Drake

The Informer

Culture

2 Comments

Started from the bottom now we sad: a second-by-second breakdown of Drake’s new short film

(Image: OctobersVeryOwn/Vimeo)

(Image: OctobersVeryOwn/Vimeo)

Yesterday, mayor of Toronto Aubrey “Drake” Graham released a 15-minute short-film thing called Jungle that we now know was a cryptic promo for his new surprise album. Mostly, though, the video (which you can watch right here) is like a glossy ad for Drake’s persona, as he struggles with the wages of superstardom and tries to stay true to his roots in Toronto (aka “The Six,” aka “The Bottom”).

In order to help us all understand what, exactly, is going on in Jungle—if anything’s going on other than Drake stomping around looking sad—here’s a second-by-second breakdown:

0:00:08: “How was your night, pop?” asks Drake’s driver. Drake, or “pop,” is a sort of patriarchal figure, a primal father of commercial hip-hop.

0:00:13: Our hero struggles to respond, practically choking as the words escape his mouth: “It was arrrrrrr…it was alright.” You get the sense that his night wasn’t alright. Not at all.

0:00:23: The car drives on ceremoniously, like a reflective chrome casket carrying Drake’s artistically compromised soul into the next life.

0:00:45: Drake begins describing his apparent melancholy. “The whole energy out here is just changing, you know?” As a successful rap mogul, merchandiser and courtside Raptors sycophant, yes, I do know.

0:00:43–0:01:30: Drake is venting about his problems. Is this Drake’s Birdman? He’s “drinkin’ more, smokin’ more.” Why is it that every time Drake mentions—or even suggests—that he smokes weed he sounds like a hunched uncle raising his eyebrows mischievously and asking if anyone at the Red Rider concert wants to “do a doobie”?

0:01:55: There it is. The title: JUNGLE. A staple of rock metaphor: the jungle, that tangle of trees and brush and growth signifying…I don’t know, like an emotional tangle I guess?

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Columns

2 Comments

Some things that will definitely happen in Toronto in 2015

(Image: Brett Lamb)

(Image: Brett Lamb)

January 2

At 4:35 pm, Mr. Earl Mitchell, of Pape and Gerrard, becomes the last person to successfully hold to his New Year’s resolution: “Make an effort.”

January 9

Even John Tory forgets whether it’s SmarTrack or SmartTrack.

January 21

Remember that swan dress? The one Bjork wore to the Oscars? Drake wears it to a Raptors game.

January 25

Toronto’s hottest new brunch restaurant debuts. The gimmick? Every dish is based on a Bill Murray film. Brunchmore closes within a month, despite the popularity of dishes like Toastbusters II with Space Jam, The Boiled Hen ‘n’ Poms, and What About Raab, as well as the restaurant’s in-house craft beer, Operation Jumbo Hop.

February 2

It takes John Tory 417 solid, rational days of work before he realizes he’s continually reliving the same eighteen hours, Groundhog Day–style. He eventually escapes the loop by parting his hair in the opposite direction.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

People

2 Comments

The 16 biggest, happiest, most infuriating Toronto moments of 2014

Biggest Moments 2014

(Images: Tory and Bieber: Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press; CBC workers: Chris Young/The Canadian Press; Doug Ford: Chris Young/The Canadian Press)

There’s plenty about this year that would be better off forgotten, or at least not thought about for a while: Two different elections exposed deep divisions between Torontonians. The winter weather was especially bad. It’s getting increasingly difficult to find so much as a bagel in this town for under $45. Bring on the new year—we’ll take our chances. Before it’s here, though, we’re taking stock of the moments that captivated us, filled us with gratitude, made us laugh, pissed us off or just generally forced us to take notice in 2014. Because, hey, one last time, we might as well.

