans Drake—an omission to which the Toronto rapper took exception. In response, Drake skipped Wayne’s verse on “Pop That.” These dudes ain’t loyal!
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