To hip-hop purists, there’s nothing very impressive about the Canadian actor-turned-performer Drake, but pop fans and Lil’ Wayne think otherwise. In 2009, with some help from Weezy, Drake’s So Far Gone mix tape generated buzz and radio play, and the subsequent So Far Gone EP on Universal Motown did even better. On that release’s biggest chart hit, “Best I Ever Had,” the former Degrassi: The Next Generation star sang a warm, undeniable pop hook and rapped smooth, slightly raunchy verses. The only member of Weezy’s Young Money crew to have been bar mitzvahed, Drake blends sensitive, 20-something R&B singing, Kanye-influenced rapping about fame and girls that done him wrong, and gratuitous F-words. Of course, his awkward delivery of phrases like “Drink wine and watch Californication of life” won’t convince anyone he’s the next Rakim, but his melodic crooning is nothing to sneer at.
DRAKE PERFORMS WITH FRANCIS AND THE LIGHTS AT 9 P.M. AT THE 9:30 CLUB, 815 V ST. NW. SOLD OUT. (202) 265-0930.