There may never be an honest Drake documentary in our lifetime, given how controlling the man is with his public image. The first was Drake Homecoming, another unofficial doc that has a lot of shots of Drake at the now extinct Sound Academy and a Lebron cameo. The Drake: Rewriting the Rules documentary which was just released on various streaming sites, ups the ante and is as neutral as a beige tracksuit. While the Amazon Video description says Drake stars in the film, he really doesn’t because it’s an unofficial documentary directed by a human named Ray Louis. None of Drake’s circle is in the film. In fact, almost no Canadians are in it save for producer Jason King. Essentially the so-called documentary consists of mostly non-Canadian talking heads reading off the Drake Wikipedia page while the camera slowly zooms in on stock photos of rapper and his friends. And since the movie didn’t get Drake’s seal of approval, audiences are treated to the soothing sounds of mostly generic stock beats save for the occasional legally-safe length clip from “Best I Ever Had,” “Marvins Room,” “Started From the Bottom” and other singles.
I started watching this but when the talking heads decided to explain exactly who Jay-Z is and why he’s important I tapped out and began playing Dark Souls III while still keeping Netflix on. If you’re into American Rolling Stone editor Joe Levy talking about life in Drake’s home city of Toronto, then you’ll probably love Drake: Rewriting the Rules. Hearing Levy describe Drake’s mentor Lil Wayne, saying, “arguably there is no dirty south rapper dirtier or more southern” is a treat. My favourite was when the dude expounded about how “approachable” “Best I Ever Had” is when “fucking” is censored and how it’s “tougher” when it’s not. “It was a hip-hop meets pop sound.” “He was singing and rapping… at the same time.” Dudes, we were through this discourse a decade ago. You know you’re in for a wild viewing experience when a generic narrator refers to Lil Wayne is “Little” Wayne while recounting Drake’s time on the The Carter III Tour. This movie is Drake’s life recounted by an airport intercom. It’s the pinnacle of music discourse in 2019, which consists of pundits lathering empty praise on Drake and other millionaires. I would never do that … Nope. I’m a very good music journalist.
I’m not entirely sure who this film is for. It’s useless information, doubly pointless against the Dragonslayer Armor, who decimated me with a few swings of his electrified Dragonslayer Axe. I cursed the Armor and persevered as the doc barely mentioned 40’s immense contributions to Drake’s sound. While the various talking heads worship Drake, they recount his various phases and skill sets, from emo dude to rapper to R&B singer. But fans of Drake knows about all these things already. It’s fascinating when Drake: Rewriting the Rules has to literally describe what YOLO means, perhaps indicating the doc is for people who have actually never listened to music in the last two decades. But as I was viciously murdered once more because of an ill-timed strike I realized that this boss fight, like life and this doc, is an endless slog. Worse, I was the idiot who devoted 74 infinitely yawning minutes to this, knowing full well that I’m rewarding low-effort content meant to snag anyone with even a passing interest in Drake. The machine only keeps going because we keep feeding it. Y’all won.
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