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Drake Wrote An Open Letter To Toronto Addressing The OVO Fest After-Party Shooting

"I am plagued and pained by the violence that continues to escalate in our city."

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Drake has finally spoken out after more than a week of intense pressure on the rapper to address the shooting at a Toronto nightclub that hosted an OVO Fest after-party that left two dead.

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

On Friday, Drake extended his condolences to the families of the two people killed, Duvel Hibbert and Ariela Navarro-Fenoy, in a post on his blog.

"I am plagued and pained by the violence that continues to escalate in our city," read the note. "I stare into the eyes of so many young people and I wish to see them all shine as bright as they possibly can in this lifetime."

Muzik / Via Facebook: MuzikClubs

Hibbert and Navarro-Fenoy died after gunfire erupted at the event at the Muzik nightclub on Aug. 4. Three others were wounded.

Drake, whose record label OVO Sound hosts the annual music festival in his hometown, has been under pressure to address the tragedy but had so far maintained his silence. He says he was "choosing to follow my heart" by speaking out now, against the advice of his managers.

"Although Toronto is globally viewed as a major city, at the core we are still a small close-knit community, and it is our public responsibility to ensure the safety and wellbeing of one another," Drake wrote.

The last few days I have been in a moral bind.

I am used to the fact that my life and the things I say to my fans are‎ closely watched. It's tough in situations like this where there's a tragedy and I consider the advice of my trusted advisors and counsel who worry that anything I might say could be misinterpreted.

However, today I am choosing to follow my heart.

I am plagued and pained by the violence that continues to escalate in our city. I stare into the eyes of so many young people and I wish to see them all shine as bright as they possibly can in this lifetime. I encourage my generation to show as much value and gratitude as you can for the lives we have been gifted.

My deepest condolences go out to the Navarro-Fenoy and Hibbert families for their loss of Ariela and Duvel. Along with them I send my condolences to all of the families that have lost loved ones to the senseless violence that has and continues to occur in our city.

Although Toronto is globally viewed as a major city, at the core we are still a small close-knit community, and it is our public responsibility to ensure the safety and wellbeing of one another. We need each other to further our communities for generations to come.

I pray for better times and better understanding.


- DRAKE

Ishmael Daro is a social news editor for BuzzFeed and is based in Toronto.

Contact Ishmael N. Daro at ishmael.daro@buzzfeed.com.

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