Drake is an open book.
After the release of his breakthrough mixtape, So Far Gone; his debut album, Thank Me Later; and now the premiere of the documentary “Drake: Better Than Good Enough” on Wednesday night (June 23), the 23-year-old rapper and crooner has truly opened up his life for all to see — from the lows of keeping his life balanced to the joys of completing songs featuring Jay-Z. The MTV special was another chapter in his evolving career.
“I have always been hesitant to share the details of my life with the world, but for the first time, I am comfortable and confident that you will love this story,” Drake said of “Better Than Good Enough.”
In the film, cameras follow Drake on his Away From Home Tour and on his bus, where he recorded large portions of Thank Me Later. Drake and his producer, Noah “40” Shebib, frantically work late into the night after each tour stop, trying to complete the rapper’s album in time to make its June 15 release date.
During the mastering session, 40 was shown still making tweaks to material while the engineer awaited the producer’s late arrival. In the same scene, Drake laments his close friend’s health, revealing 40’s battle with multiple sclerosis, which he was diagnosed with at the age of 22.
“I really don’t know if I could keep making music without 40,” Drake confessed. “I really don’t know. That’s one of the biggest fears I have, is losing 40.”
Throughout the documentary, Drake often attempts to balance a tightrope between his greater ambitions and the responsibilities he has to his loved ones. His mother, who raised the actor-turned-musician, is the subject of one particularly touching scene, during which Drake addresses her illness.
“My mom is sick,” he said. “So that scares me a lot. She’s been the most supportive person I’ve ever had in my life — the only person that loves me unconditionally, really. I know a lot of people love me and I love a lot of people. But to love somebody unconditionally is different.”
The up-to-the-minute project also followed Drake on the day of his album release . There was his album signing at Best Buy in Manhattan and his canceled South Street Seaport gig . Interviewed immediately after the chaotic scene, Drake reveals he had scheduled Birdman and J. Cole as guests to appear during his set.
“I had great things planned,” he lamented.
The documentary ends with Drake visiting his father in Memphis then his mother in Toronto, before jetting overseas to open a Manchester, England, show headlined by Jay-Z. He calmly told the cameras that it’s just another show for him, opening for the legendary MC. The night before, Drake performed for more than 50,000 fans at New York radio station Hot 97’s annual Summer Jam concert .
Later, the two rappers exchange pleasantries, as the Brooklyn rapper greets Drake’s mother and the two walk down a long hallway before parting ways.
“They’re sharing the torch with him right now,” Sway said in the documentary, referring to Jay-Z and the array of superstars who have co-signed the upstart act. “They’re not passing it; Kanye is by no means passing it, Jay is by no means passing it, Wayne is by no means passing it. They’re sharing the torch with him. What are you gonna do with it?”
MTV followed Drake in the weeks leading up to the release of his new LP, Thank Me Later. The “Drake: Better Than Good Enough” documentary will re-air on MTV Saturday at 12 p.m. and 9 p.m., Sunday at 9 a.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. on MTV2.