There's no doubt that Drake is one of this generation's ultimate tastemakers. In his position as one of the world's most famous rappers, he regularly plugs new and up-and-coming artists by tweeting about them, snapping pictures with them on Instagram, or having them support him on tour. So far, he's arguably brought grime to the U.S., and championed some of the UK's best rising talent. So, that's why I'm curious to know: who's supporting Drake on his UK tour? Whoever it is could be destined for even bigger things in the future. There's surely nothing any young rapper wants more than a Drake cosign.
Drake announced his Assassination Vacation tour on January 22, as The Independent reported, and the "One Dance" rapper started his huge seven-night residency at The O2 Arena on Monday, April 1. The venue made an even bigger deal out of his arrival when they renamed themselves "O3," NME reported. It's a cheeky nod to a line in his huge 2018 hit 'God's Plan,' in which he raps: “And you know me/Turn the O2 into the O3." While an extremely cool statement, I'm hoping that it won't turn the attention too far away from his exceptional support act.
Filling that spot will be fellow Torontonian Tory Lanez, whose 2019 album Love Me Now? took home the award for best rap album at last year's JUNO Awards — Canada's most prestigious music ceremony. While a fierce talent in his own right, if you know Drake and Lanez's history, then you'll also know just how iconic this reunion really is.
Back when Drake released his Views era single "Summer Sixteen," on Feb. 2, 2016, the Fader speculated that there might have been some digs at Lanez on it. They linked the line: "All you boys in the new Toronto want to be me a little," to Lanez's 2016 mixtape The New Toronto, suggesting that Drake once thought of Lanez as just an imitator.
The pair were first linked — sort of — when in 2010, a video curiously titled: "Drake's Lil Brother Tory Lanez Freestyle In The Room" was posted onto YouTube. Without looking too much into it, viewers drew the obvious conclusion that this rapper was Drake's younger brother — which definitely isn't the case. Lanez dispelled the rumours in a video which he uploaded later on, clarifying that the two were not in fact related.
However, in the same video, he fired a $10,000 deal Drake's way, affirming that if the rapper listened to his music and didn't like it, then Lanez would pay him $10,000. As it turns out, I imagine that Drake never got to see that money. Or if he did, he definitely owes it back to his support act. Together, Drake and Lanez are bringing a slide of Toronto hip-hop royalty, and while they might not be brothers by blood, they're definitely bound by a love of their city and their music. Make sure to turn up early at the venue so that you don't miss out on seeing Lanez in action.