Donning a dapper suit, complete with a gentlemanly pocket square, the singer and rapper is surrounded by midcentury glamour as he takes the mic for a commercial touting his VMA appearance. The Toronto lyricist makes a dramatic entrance under a brightly lit "Drake" marquee and steps onto a stage populated by a sprawling big band sporting white jackets.
"I get to channel my inner [Frank] Sinatra," Drizzy — who is up for Moonmen for Best Hip-Hop Video and Best Male Video — said on the set. "In the acting world, you gotta have reference points. I like to get into characters."
Sinatra isn't the only legend that influences Drake's gentlemanly style in the promo. The "Degrassi" actor-turned-chart-topping MC also looked to Denzel Washington's troubled trumpeter in Spike Lee's 1990 flick "Mo' Better Blues."
" 'Mo' Better Blues' is like one of my favorite movies of all time. This reminds me of Denzel, who played a character [called] Bleek Gilliam," Drake explained. "I'm trying to channel that today."
Drake may have mined the mannerisms of a pair of jazzy icons for the promo, but the period set and crew of extras donning retro looks also helped the MC get in character.
"There's a '50s theme. They got it right, though. They got the set and the wardrobe," Drake said. "I feel like I'm here."
What are you expecting from Drake's VMA performance? Let us know in the comments below!
The 27th annual MTV Video Music Awards will be broadcast live from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on September 12 at 9 p.m. ET.