NEW YORK – Drake is entering the new year with gratitude. His way of showing it is just slightly different from the average person.

The Canadian rapper returned to the stage Saturday night for the first time in years, making his debut at the Apollo Theater – and thanking everyone who got him there.

The concert was a victory lap for Drake, who looked entirely in his element as he banged out hits and teased a summer tour and the possibility of new music.

He crafted the show to create vignettes that reflect his beginnings acting in “Degrassi” and writing rhymes in his bedroom; his rise in the face of record label rejection; and his influences and collaborators, many of whom he brought to the historic venue in Harlem. 

“I wanted to make this a show about gratitude. This was a little story that we put together, my deep love for my family, for my dear friends and for each and every one of you that have been supporting me for a long time,” he said. “We don’t need to say how long, it’s gonna make it sound like we’re all getting old.”

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