Hip-Hop fans had the chance to witness a special moment in the culture’s history on Thursday (Dec. 9) evening, as rap stars Kanye West and Drake put their differences aside and joined forces for a benefit concert to raise awareness of Gangster Disciples founder Larry Hoover’s fight for freedom.
Taking place at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the show, which was streamed on Amazon Prime Video and in IMAX theaters, was tagged as a Kanye West concert with Drake as a “special guest,” and was Ye’s first headlining performance in the arena in five years. With his Sunday Service Choir serving as the opening act, Yeezy took the stage to deliver a string of his most beloved classics, jumping from various eras of his career. Early hits like “Jesus Walks,” “All Falls Down,” “Gold Digger,” and “Touch the Sky” were included in the setlist, as were joints from his Graduation and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy albums.
Kanye’s set proved to be a hard act to follow, with Drake hitting the stage midway through the night and running through a gauntlet of his Certified Lover Boy tracks, garnering a reception that paled in comparison to the enthusiasm his counterpart’s opening run received. However, the most magical moments of the event occurred when each artist showed their appreciation and admiration for the other, such as when Kanye began to perform renditions of various Drake songs with The 6 God returning the favor with a cover of Ye’s “24,” one of his personal favorites from the DONDA album.
Sending the crowd off with a joint performance of their 2009 collaboration, “Forever,” their first time performing together in over five years, Ye and Drake’s efforts in the name of Larry Hoover, who has spent more than five decades behind bars, was certainly the crux upon which their beef was squashed. The two defining artists of the last two decades in rap delivered a concert that was equally entertaining as it was impactful and, once again, proves our power as a collective when we decide to come together.