By Melinna Miranda and Bianca Guzzo
This version corrects the release date of Drake’s mixtape in paragraph 2.
Ryerson students got a surprise Friday when rap star Drake made an appearance at the Ryerson Students’ Union’s annual Parade and Picnic concert.
Campus was buzzing with rumours about the possibility of Drake appearing at the show since the first day of classes. On Tuesday, a banner went up on campus in front of the student centre mimicking the cover of the rapper’s If You’re Reading This it’s Too Late mixtape that was released in 2015. The RSU banner read: “If you’re reading this its your time to lead welcome Yonge 6 gods.”
“The 6” is a term coined by the rapper to refer to Toronto, and Ryerson’s location on Yonge street makes the “Yonge 6 gods” — wordplay to glorify both Drake and new Ryerson students.
Drake posted a photo of the banner on his Instagram account, giving a shout-out to the Ryerson community. Social media blew up, and whispers that he might be appearing at the concert grew.
As students began getting their spots in front of the stage, word got out that Miguel, who was scheduled to perform before Future, had cancelled his appearance.
Former MuchMusic video jockey Matte Babel helped to fill Miguel’s spot by playing games and holding contests for the audience.
As the evening went on, the audience became more and more restless. During Zeds Dead’s set, students were chanting Future’s name in anticipation for his arrival.
Drake came out during his verse on Future’s song “Where Ya At” just before 10:30 p.m. The crowd went insane. Drake went on to do his own mini set performing Energy, Know Yourself and Back to Back.
Drake wasn’t the only surprise guest. The Toronto rapper brought city councillor and Twitter celebrity Norm Kelly on stage with him. Kelly was sporting a Ryerson Rams hockey jersey and stood back to back with Drake on stage towards the end of Future’s set. Drake bowed down to Kelly as Kelly yelled “Turn Up!” into the microphone.
Kelly told the Ryersonian that the night was a “magical combo” — being on stage with the star and being with the Ryerson community.
After the concert, Kelly and Drake posed for a few photos that Drake later posted to his Instagram account.
“He was very much down to earth and friendly. I had a sense we hit it off,” Kelly said.
#Ryerson was still trending on Twitter Saturday, suggesting that the 2015 Parade and Picnic will be hard to top in future years.
See below for a Storify roundup of the social media reaction to Drake’s surprise performance.