The Goods

Stores

4 Comments

Drake’s OVO store is here to stay on Dundas West

(Image: Kayla Rocca)

(Image: Kayla Rocca)

Drake’s latest expression of Toronto pride is his much-hyped October’s Very Own shop on Dundas West. The store is actually the brainchild of Oliver El-Khatib, OVO’s co-founder and the guy behind the summer pop-up shop in the same space. He describes the project as his “baby,” and promises that it’ll be sticking around for good. The stark white room is currently stocked with a familiar selection of OVO merchandise, like “6” toques and t-shirts printed with label’s signature owl; however, a new collection of low-key winter basics (slouchy hoodies, leather varsity jackets) will be hitting shelves soon. For El-Khatib, though, it’s not all about the stuff: he hopes the place will become a hub for the city’s creatives, where people can stop in and “see what kids are wearing and what they’re listening to.” Plus, chance run-ins with Champagne Papi himself aren’t entirely implausible—just last week, the star dropped by the store wearing OVO’s new camo-print parka, which is part of a collaboration with Canada Goose.

899 Dundas St. W., octobersveryown.com

The Informer

Quoted

5 Comments

Dionne Osborne, Drake’s vocal coach: “He is exactly what you see”

“He is exactly what you see. People say he’s corny, or he can’t be that nice, he can’t be so sweet. But I can tell you, he was raised by his mother and his grandmother. He’s had strong love from strong females.”

Dionne Osborne, Drake’s vocal coach, speaking with a reporter from Jezebel. Among other shocking details of the Toronto-based rapper’s private life revealed during the interview: he loves sweet tea and once kept a humidifier on his tour bus to prevent his vocal cords from drying out.

The Informer

Features

11 Comments

Toronto’s 50 Most Influential: the people who changed the city in 2014

Toronto's 50 Most Influential

It’s been a big year in the corridors of power, with an infusion of ambitious new leaders in the city’s most influential institutions. Here, our annual ranking of political rainmakers, Bay Street moguls, real estate gurus, major league sports stars, celebrity chefs, culture czars, and everyone else who matters now. In a nutshell: the people whose smarts, connections and clout are changing Toronto as we know it.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Sports

Comments

Best Seats in the House: a guide to the celebs and Bay Streeters who cheer on the Raptors

The high-profile spectators who’ve made Raps games the hottest ticket in Toronto sports

Celebrity Watch: Best Seats in the House

Half the fun of NBA fandom is peeping stars sitting courtside. Unfortunately, for a long time, Raps games were as celestial as a bag of fertilizer. No longer. Last fall, that rascally love-’em-leave-’em super-exec Tim Leiweke named Drake the organization’s global ambassador, and the wattage of home games suddenly surged. So did the fringe benefits of season’s tickets. Here, the luminaries who have sat courtside in the era of Drizzy, and the high-rolling fans who have a front-row view of all the action.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Dish

People

7 Comments

Drake celebrates his birthday on Dundas West

Untitled-1

(Images: champagnepapi/Instagram)

Last weekend, Drake rang in his 28th birthday at Susur Lee’s Dundas West restaurant Bent. He later Instagrammed a play-by-play of the night, which saw him hanging with his dudes, striking cool-looking poses, chatting with the chef and basking in the glow of a sparkler-strewn birthday cake. (The latter, while appropriately massive, didn’t quite match the DIY intensity of last year’s lumpy ode to Toronto). Like a real down-to-earth guy, Drake seems to have invited mainly family and friends, including manager Oliver El-Khatib and other members of his OVO posse. He even submitted to tender birthday-boy hugs from his mom, Sandi. What a guy, right?

The Informer

Stat

Comments

Drake’s mouth earns the Raptors a hefty fine

$25,000

–The fine levied on the Toronto Raptors by the NBA after Drake, the team’s “global ambassador,” gave an on-stage welcome to Oklahoma City Thunder player Kevin Durant at last weekend’s OVO Fest. (Durant was apparently in attendance.) Drake’s offense, according to the CBC, was “tampering with a player under contract.”

