Drake has a long to-do list. He’s promoting Nothing Was The Same, sticking to a strict workout regimen, and he just discovered that it’s possible to mix different flavors of shisha, so he’s been trying to pinpoint the ideal ratio of mint to sweet melon that will make for the perfect blend of fine tobacco flavorings. But there’s one other thing he needs to attend to: Drake needs to make some phone calls. With his new album dominating the charts and his “October’s Very Own” brand stronger than ever, Drake feels like the tenth month of the year belongs to him. He deserves it. He's worked for it. He owns it.
But he knows other people are going to try to take it from him, so he decides to take action.
The first move is obvious: Drake will call Birdman, tell Birdman to make sure nobody puts an album out in October, and that’s that.
He picks up the phone.
9:05 p.m., in the kitchen
[The phone rings four times.]
Birdman’s voicemail: Making money. Leave a message.
Drake: Birdman, it’s me. I need to ask a huuuuge favor. It’s me, Drake. Call me back.
Drake slams his phone down gently on a pillow, then looks at it regretfully. He screams, then collects himself and sits by the phone, waiting. He’s done this before, plenty of times. It doesn’t feel good, but it’s a familiar process, almost comfortable in that way. Some of his best work has been done while sitting, waiting by a phone. As he sits, ideas dance around in his head like hookah smoke in a still room. He mumbles words to himself while he sits by a window, cell phone plugged into the wall because Drake gets uneasy when his battery goes down to less than 80 percent. “[Inaudible] ...sitting by the phone, [Inaudible] ...in my zone, [Inaudible] ...October’s very own.”
11:30 p.m., by the window
Drake is dozing off. His head slowly falls to his shoulder then jerks back up. He’s half-dreaming when one of his many reminder alerts goes off and startles him. He pops up to his feet and frantically looks around the room, then locates the beeping phone and checks the alert. “Reminder: D-R-A-K-E. Do right and kill everything.” Drake is tired of waiting. He sips half of a 5-hour energy shot, picks up the phone, and starts dialing.
[The phone rings three times.]
Justin Timberlake: Yo!
Drake: [Smiles] JT!
JT: What’s going on, mane?
D: I can’t talk long. I’m super busy but I need to ask you a quick thing.
JT: Sure man, just let me..
D: Don’t drop your album in October.
D: I said, don’t drop your album in October. Okay? Promise?
JT: Wait, are you serious? Why?
D: October is my thing. Like, I want it to be my thing. "October’s Very Own," you know?
JT: So I should just… look, man, my album already leaked, it’s coming out in a couple of days. I'm not sure that there’s anything I can do. But... I’ll try.
D: Thanks, Justin. I’ll make this up to you, I promise. Gotta go now.
JT: Bye Drake.
11:39 p.m., on the living room couch
Justin Timberlake's cooperativeness has Drake feeling positive and optimistic. He’s confident. Drake often thinks to himself that he needs to hang out with Justin more. He doesn’t want to be intrusive, though, so he plays it cool and just enjoys the time they do get to spend together. Feeling okay about things, Drake continues on his mission.
[The phone rings three times.]
Miley Cyrus: Yo!
M: Sup mane?
D: Chillin’. Look, I need something from you.
M: I’m in the studio with Mike Will. You know, from the “Mike Will Made It” stuff. He’s a rap producer/DJ/artist. Do you know him? I’ll make an intro!
D: Miley, look, you can’t do your album until later, okay? Like, you can’t put it out. You have to push it back until after October. Do it in November.
M: I’ll ask Mike. Hold on a sec. [Two minutes of silence] Yeah, sure. He said to do whatever I want and not to think about it or worry about repercussions. So yeah. I like you. You’re always a cool guy and I know you’re a dope lyricalist, or lyricalicist, or whatever. So sure, I’ll release the album in November.
D: [Singing] You the, you the best, you the, you the best, best I ever had.
M: Word is bond! Turn up! Chill son! We the best! Turn down for what! Popped a…
D: Miley, I’ve got to go. Thanks again. It means a lot. It means everything.
