ESPYS, ESPN sports awards tonight 7/16
8:00PM CST on ESPN
Throughout his increasingly acclaimed music career, Drake has notched a range of accolades. Now he’s set to switch roles as the host of the ESPYs on Wednesday night at 6 at the Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live.
Drake will be the 17th host of the ESPN-held award show, which celebrates the most accomplished athletes and teams of the last year in sports. The rapper widely known as Drizzy partook in a conference call to discuss his ambitions heading into the evening.
“Our goal is obviously the night of the ESPYs to completely take over the Internet, for everything that we do to go viral and for people to enjoy days or weeks afterwards,” Drake told reporters. “We’ve been working hard, like I said, on the pre-tapes and on the monologue and on every aspect of the show just to make sure that it lives on past this night, which I can 100% guarantee it will.”
Drake has made his friendships with athletes clear, sometimes overly so. He has been seen courtside at many NBA games, palling around with the likes of Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. His hometown Toronto Raptors have capitalized on his fandom, naming him the team’s global ambassador last season.
“Well, I think what makes a perfect ESPYs host is obviously somebody that can fill the room with energy and joy for the people that are in the seats,” Drake said. “But I think most importantly what I bring is the fact that I feel that I know the room better than any host before me just because so many of these guys I have personal relationships with. I think I’m going to be able to tap into some jokes that will be appreciated by my friends in the crowd and also the athletes that I don’t know.”
Drake once rapped on 2010’s “Thank Me Now” that “I swear sports and music are so synonymous / ‘cause we wanna be them and they wanna be us.” For 27-year-old hip-hop star, the move to the ESPYs seems a natural one.
“My dream in life, or my other dream in life that I’ll obviously never achieve, was to go to college and be recruited and play in the league,” Drake told reporters. “We inspire each other, and I think that’s what really ties music and sports together.”
Drake’s musical prowess will no doubt also play a role at the ESPYs, but he stressed that it won’t overshadow his performance. Though the 27-year-old hip-hop star has been featured in a number of high-profile beefs among his fellow artists, this appearance, he says, will focus on his comic chops, which he showed in a recent appearance hosting “Saturday Night Live.”
“I definitely think that hip-hop is a little more malicious than what any host is going for,” Drake told reporters. “So our night, like I said, is about being funny and about giving these guys a great time and celebrating sports. … Though being clever with words is being clever with words.”
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