Aubrey Drake Graham – just plain Drake to mere mortals like us – is a bit of an anomaly in modern hip-hop. The former star of the Canadian teen soap opera “Degrassi” launched his career as a rapper relatively late in the game, and his style – a half-sung, half-slurred monotone – is far from the speed-centric dynamics and technical virtuosity so many of his peers espouse. Yet Drake hit a nerve with the masses, and his “second career” finds him standing near the tip-top of hip-hop mountain alongside current giants like Jay Z and Kanye West.
Drake’s latest, “Nothing Was the Same,” is on target to make the cut as one of the top-selling albums of the year, and his current “Would You Like A Tour?” jaunt is selling out most venues as it makes its way across the country, earning almost unanimously positive critical notice as it goes.
When Drake plays First Niagara Center at 7 p.m. Sunday, expect to hear the majority of “Nothing Was the Same.” But Drake has been drawing plenty of tunes from his back catalog as well. Future and Miguel will open. Tickets for the show’s original October date will be honored; additional tickets are $49.75-$99.75 (box office, www.tickets.com).
– Jeff Miers