Though only a few weeks in, the year is shaping up to be a massive one for music films. Days after Netflix and Hulu dropped dueling schadenfreude-filled documentary films on the meltdown of Fyre Festival, an unofficial movie on Drake’s life and legacy is now making the rounds on streaming services.
Drake: Rewriting the Rules, which was first released on Vimeo last November, is now available to stream on Netflix and Amazon. The film, directed by Ray Louis, doesn’t feature interviews with Drake or any members of his team, but chronicles Aubrey Drake Graham’s origins as a child star on Canadian cult TV series Degrassi and his rise to fame in hip-hop through archival footage and a series of interviews with music writers.
For those experiencing a tiny bout of déjà vu: Yes, this is actually the second unofficial documentary detailing Drake’s life, coming after January 2018’s Toronto to Houston, which was directed by Marquis Trill.
Neither Drake’s team nor Netflix have commented on the rapper’s relationship to Rewriting the Rules, but Pitchfork notes that an early mixtape cut of the track “Thrill Is Gone” appears in the film at the 16:30 mark accompanied by the text “courtesy of OVO Sound/Reservoir Media Management,” which would suggest some form of approval of use from OVO, Drake’s record label. The film appears otherwise unauthorized, though, and its unexpected release on streaming services — dropping without fanfare or a lead-up press release from the video-streaming giants hosting it — has garnered a social media reaction that is equal parts excitement and bewilderment.