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Drake with Kendrick Lamar and A$AP Rocky


As with Kanye West — hip-hop's executive consul of self-reflexive, immortality-questioning megastardom — it's not only possible to both love Aubrey Drake Graham and to hate him at the same time, it's practically mandatory. The conflict is at the core of both men's artistic M.O.: They preach sermons to their greatness in one breath and condemn you for believing it in the next. Part shrine and part shroud, Take Care (Universal Republic) is Drake's own dark twisted fantasy, a showcase for its collaborators (Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Jamie xx, The Weeknd) as much as for its creator. But his strengths have changed overnight — he's swapped the midnight R&B beauty of Thank Me Later album cuts "Karaoke" and "Shut it Down" for the enticing bright lights of big-game rap (JumboTron horn monsoon "Headlines" and Lil Wayne shout-out "HYFR (Hell Ya F—king Right)"). As an MC, Drake has more work to do to challenge 24-year-old Black Hippy point man Kendrick Lamar, whose ridiculously thick 2010 mixtape O(verly) D(edicated) and 2011 debut LP Section.80 (Top Dawg Entertainment) have crowned him the new king of Compton. A$AP Rocky also opens. Tickets $53.85-$95.05 (includes fees). — Noah Bonaparte Pais

Feb. 25

8 p.m. Saturday

UNO Lakefront Arena, 6801 Franklin Ave., 280-7222;

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