In his first ‘Fire In The Booth’, Toronto’s Drake astonished everyone in the UK as he stepped up to the mic and delivered his bars. The freestyle, which aired on BBC Radio 1Xtra in 2018, quickly became a fan favourite and is still considered legendary to this day after accumulating millions of views.
This legendary appearance in the BBC studios came just a month after the rapper released Scorpion, his fifth studio album. Instead of doing a traditional promo on a mundane press run, the rapper decided to bless his UK fans with something a tad more special. Charlie Sloth’s ‘Fire In The Booth’ is a spot for the best in the UK to show off their rapping ability and is notoriously, almost always used to compare artists to one another. The ‘booth’ is where artists give all they have to offer and where they prove themselves. So when Drake stepped up to the challenge, fans were eager to see what he had to offer.
With the famous “Let’s get ready to rumble!” sound effect signifying the beginning of the freestyle, fans readily listened. Rapping over an ambient beat, the Candian began flowing like in his songs, sitting beautifully within the beat’s pockets and catching the off-beats as he rapped, “The only skeletons here are the ones from the nights I raised hell / Make sure the staff are paid well”.
After speaking profound and wise words, the Toronto artist was praised by Sloth after the freestyle for his efforts. However, among the positive feedback online, there was some backlash from artists such as Wiley, who believed the rapper was embracing British culture merely to maintain his relevancy in the country and had no genuine desire to appear on ‘Fire In The Booth’ and in his heart had no true affinity for any UK music.
Below, revisit the legendary freestyle and see Wiley’s response in his heated 1xtra interview with A-Dot.