- Read more: Nipsey Hussle, 1985-2019: a musician who gave a voice to the voiceless and changed the face of indie rap
The Californian rapper was shot and killed outside of his Marathon Clothing Company store in the Hyde Park neighbourhood of Los Angeles yesterday (March 31).
On stage at The O2, Drake projected an image of Hussle’s face onto the floor before he performed ‘Elevate’. Before the song kicked in, he told the crowd: “Want you to make some noise for the people who love you unconditionally because you never know how short life is.”
Later, he sent another emotional message to the crowd, saying: “I just want everybody to look around and be grateful and happy that we’re all here together, alive and well, cos life can end at any moment. I just want to say I love you, I’m thankful to be with you tonight.
“London, as long as you’ll have me back I’ll stand in the middle of this building and give you everything I’ve fucking got. Cheers to my brother, rest easy my g. London, I love you.”
Elsewhere in the show, the rapper and DJ Tiffany Calver brought out some special guests, with Unknown T and Digdat joining him on stage while the stage floor was transformed into a giant Union Jack. Later, Giggs joined him for ‘KMT’, the pair’s collaboration from ‘More Life’.
Before the star took to the stage, an exclusive preview of the TV series Top Boy was shown on the big screens in the arena. You can watch fan-shot footage of that moment below.
DRAKE JUST OPEN HIS LONDON SHOW WITH THE TOP BOY TRAILER pic.twitter.com/ogMbn9Y3fO
— BLK. (@WEAREBLK) April 1, 2019
Drake is set to play seven shows at London’s The O2 over the next 11 days. To celebrate the occasion, the venue has changed its name to The O3, referencing the lyrics of the star’s 2018 single ‘God’s Plan’: “And you know me / Turn the O2 into the O3, dog.”
Meanwhile, Drake surprised fans in Leicester last week (March 29) when he surprised fans by performing at a tiny Leicester club.
Drake’s remaining The O2 dates are as follows:
2 – London The O2
4 – London The O2
5 – London The O2
8 – London The O2
9 – London The O2
11 – London The O2