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MeView: J Cole & Drake concertS

So yeah, wanted to do this yesterday. Didn't get the chance too. I wanted to let the blog breathe (kinda proud of my last post, still). Disclaimer: I did this in one take. Any grammatical errors are as a result of that. I wanted to bring it to you as soon as possible (hopefully that swings your emotion so you 'llow me).

Over the weekend I was one of only a couple thousand people (if that) fortunate enough to see Drake at the Hammersmith Apollo then J Cole's sold out show at the intimate Koko in Camden. London obviously.

Let me do this as I does it. Chapter and verse thing you see it #Poshment.

I had my Drake tickets from last year April when the show was scheduled to be last year July. He canceled 'cos his mum had an operation or something. Think the album came out by that time but I had tix based on So Far Gone.

So year goes by, his album has dropped, it's alright...

Then J. Cole's named as support artist late last year. Me = overjoyed. Missed him at Wireless. Pissed me off.

So yeah, Drake concert, I bopped in during J. Cole's performance. Gutted. Think I missed two songs. Walked in as Higher was ringing off harder than the doorbell of your friend with all the games on Super Nintendo's (if you're pauper like me, you'll understand). I stood and rapped along to everything, but more on that later.

Up next was the man they call Drizzy, Drake or as he kept repeating "My name is Aubrey Drake Graham".

We live in the internet age where videos of concerts are available on YouTube. Here are the (keyword) HIGHLIGHTS of Drake's show:

The footage above is from Friday, I went on Saturday. Now let me tell you what you didn't see. Numerous generic speeches: "Aubrey Drake Graham" mentioned about three times, "I'm gonna bare all on stage tonight" (pause: he didn't mean it like that you dirty minded sod) "My ups, my downs. The good times and the bad times..." (or something along them lines), "Not only have I been waiting all year for this concert, not only have I waited all month..." (at this point I've guessed where this is going. Where's Kanye to "Imma let you finish" but not let him finish when you need him?) "I've waited my whole damn life to be with you here today in London!" *rolls eyes*. Then he addressed the females about some Drake 3 stroke and some next stuff to get them going wild. Good on him, it worked.

Another thing you got a slight glimpse of is he can't sing. Well he doesn't sing. I had that feeling from Best I Ever Had was at it's peak. He always spoke the chorus. So yeah, he spoke through every chorus which had the recorded vocals playing. He only sung Find Your Love, and yes, the whole thing was as bad as the clip. I guess I should have guessed the nature of the performance when he only used Light Up for intro music.

The fireworks during Over (I think) and Fireworks (obviously) were a very nice addition though. Florence Welch (Florence and The Machine) replacing Alicia Keys with her powerhouse vocals was good too. @MotiveUK and I were like "Who is sheee?"

Oh and another thing you missed was... actually lemme put this into perspective. Drake was on stage for about an hour and 15 minutes possibly. Didn't perform the verse on either Timbaland's 'Say Something' or the 'Paris Morton Music' lost verse on 'Aston Martin Music'. So why did he spend about 15 minutes doing the Jay-Z "Yeah I see you with the Yankee fitted" to everyone in the crowd.

The violinist on the intro of Aston Martin Music repped so did the band. Biggest tune on the night was same as the video above, 'What's My Name'. In fact, all the songs for females got a great reaction, and my golly were there some elite looking females there. One even threw red underwear up whilst Drake performed Best I Ever Had. He sang "You the best" in certain girls faces which gave them a little good feeling.

I just thought Drake was a bit phony/corny/generic/cliché. I get the feeling he isn't all the way comfortable. Even his swearing seemed contrived like "I'm doing a rap concert, let me throw in a cuss word riiiiiight... now - 'Muthaf**kin...!' Argh man, they'll love that." If you're female you'll love it.

Drake's set list from what I made note of:

Up All Night
Show Me A Good Time
Money To Blow
Right Above It
Every Girl
What's My Name into chrous of BoB's 'Nothing On You'
Aston Martin Music (no verse)
Say Something (no verse)
Miss Me (jumped down to the floor to touch fans)
*the corny bit where he points out everyone*
Best I Ever Had
Find Your Love

J Cole

Big up Reggie and Redz for the hook-up to this.

