Two truths are known when it comes to Drake: 1) the rapper really, really loves Houston, and 2) Houstonians will follow him wherever he goes in the city—laws which were both proven, once again, over Labor Day Weekend.
The “One Dance” singer/rapper kicked off his third annual Houston Appreciation Weekend on Thursday, Sept. 1 with a pop-up shop at 2101 Polk. Once the weekend officially hit, he shut down the Toyota Center with two back-to-back sold-out concerts for his “Summer Sixteen” tour on Saturday, Sept. 3 and Sunday, Sept. 4.
And continuing to be his ever-so-thoughtful self, Drake gave Houstonians still one more opportunity to see him live before he departed to continue his tour in Phoenix. In secret, of course.
On Monday, Sept. 5, dvsn, a rising R&B duo that consists of singer Daniel Daley and producer Nineteen85, performed their debut album Sept. 5th at Warehouse Live, the popular EaDo venue Drake credits for launching his early career. Although the Toronto-based pair were signed to the “Champagne Papi’s” OVO Sound label in late February, they have been slow in making their way into the limelight. Most fans only became aware of dvsn due to a recent collaboration with Drake on his Views track “Faithful.” With help from their mentor, however, the duo was able to boast their own sold-out show last night.
Speculation first began that Drake was cooking up something special last night when the rapper posted a teaser on his Instagram account just a day before dvsn’s concert. On the app, Drake shared information for “The Ballet,” a mysterious “new dance experience” that would occur on September 5 from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., with no set location. "HOUSTON TEXAS...On September 5th we are giving you a chance to experience something that's here to stay," he wrote.
Later that night, Drake dropped a second subtle hint on Instagram, a flyer advertising dvsn’s Monday night show with "special guests" and the caption, “The proper Houston induction.”
Without an understanding of how "The Ballet" or dvsn's concert correlated, it was easy to assume he had something up his sleeve. And Houstonians got the hint quickly, which meant Warehouse Live was soon packed—and all, ostensibly, for an act most people weren't all that familiar with. But this wasn't just a dvsn show; this, concertgoers quickly found, their suspicions confirmed, was also Drake's third and final performance of the weekend.
Concertgoers anxiously awaited Drake’s fog-machine entrance during several performances, especially that of “My Love,” a song he’s featured on with OVO-signed artist Majid Jordan, who was one of the three special guests of the night. But it wasn’t until “Faithful” blasted through the speakers that he joined dvsn’s singer Daley on stage. The two respectfully ended the night with a rendition of “November 18,” A.K.A. Drake’s Houston anthem, because what else would he perform on the stage that started it all?
Wasting no time, Drake left fans without a demanded encore and immediately took to Instagram to inform users that he had one final treat for HAW: a pop-up event later that night where he would reveal details about "The Ballet," a new club set to open in Houston early next year. As reported by pitchfork.com, he stated to a crowded room that the city is focused on “dancing and it’s not about no strip club sh*t. It’s about these amazing women that we’ve got in one spot, this music we’ve got, this Houston culture that we got. And I just wanna let you know that, me, I’m going to bring it to you in the most honest and genuine way possible.”
In the meantime, we must all patiently wait. It's always worth it.