OAKLAND — Superstar Drake brought his Aubrey and the Three Migos tour to a sold-out, roaring Oracle Arena Friday night.
At the first of three Oakland shows, the Toronto rapper (and Warriors court-side regular) put on a show full of lights, smoke, energy, and endless rhymes. Drake’s mix of hip-hop and R&B isn’t encased within a single genre. The range of styles is reflected in his lyrics, singing about anything from trivialities to lovelessness. Some have even made the claim that his 2011 album Take Care, is one of the best thematically “emo” albums.
Drake opened the concert behind a screen while singing slowed-down “8 out of 10” and continued with “Mob Ties.” While the opener resembled ’90s hip-hop, the latter song hewed much closer to trap music with its heavy use of rhymed triplets. Both cuts were from his 2018 album, Scorpion.
“This show is not about me; this show is about us as a family,” Drake said before kicking into “Started From The Bottom,” off 2013’s Nothing Was The Same. It seemed like everyone in the room was singing along. “Jumpman” off his 2015 collaboration with Future, and “Both” (his collab with with Gucci Mane) followed. The rest of his set includes songs both new and old, including the hits “Controlla,” “Hotline Bling,” “One Dance” and “Fake Love.”
Openers Migos joined Drake onstage for “Versace” and “Narcos,” as well as a smooth cover of Michael Jackson’s “Rock With You.” He closed with Scorpion cut “God’s Plan.”
Georgia trio Migos preceded Drake. Rappers Quavo, Offset and Takeoff, with a set of trap and modern hip-hop, splitting rhymes all along the way. Despite having released their Culture II earlier this year, Migos weighed their set primarily with songs off 2017’s Culture, with tracks like “T-Shirt” and “Bad and Boujee,” which presented great examples of how the three interacted with fans. When they sang “Bad and Boujee,” the audience responded with “Drop top, smokin’ on cookie in the hotbox.”
Migos played songs from pretty much all their albums, including “Hannah Montana,” off 2013’s Young Rich Niggas, “Handsome and Wealthy,” from 2014 mixtape No Label II, and “Fight Night” and “Pipe it Up,” off 2015’s Young Rich Nation.
Roy Woods, a signee to Drake’s OVO Sound label opened the show with R&B and trap songs much softer in tone than the other two acts.
His set included “Get You Good,” “Jealously” and his first hit, “Drama.”
Follow photographer Joaquin Cabello at Instagram.com/joaquinxcabello.