Kanye West and Drake worked together when the former child actor was first making his mark as a rapper and singer, but in recent years it was hard for outsiders to know to what extent their competition for musical dominance was friendly. The two set the record straight last night at the fourth annual OVO Fest, the concert hosted by Drake and his October’s Very Own imprint in their hometown of Toronto. As the video above by Real Talk NY shows, West took the stage as a surprise guest, and along with performing a few songs, he and Drake also paid their respects to each other.
You can watch West give intense renditions of Yeezus‘ “New Slaves,” My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy‘s “All of the Lights,” and, with Drake at his side, Graduation‘s “Can’t Tell Me Nothing.” West said he and Jay-Z “would have never made” 2011 collaborative album Watch the Throne if Drake “wasn’t putting pressure on us.” Drake called West “one of the first people that embraced me” and “my role model.” Afterward, Drake told MTV that West’s appearance “was was probably the most important moment in my career to date.” Drake added, “I think me and Kanye have wanted to express our respect for each other for a long time and sometimes rap, the business, the competitiveness, and just the heart behind it forces you to not talk to the people you quietly admire.”
West wasn’t the only high-profile guest at OVO. James Blake performed, as billed, but the festival also brought out TLC, Lil Wayne, the Weeknd, Miguel, A$AP Rocky, Diddy, Ma$e, J. Cole, Big Sean, French Montana, and Wale. The event was compressed from a planned two days to a single night after Frank Ocean was forced to cancel due to a torn vocal cord.
Drake has already followed up his big night with “Hold on We’re Going Home,” a smooth synth-pop song where a U.K. singer like Jessie Ware wouldn’t be out of place instead of Drake on lead vocals.