Arrived at J. Cole's show in time to catch Maxsta and DJ Semtex. Semtex held down the decks with some heavyweight hip hop bangers, current and yesteryear. KanYe West's concert is gonna be a riot judging by the reaction to tracks like All Of The Lights and my fave So Appalled. Maxsta was alright. Double-time will never work when people aren't familiar with previous material. NEVER! Couldn't understand anything. Oh yeah, lol @ the crowd singing along to JME and Wiley's bars on Pow! 2011 but boo'ing through ChipMunk's. That was harsh but lolworthy

J. Cole's support slot impressed me a lot at the Drake concert. Many are saying more so than the headline act. Cole short-but-sweet set was about 7/8 songs which left me wanting more.

But the full concert? The FULL CONCERT!?! Watch this footage:

Now let me fill you in on what you didn't see. Well this is a bit tricky. That was vibe throughout the show. That's what you missed; actually experiencing it. It was straight intense J. Cole stans who didn'all jump on his hype from Friday Night Lights. Overall performance was better than Drake's. Crowd interaction was a lot better, his DJ scratching and repeating "Hit it" from It Takes Two on both decks and at one point a female assistant covering his eyes was a lot. Counting down from 4 to 1 when the song goes from 1 to 4 was impressive. Cole's set list was jammed full of big tracks, hands in the air throughout, the lot. All for a rapper with 3 free mixtapes.

Another funny thing that happened during J. Cole's speech about touring with Drake. He told us it's all good and well performing in front of 5,000 fans each night whilst supporting Drake but he knows people paid their money to see Drake. At this point a whole crowd of people shouted "No!" in unison whilst pointing at him to which he replied "Nah, don't do that."

This was a hip hop concert

J. Cole set list

Grown Simba
Last Call
Dead Presidents
Dollar and a Dream
Before I'm Gone
Won't Be Long
Lights Please
Enchanted with Omen
You Got It
Beautiul Bliss (by Wale featuring J. Cole)
All I Want Is You
In The Morning
Blow Up
Who Dat?
I Get Up
Premeditated Murder

I used to be one of the guys telling people you shouldn't compare the two. Cole was much more lyrical and conscious (don't kill me again Akala) than Drake. However, since Friday Night Lights dropped I've changed my mind. Now Cole has proved he can do songs for females like 'In The Morning' with Drake (didn't on The Warm Up) he is an upgrade version of Drake to me. Not even a hater or nothing but I wouldn't be surprised if Drake gets Ja Rule'd by 2012. He's one-dimensional (mainstream dream). And did I mention J. Cole sings better than him? Cole doesn't even trade off his singing. No lie, I was disappointed in Drake. But in the same breath (yeah I put a full stop there so technically/grammatically it isn't) J Cole's songs worked better with a full crowd than I thought.


Here's a review from a female perspective

Pointing it out that it's by a female isn't being sexist, but to me, he's an r&b singer masquerading as a rapper. His performance was for the ladies and dudes that listen to slow jams whilst selecting their outfit, colour co-ordinating their accessories (red hat with red kicks, red belt), dance in clubs and smile in pictures. That is possibly why she enjoyed it. That isn't to say it's my way or the highway but it's the highway or my way.


Here is another review by a female but as she points out:

Interestingly, his crowd felt like a pretty even split of males and females (perhaps leaning a little more to the female side), however, Drizzy hardly accounted for both audiences. As I’m not a big fan of the Lothario act usually assumed by performers with perceived sex appeal, I cringed my way through the rapper humping the floor and calling it his “Drizzy Three Stroke”, and his declaration that he needs a London girl to “fuck” in his last night, however, most of the other girls in the crowd lapped it up.

If you wanna know what I thought in a well-written way read here:


  1. All on my twitter timeline people were hyping about the Drake concert. Then the next day, I was expecting to see reviews. Strange how everyone went silent - disappointed perhaps? Big-ups for the review. Keep up the good work!

  2. "Ja-Rule'd" *dead* - great reviews, I actually had no desire to see either, but am now more interedsted in J-Cole. i'll 'llow the grammar just this once :-p


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