10:45 p.m., pacing in the loft
Drake is pacing. He’s always been a pacer. During his pacing sessions, he’ll often trace a path with his steps—sometimes a star, sometimes a diamond, sometimes his favorite: the figure 8. Today he paces randomly, bouncing from wall to wall like the ball in the original arcade video game, Pong by Atari. He’s got Miley and Justin out of the way. They're big stars, and good friends. But he knows these next few calls might not go so easily.
[The phone starts to ring once and is immediately picked up.]
Jonathan Davis, of KoRn: Talk to me.
Drake: Hey, Jonathan? It’s Drake.
JD: Shut the fuck up.
D: No, for serious.
JD: Well then, to what to I owe the pleasure?
D: You owe it to me. You owe it to me to not release your forthcoming KoRn album in October. Please.
JD: Oh my God, did someone say that we were putting out a new album?! Fuck. I think they’re right. Wow. Well, don’t worry too much about that, I honestly forgot about the album completely until right now. We’re doing this one independently so it’s like, very little pressure. Almost not enough pressure to even care. Does anyone care? Fuck it. We’ll probably just hold off until 2014. It’s more of a summer album anyway. We’re doing EDM mixed with rock now. Have you heard of EDM? It’s like techno, or raves. Moombahton. Electro. Drums and basses. BPM. I don’t know. Anyway, rest of the year is all yours, buddy!
D: Thanks, you’re doing the right thing. And also, I like your song “Batwitdaba.”
JD: I think you’re thinking of Kid Rock.
D: Oh, right. Do you know if he’s dropping an album in October?
JD: Kid Rock’s not dropping an album in October. Dude...
D: [Sigh of relief] Okay, good. Bye.
12:22 a.m., on the balcony
Drake stands on the balcony gazing out over the city. Once it gets past midnight, something clicks inside of Drake’s head. Suddenly, everything seems more important. In the distance, a little light on the top of a building flickers through the fog. Drake doesn’t know what it means, but he knows it means something. He looks at it for a while, squinting his eyes like maybe a message will be written in the sky. He blinks and the light is gone. Nothing. He picks up the phone and carries on.
[The phone rings three times.]
Jason Derulo: Jason Derulo!
Drake: Jason Derulo!
JD: Ha ha! What’s up?
D: What’s good? Calling about business. That album you’re planning—can you move it to next month?
JD: Man, what album? My album dropped already. We put it out earlier than expected. It’s out. In stores now! Jason Derulo!
D: Yikes! My bad, homie! I’ve been super busy! I’m gonna make it up to you. I’m getting in my car now, I’m gonna drive to the nearest spot and buy out all the copies in the store. I got you!
JD: No big deal. You don’t need to buy my album. I’m owning contemporary hit radio, I’m one half of a power couple, I have a strong international following, and…
D: But October’s mine.
D: I’m sorry, Jason Derulo, but this was a business conversation, not a diary entry that starts off as a boast and ends up as a page full of angry words saturated with tears. I don’t have time for it. I have to go.
JD: I wasn’t going to…
D: October’s mine. Bye, Jason Derulo.
12:39 a.m., lying on the balcony, staring up at the stars
Drake pours himself a wine spritzer, pre-made from the night before, and thinks: “Was I too harsh on Jason Derulo? Who am I? That wasn’t me. I’m not like that. I’ve never been that type of guy. I feel empowered, though. I feel like a boss. This must be how Birdman feels all the time. It’s kind of nice. I got a rush out of it. This is exciting. This is...scary.”
[The phone rings two times.]
Katy Perry: [Yelling] Drake? Hi, I can’t really talk right now. I’m at a Versace party.
Drake: Versace Versace Versace Versace Versace Versace...
D: Sorry, it’s this thing that just happens now. It’s like, a tic. I can’t figure out what triggers it.
KP: Drake, now’s not a good time. Can I call you back later?
D: Find someplace quiet. Go to the ladies’ room.
KP: Fine. I’m gonna find a bathroom. [20 minutes pass]
D: [Yelling] Hello!?
