February 4, 2014


Fuse's Matte Babel Takes You Inside Drake's 'SNL' Hosting Gig

Dana Edelson/NBC/Getty Images
Dana Edelson/NBC/Getty Images

It's been a few weeks since Drake hosted and performed on SNL, and if you've yet to check it out to see if he was really that good – though I'm sure there are some who would hate to admit it – he was. It was one of the best SNL debuts the show has seen in years. When you couple his stellar performance with the fact he's spent the past 5 years dominating the rap world - and hasn't really done anyacting during that time – it makes the debut all the more impressive. On top of that, Drake participated in almost every sketch.

What's always been most impressive to me is his work ethic. Those lyrics from "Light Up" – "They always tell me nobody's working as hard as you. And even though I laugh it off man, it's probably true" – They couldn't be more accurate. Drake is relentless. I remember years ago, when he was still coming into the Drake we know today, his Degrassi schedule was insane. He'd work all day shooting, then head into the studio after work, grind 'til about 4AM, head back to set, sneak into the lounge, sleep for a couple hours, wake up, shoot Degrassi all day and then do it over again. Although Mike Tyson once said it's hard to get up and train when you're sleeping in silk sheets, it's obvious that Drake's held on to the work ethic that's made him a house hold name.

The day before SNL, he was working on sketches from 7AM to 2AM! Even when we could see fatigue setting in, he kept trudging along. I remember at one point they gave him 20 minutes to sit and relax. A bunch of us were eating in the green room. When his wrangler came to bring him back to set, and was like "How was the break?" we all had the same response, "What break!?" And while I'm sure some of you feel like that's his job and you expect that kind of professionalism from someone of his stature, you would be surprised. In addition, Drake didn't have to be in every single part of the show. Many hosts aren't. He could have played it safe and just done a couple, like so many other guests have done in the past. It was a big risk to take on that kind of work load in a live setting, where there are a lot of variables that you can't control. 

For example, during the monologue (watch above) – arguably the most nerve racking portion of any SNL performance – someone held up a blank cue card during his rap! And while he could have pointed it out like Miley did during a recent guest spot, he carried on and rolled with the punches. The sign of a true pro.

I guess at the end of the night, and it seems to be happening with more and more regularity with every additional milestone he reaches, I left with another level of respect for 'the boy,' as we call him. And watching with friends and family at the end of the show was a real moment.

Maybe it's 'cause, as @ovojonnyroxx would say, we're just a bunch of dudes from Toronto.