The Informer

Culture

1 Comment

The Drake Effect

The Drake Effect

Photographs: Drake by Jess Baumung; Others by Getty Images

The rap superstar has amassed a flock of musical disciples who guest on his albums, record on his label and perform at OVO Fest, his annual hip-hop blowout, which takes place this year on August 3 and 4. Here, a taxonomy of Drake’s most prolific protégés.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Events

Comments

Five things to do in Toronto on the weekend of August 1–4

Drake performs at OVO Fest 2013. (Image: Sonia Recchia/Getty)

Drake performs at OVO Fest 2013. (Image: Sonia Recchia/Getty)

In this Civic Holiday edition of The Weekender, two giant music festivals, a nice walk and three other things to do in Toronto this weekend.

PARADE

Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival Grand Parade
Formerly known as Caribana, the Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival Grand Parade has an awkward name now, but it’s otherwise the same as it ever was: massive, loud, crowded and (weather permitting) deathly hot. Anyone willing to brave the discomforts associated with the event will be rewarded, though. The flamboyant costumes and elaborate floats are unlike anything else Toronto’s festival season has to offer, and the excitement of the largely Caribbean crowd is contagious. Aug. 2. FREE, or $20 for a bleacher seat. Exhibition Place and Lake Shore Blvd., torontocaribbeancarnival.com

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

People

2 Comments

Jersey Shore Meets the Lake Shore

Cabana Pool Bar, Charles Khabouth’s Vegas-style oasis in the Port Lands, is a star-studded playground for the buxom, Botoxed and booze-soaked. Here, a look at the wildest, most orgiastic antics to date

Jersey Shore Meets the Lake Shore

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Culture

5 Comments

People are confused by Drake’s new album name

(Image: musicisentropy/Flickr)

(Image: musicisentropy/Flickr)

On Tuesday, Billboard revealed that the name of Drake’s still-unrecorded next album will be Views From the 6—and then confusion set in. Unlike the rapper’s previous album titles, which have been intelligible if slightly cryptic (Take Care, Nothing Was the Same), this one is so open to interpretation that even Billboard didn’t know quite what to make of it. And that’s despite a preponderance of evidence that it’s just a sly reference to the last digit in Toronto’s area code.

Even so, not everyone is convinced.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Events

Comments

The World-Class Toronto Summer Guide: 14 things that are worth sticking around for

The World-Class Toronto Summer Guide: 14 things worth sticking around for

Click to view gallery (Image: Katrin Ray Shumakov/Getty)

What’s one of the best things to do in Toronto this summer? If you can, get out of Toronto. See the world. Find another city’s heat and construction and transit problems to keep you occupied—preferably a city that’s got a globally recognized art gallery or museum or horse race or something. Of course, if you find yourself stuck in the city all season, that’s okay: there’s a lot going on here that, if you squint your eyes and hold your nose (and sometimes, even if you don’t do either) could actually be comparable to all the world-class things you’d find elsewhere. You want art? We’ve got some! Ancient Chinese artifacts? You know it. Exotic fish? Sure, that too. We’re not suggesting you tear up your plane tickets or anything. But we do think that this summer, Toronto might just be able to compete with the big boys. Here, a brief guide to just some of what’s exceptional in this city—and how it stacks up against other big-ticket events around the world.

The Informer

Sports

Comments

In honour of Drake’s pants, the Toronto Raptors are giving out free lint rollers tonight

(Image: Drake: Drake/Instagram; roller: k.steudel)

(Image: Drake: Drake/Instagram; roller: k.steudel)

After Drake‘s famous pants de-linting episode during game two of the Toronto Raptors’ playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets, this was inevitable. According to the Star, fans at tonight’s game five, at the ACC, will have their pick of two different lint-roller giveaways. There will be 1,200 official OVO/Raptors-branded rollers from Bounce, and IKEA has announced that it will be handing out some lint rollers of its own. Even deputy mayor Norm Kelly is hip to this emerging lintlessness fad, so popular with the youth.

And so, no matter the outcome of tonight’s game, the loser will be lint.