It was a quick but explosive moment that sent an already adrenalized crowd into overdrive inside the packed arena, as the “hometown hero” — Drake’s words — rose from below the stage to join on “Forever” toward the end of the 2½-hour show. Eminem’s rapid-fire rhyming was drowned out by the continuous broadside of screams, as the hoodie-topped rapper paced the stage in his familiar crouched posture.
“Make some noise for the greatest rapper to ever get on a microphone,” said a bowing Drake as the song wrapped up.
Eminem encouraged the crowd to make some noise for Drake — not that anyone inside Joe Louis needed the prodding — before offering up a pointedly appreciative, “Detroit, I love you. I’m out.”
The onstage meetup with Eminem followed several weeks of knotty hip-hop drama stemming from an ongoing beef between Drake and Joe Budden, Em’s Slaughterhouse group mate and part of the Shady Records stable. In early August, New York radio personality Ebro Darden threw gasoline on the fire, claiming he’d gotten word that Eminem would be making a Drake diss record.
Although the disc jockey later called it a joke — and Eminem’s camp appeared to play down the whole thing — word of an Eminem-Drake feud caught the imagination of fans, dominating headlines and Internet chatter before morphing into rumors of a looming freestyle battle between the two.
Early Tuesday night, Drake had hinted at a special night ahead, telling the crowd that by the end of the tour, “Do you think we’ll be able to look back and say: ‘Do you remember that one night in Detroit?'”