Drake Brings Out Lil Baby, Pays Tuition for 7 Fans in Toronto
The rapper's hometown Scotiabank Arena concert also featured Tie Domi, a poem for the city, and a promise to a fan with MS.
Drake played at Toronto's Scotiabank Arena on Friday (Oct. 6), the same night he released his new album,For All The Dogs. Drake is the man who perfected the art of the surprise special guest with OVO Fest, so of course that meant he was going to have some surprises for his hometown fans — some of whom paid upwards of a thousand dollars to be there.
At first, it seemed like the biggest cameo of the night was going to be former Toronto Maple Leafs enforcer Tie Domi, who walked out with Drake to some confused and some delighted reactions. Drake said he had planned to bring out rapper 21 Savage, who he revealed in lyrics from the new song "8AM in Charlotte" had "got a green card straight out of the consulate." But he apparently still had troubles at the border, so he flew out another superstar rapper — Lil Baby. He got on a flight around 6 pm, at the same time the doors to the arena opened, to make it before the end of the show.
Earlier in the night, Drake spotted a fan with a sign that said "pay for my tuition." He pledged to actually do that, then pledged to do the same for six others he picked from the crowd. And after handing out university tuition like Oprah, he found another fan with a sign that said she just found out she has multiple sclerosis. So does his producer and right-hand man Noah "40" Shebib, who he called "one of the strongest people on Earth." So the rapper promised to connect he with “40” and "pay whatever it takes to get you the best help in the world."
In a set that went back to his early career, he also took a moment to deliver a spoken word poem about his hometown city that he wrote the same morning. After dropping a stanza about being "a rich baby daddy now," he had some words about how to improve the city. "I really been thinking about how the city needs more community centres, better leadership, less guns," he said. But he was thankful that out of anywhere in the world, he was born in Toronto.
As he inched towards Scotiabank Arena’s curfew, he acknowledged that playing over would cost him half a million. But he said he would take the fine to play “some of my old shit.
In a night dedicated to his loyal day-ones in Toronto, he literally put his money where his mouth is.
With files from Amanda Dorenberg.