Review: Drake Dodges Controvesy and Brings Out a Gang of Friends at New York Club Paradise Show

Drake (and many, many friends)

Tension surrounding Drake’s turn at bat was heavy. Many expected he’d address the W.i.P. bottle brawl on the mic but aside from Jones Beach vendors being instructed by Drake’s management to pour all sold beverages out of their original bottles and into paper cups, the evening was not at all affected by last week’s antics.

As the music to his Take Care cut “Lord Knows” blared, Drake—dipped in all black and Air Jordan XIs—coolly stepped up front and center.  

He never directly addressed the recent controversy in his life. However, there were subtle hints. "When I woke this morning I had a lot to think about,” he said to the crowd. “But the only motherfucking thing I care about is that I'm in fucking New York City tonight."

He went on to explain that he didn’t know where people were going after the show, but everyone that they want to see is about to join him. It was time to make good on that promise about besting Summer Jam.

"Crew Love" kicked off and the night’s first guest, The Weeknd—who revealed himself in a brown and black varsity jacket. Drake tossed off his sweatshirt, swearing things were about to heat up.

Stunting in a navy blue varsity jacket with gator sleeves, 2 Chainz was next to pop up with his Drake-assisted single “No Lie.” There was no turning down the energy from there.

Waka made his return to the stage with "Round of Applause." Red sparklers popped during the claps on the hook. Flocka was followed by A$AP Rocky and his crew. Then came Busta Rhymes for “Put Your Hands Where My Hands Can See.”  

After changing into a white tank top, Drizzy got back to his material, running through “Marvin’s Room” and “Take Care.”

The vibe was less about it being a Drake concert and more about transforming Jones Beach into Club Paradise—where all his talented friends come to hang. And the friends kept coming.

Jamaican dancehall star Mavado ran out for a verse from his “So Special.” Meek Mill hit back with “Amen” and "Ima Boss.” French Montana popped out in a vibrant silk shirt for “Stay Schemin’” and “Pop That.”

“This is not Summer Jam,” Drake yelled when he found another moment alone on stage. “This is motherfucking Club Paradise." He explained that his goal for the night was for people to leave saying, “Drake kept it so New York. His next guests ensured that would be the case.

One by one, he brought out the three-headed Dipset monster. First came Jim Jones rocking his Vampire Life hoodie to perform “We Fly High (Ballin’).” Then came Juelz Santana and Cam’Ron. The place went nuts. Drake basically ended the show with Harlem's powerhouse trio.

It was an evening light on controversy and heavy on star power, with Drake leaving fans feeling like he came through on his pledge.

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