D: You’re there? Can you talk now? What took you so long?
KP: What do you mean? It only took a minute. I’ve been standing here in the bathroom, waiting for you to say whatever it is you had to say. You called me, remember?
D: Well yeah, but…were you just gonna stand there holding the phone and not even…Nevermind. Look, I don’t have time. I just wanted to tell you that you have to move your album to November. Miley and Kid Rock and Jason Derulo already said they’re doing it.
KP: Fine. If they’re doing it, I’ll do it. But you have to get on a remix.
D: I don’t have to do anything. Just push back the album. October’s mine.
KP: You realize who you’re talking to? I’ve got the number two song in the country, I’m at the top of my game, and now I’m standing in a bathroom talking to you when I could be enjoying this Versace party.
D: Versace Versace Versace Versace...Look, I’m sorry. I’m overreacting. When I was 10, my mom told me to stand up for myself, to take what I want, to stop being so worried about the rest of the people in the world. She told me to be more assertive. That that’s a quality that women like in men, and a quality that men respect in other men. I just want to be…I just want to be successful. Of course I’ll do a remix. You know I will. I would be honored.
KP: Thanks, Drake.
D: Love you, girl.
1:32 a.m., in the hallway with the lights off
Drake is emotionally drained. He regrets the tone he took with Katy. He’ll be thinking about it for weeks, and he knows this. But for now, there’s more business to take care of. And he’s going to take care of it. He pours himself another wine spritzer, heads into the dark hallway, and keeps dialing.
[The phone rings three times.]
A$AP Rocky: Wassup!?
Drake: Now is not the time, Rocky. Be serious.
A: Is everything okay?
D: No, everything’s not okay. How could you put out an A$AP Mob album in October when my whole thing is October? Push it back, man. Please.
A: I don’t know man. I’ve already got the album wrapped and it knocks.
D: I AM THE ONE WHO KNOCKS!
A: You’ve been watching too much Breaking Bad man, chill.
D: Chill? I do not chill. Who are you talking to right now? Who is it you think you’re talking to? Do you know how much I make a year? I mean, even if I told you, you wouldn’t believe it. Do you know what would happen if I suddenly decided to stop working? A business big enough that it could be listed on the NASDAQ goes belly up. Disappears! It ceases to exist without me. No, you clearly don’t know who you’re talking to, so let me clue you in: I do not chill, A$AP Rocky. I am not a man who chills.
[Hangs up phone.]
1:56 a.m., in the bathroom with one candle lit, staring in the mirror
Drake tries to light his favorite candle and chill out, but he’s too far gone. He regrets that last wine spritzer, but he pours himself another. He’s not thinking rationally. He picks his phone up, puts it down and shakes his head, then picks it up again.
[The phone rings three times.]
Win Butler of Arcade Fire: Hello, Win Butler of Arcade Fire speaking.
Drake: You don’t know me. It’s Drake. You probably know of me, but you definitely don’t know me. Let me get to the point. I’m going through some really tough times, but that’s when I work best. Right now, my work isn’t music. Right now, my work is getting you to push your Arcade Desire album back.
WB: It’s Arcade Fire.
D: Oh. You should think about changing that. Arcade Desire has a ring to it and people feel a certain way about words like “desire.” Have you seen A Streetcar Named Desire?
WB: Yeah, I have. It’s really…
D: You’re rambling. It’s a yes or no question.
WB: Yes, I have seen it.
D: Good, good. Now I’ve got another yes or no question for you: Push your album back.
WB: You’re going to need to talk to my label about that. We’ve already put a lot of planning into this viral marketing plan, and I don’t think that…
D: Win, you’re rambling again. It’s a yes or no question.
WB: I don't think that was actually a question. But if you feel this strongly about it...
D: If I feel this strongly? I feel very strongly. Do you know what people are talking about when people talk about feelings? They’re talking about me, Win. I am feelings. I’m your feelings, I’m your mother’s feelings, I’m the feelings left lingering after a bad date, I’m the feelings you don’t even know you have until you’ve had three wine spritzers and it’s two thirty in the morning and you’re sitting in your marble-floored bathroom in the dark, with a candle burning and a cold chill shooting through your bones. I’m your worst goddamn nightmare. No, I’m the residual feelings you’ll have for the next two years after your worst goddamn nightmare.
