My girl Adrienne
, from Ebony magazine, called me a few nights ago asking if I'd go with her to the Drake concert at the Chicago Theater.
The best part of last night's show was toward the end when he turned on the lights and started shouting out the audience a la Jay-Z. It was a mix of the dozens - "why, do you have on sunglasses at a concert?" - and adulation "hey, girl, you look good!." The background track was "Miss Me
." The 23-year-old looker searched deep in the audience, balcony included, to talk to his fans. My inner teenager raged when he looked at me and said I looked "smart as shit" with my glasses on, in my red shirt. Yes, we were that close. And I just got a new pair of specs.
The multiracial crowd was over the moon for the introspective Drizzy
. One girl bared her breasts for him. And there I was with camera out, video phone recording. As for the performance, I was impressed with his live band. A moon dangled from the stage, acting as a prop as he switched from raps to ballads to swoon the ladies. What I found most curious about Drake's show is the excitement he elicits from males and females. I've been to enough hip-hop shows to observe that they are male homosocial activities. Sure, guys and girls like Jay-Z and Weezy but they aren't sex symbols. Drake is hard enough for the fellas and sexy enough for the ladies. Since last night, I've been thinking of the last hip-hop mainstream artist who has done that. All I can come up with is L.L. Cool J. But I could be wrong.
Meanwhile, Drake's performance took me on a nostalgia trip as my ears rang from the girls' deafening screams. It reminded me of the heartthrob concert of my day - the Al B. Sure, Bobby Brown, New Edition concert at UIC pavilion in 1990.