All You Need to Know About: Drake in Vancouver

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      Aubrey Drake Graham is that rarest of creatures: a bona-fide Canadian superstar. Actually, scratch that. The man is a seemingly unstoppable global force. The fact is, Drake is one of the most successful musical acts of all time, holding the record as the solo artist with the most charted songs (186!) in the history of the Billboard Hot 100. He also holds the records for the most simultaneously charted Hot 100 songs in a single week (an astonishing 27), the most time on the Hot 100 (a mind-boggling 431 weeks), and the most Hot 100 debuts in a week (22). You might say the rapper/singer has had a few hits, and he'll surely perform a bunch of them when he headlines Rogers Arena on Saturday and Sunday (November 3 and 4).

      TURNT BACK TIME.  Drake turned 32 on October 24, and his 2000s-themed birthday party seemed designed to make the rest of the world feel old. At the party, held in Los Angeles, Drake sported a Sean John tracksuit while guests relived that long-forgotten era through such retro sights as an entire wall of Blockbuster Video cases and souped-up cars from MTV’s Pimp My Ride (which originally aired from 2004 to 2007). Drizzy’s cake was shaped like a Motorola Timeport, a model of mobile phone from the good old days when people still used Myspace and Donald Trump was just some loudmouthed asshole with a reality TV show.

      GOD BLESS CANADA. Hard as this might be to believe in the disgraced age of President Donald J. Trump, there was a time when being Canadian meant feeling inferior to the folks across the border. The movies coming out of the U.S. were better, as was the music, television, books, comics, and—let’s face it—pretty much everything connected with the music industry. That ship has been righted in a big-time way, starting with the success of musical acts ranging from Arcade Fire to the Weeknd (that’s not a typo—it’s how his stage name is spelled). Still, old feeling sometimes die hard. “You know, if I ever feel anything or if I ever feel like an outsider,” Drake said in an interview last year with the web site A Nation of Billions, "it’s usually because I’m not American, to be honest with you, that’s when I feel like people are against me.”

      KING-SIZED CRIB.  Most of us living in major metropolitan cities like Vancouver or Toronto are, at this point in the game, doomed to life of either renting or, even worse, taking up permanent residence in a 1976 Ford Econoline down by the Home Depot on Terminal. Drake isn’t like most of us. As one might expect, music has made him very rich, and he’s currently in the process of building a home to show that. Located on a $6.7 million piece of property in Toronto’s upscale Bridle Path neighbourhood where area residents include Conrad Black and Gordon Lightfoot, the house will featuring a piano room and screening room for when he’s feeling artistic. Because even those with jobs most of us would kill for need to unwind, the abode includes a designated massage room, two saunas, a luxe indoor pool with two separate bars, and a third in-house watering hole for indulging in chilled Champagne and wine. Recognizing that exercise is good for you, Drake has also had included in the plans an NBA-size basketball court and a gym. Awards and other memorabilia will be stored in an awards and jersey museum. Perhaps indicating Drake’s planning for a future family, there will be four bedrooms, each with their own designated bathroom, as well as a master bedroom the size of your parent’s house. Enjoy your 340-square-foot East Van condo—assuming that you’re lucky enough to own one. 

      BIGGER THAN JESUS.  Is Drake better than the Beatles? That’s a cross-generational argument that no sane person actually wants to have. One thing is certain, though: by Billboard’s reckoning, Drake has just claimed the record for most Top 10 singles to reach the Billboard Hot 100 in a calendar year. That’s a record that the Fab Four had held since 1964—the year when “I Want to Hold Your Hand”, “Please Please Me”, “Can’t Buy Me Love”, “Twist and Shout”, and “A Hard Day’s Night” ignited a teenage scream storm that is still echoing in the farthest reaches of the universe. The Beatles had 11 Top 10 hits that year. Last week, “MIA” gave Drake his twelfth Top 10 single of 2018. Mind you, “MIA” isn’t a Drake song—it’s credited to Bad Bunny featuring Drake. Several other entries on Drizzy’s list are also collaborations or features, which raises yet another argument that no rational person really ought to have, i.e. whether or not those songs ought to count. There are eight weeks remaining in 2018, though, and there are still 19 songs from the latest Drake album, Scorpio, that haven’t been released as singles yet, so time is on his side.