Considering that Drake spent nearly a decade on Canadian teen drama Degrassi: The Next Generation before becoming the most hyped-about rapper in hip-hop, it was a given that the writers at Saturday Night Live would try to squeeze their musical guest into a few skits. The only question that remained was, "Will those skits be funny?" The answer was a resounding "yes," as werewolf Drake and SNL cast member Jay Pharoah gave candy lovers who are too old for trick-or-treating a solution to the problem: Bag-jackin'. This "werewolf in a letterman jacket" look will be a guaranteed costume at every Halloween party this October 31st.
Song 1: "Headlines"
+4 for the interesting "rapping-inside-a-television" set. SNL provides a stage that looks like a train terminal, but Drake turned it into his personal live lyric video. The only thing that made this a 30 Rock performance was the chandelier.
+3 for The Revolution-esque backup band. Is that Drizzy or Prince?
+2 for the brief guitar solo!
+2 because the rapper delivered "Headlines" with much more emotion and charisma than the version that's playing on radios. Drake's flat cadence has been criticized in the past, but he shows some range here.
-1 because the keyboardist is rocking a Tigers hat just minutes after Detroit was eliminated from the ALCS. Too soon?
Song 2: "Make Me Proud" with Nicki Minaj"
+6 for bringing Minaj back to SNL (she was the musical guest back in January). And on that note...
+2 for the sanest outfit Nicki has ever worn in public.
-3 because the rapper should have known bands sound terrible at SNL's studios. He would have been better off rapping over a DJ's beat, since his group was out-of-sync. It seemed like it was their first time performing the song live.
-2 for the split-second (1:07 mark) where Drake's backing track came loose and another Ashlee Simpson incident was almost born.
-1 for the chipmunk background vocal that accompanied Minaj's verses.
-1 because Drake played The Amp's two least favorite Take Care songs. Where's "Marvin's Room"?
The Amp loves when musical guests hang out with Andy Samberg for the Digital Shorts. Drake's spot was no Shy Ronnie, but it was still funnier than 90 percent of SNL.
+4 for versatility. Unlike most rappers that act, Drake is actually an actor who can rap. Both of those skills were on full display Saturday night. It's amazing that with Hollywood hasn't come calling for him yet.
Final GPA: A-