WB: Jesus Christ, I didn’t realize it was that serious.
D: Win, I need this. October is mine. Call up the rest of Arcade Desire and tell them that you guys are going to put the album out in November instead. As a sign of my gratitude I will retweet you five times over the next two months. My social media influence is very strong.
WB: Okay, Drake. Okay.
2:30 a.m., in a bathtub filled with wine spritzer
Drake’s eyes are vacant. He stares through the ceiling and murmurs words to himself. “November’s Very Own. December Drake. Just January, So Far February, My March...” He trails off and starts to doze. His head slowly drops and when the side of his face hits the water he jerks back up. He has more work to do. He grabs his phone from the waterproof plastic cell phone holder mounted on the side of the tub.
[The phone rings three times.]
Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam: Hello?
Drake: Not now, Eddie.
D: Not. Now. Eddie. I’m in a bad place.
EV: Who is this?
D: It’s me, Drake.
EV: What’s going on? Is everything okay?
D: You know that video “Jeremy” that you guys did?
EV: Yeah, I wrote that song.
D: Well I don’t know the song, but I remember that video. I’m Jeremy right now.
EV: Are you saying that you’re gonna…?
D: Jesus, no Eddie. God. Don’t blow this out of proportion. I’m just in a bad place, okay? I’m in a bathtub full of wine spritzer.
EV: You’re in a bathtub full of what?
D: Listen very carefully, Eddie. Think about October as the moon, and think of me as the astronaut on the moon planting my flag. Like, I claimed it. October is mine. Now look, I’ve already said a lot of things tonight that I didn’t mean. I’ve burned bridges and lengthened my list of people I need to apologize to, but I did it for a reason. I did it so I could have what I deserve. I did it so…
EV: Ayo Drake, I hate to say it, but you got Catfished!
EV: Drake, it’s me, Birdman! Been Catfishing you this whole time. I put that Eddie Vedder number in your phone weeks ago. I knew you’d call eventually. You love that “Jeremy” video. [Laughs]
D: Are you for serious?
B: Sorry Drake, you know you’re my man. You’re family. I’ve just been watching a lot of this Catfish show and this show is hot right now. This show is next. We gotta embrace it. I’m thinkin’ of doing an episode with Fred Durst. He’s gonna host, him and Nev. Nev is Young Money now. I don’t like his name though—Nev. I’m gonna change it. Probably to Anthony or Antwan. I don’t know, something with an “A.” Let me connect you two, I think you’d get along.
D: Birdman, I’ve been calling people all night. I’m in the spritzer tub again…
B: Ah, Drake, what did I tell you about that spritzer tub? It’s weird man, stop doing that shit. You’re good. Do you need more money? What do you need? I’ll make sure you’re good. You’re family. Don’t worry about those other phone calls, I’ll handle the damage control. You’re a soldier man. You do what you do, I’ll take care of the rest.
D: How am I ever supposed to learn how to truly trust when my own “family” is Catfishing me? Birdman, I just…I need to explain what I said to people tonight, because this is going to cause problems. I just...
B: Drake, listen to me. Get out of the bathtub, drain the tub, run the shower for a few minutes so the tub doesn’t get sticky. Rinse yourself off. If you’ve still got a wine spritzer half-full next to the sink, I want you to dump it in the sink. Run the sink so it doesn’t get sticky. Wine spritzer has a very high sugar content. Now put on your robe, go to the kitchen, and pour yourself glass of water with three ice cubes. I want you to drink half of the glass, then put it on your nightstand and go to bed. About those other calls—don’t worry about it. After all we’ve been through with you and the drunk texts and the late night calls, do you think we’d really trust you with the phone numbers of famous people? It’s bad business, Drake. You represent the brand. Now follow my directions, get your ass to bed, and let’s wake up tomorrow and make money.