Drake

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Share your woes with Drake and all his friends, pig out at a food truck festival, and more to do this week

best-bets-july-27-aug-3

(Images, clockwise from top left: Drake, courtesy of Universal Music Canada; La Dolce Vita, courtesy of TIFF Film Reference Library; Photuris Versicolor, courtesy of Dusk Dances)

Brave the sweaty masses at OVO Fest
Homegrown hero Drake turns The 6 into hip-hop heaven for the sixth year running. The extended three-day schedule features comedy king Kevin Hart, rap’s most successful understudy J. Cole and witty wordsmith Big Sean. Drizzy himself headlines the fest’s final day, but the real question is which special guests will take the stage with him. Saturday, August 1 to Monday, August 3. $75–$366.30. Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, 909 Lake Shore Blvd. W., 416-260-5600, ticketmaster.ca.

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The Goods

Street Style

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Street Style: teens, artists and super-fans show off boho looks at the MuchMusic Video Awards

(Images: Gabby Frank)

(Images: Gabby Frank)

Last Sunday, teenage fans flocked to Queen and John for MuchMusic’s annual awards show. On top of a star-studded red carpet, the public was treated to performances from artists like Ed Sheeran, Jason Derulo and The Weeknd (Drake even made a surprise appearance in an overly casual grey sweatsuit). The chance to lock eyes with heartthrobs like Nick Jonas or Gigi Hadid had show-goers sporting their most attention-seeking outfits: we spotted a ton of boho looks, plenty of ’90s inspiration and an extremely high concentration of metallic flash tattoos. Here, 16 great looks from the MMVAs.

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The Informer

Best Bets

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Chill with Drake, stuff yourself for a good cause and eight other things to do this week

(Images, clockwise from top left: still from When Marnie Was There, courtesy of TIFF; Lana Del Rey, by Neil Krug; artists of the National Ballet in Piano Concerto #1, by Aleksandar Antonijevic; cheese at Toronto Taste, courtesy of Second Harvest)

(Images, clockwise from top left: still from When Marnie Was There, courtesy of TIFF; Lana Del Rey, by Neil Krug; artists of the National Ballet in Piano Concerto #1, by Aleksandar Antonijevic; cheese at Toronto Taste, courtesy of Second Harvest)

Get seduced by Lana Del Rey
In the summer of 2011, Lana Del Rey broke the Internet with the sultry, cinematic ballad “Video Games.” A few months later, a disastrous Saturday Night Live performance threatened to kill the hype before her major label debut album, Born to Die, was even released. The moody singer persevered: last year’s sublime Ultraviolence was an international chart-topper. This week, she shares the stage with Montreal avant-pop artist Grimes. Wednesday, June 3. $29–$83. Molson Amphitheatre, 909 Lake Shore Blvd. W., 1-855-985-5000, ticketmaster.ca.

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The Informer

Culture

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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?

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Columns

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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.

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The Goods

Stores

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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

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Quoted

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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

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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.

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The Informer

Sports

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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.

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The Dish

People

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Drake celebrates his birthday on Dundas West

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(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?

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Stat

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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

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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.

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The Informer

Events

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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

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The Informer

People

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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

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The Informer

Culture

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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.

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