DEARS! We'll be the first to admit it—there has been an absolute dearth of Drake coverage in One Day at a Time. And so, while we're on vacation this week, we're turning over this column to our resident Drake experts, the Mercury's Drake Advisory Board, who have agreed to write this very special edition of "One Drake at a Time." Will you enjoy it? Who knows? As Drake himself so wisely said, "I was born to make mistakes, not to fake perfection." Enjoy, and we'll see you next week!—Ann Romano
MONDAY, DECEMBER 7
We interrupt this Drake news (already? UGH. *Drake pout*) to tell you that lo! Today, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West announced the birth of their second child, in an emoji family portrait Kim shared on social media. That's the good news! The bad news is that his name is literally an offhand Twitter joke someone made that then somehow came true, like a prophetic nightmare—it's Saint West. Saint West! Which raises two obvious questions: (1) Yeezy, WHY? (u know Kim K didn't choose that name), and (2) Is this going to be weird for Saint's big sis, North West? Like, "Sorry, honey, we named you after a direction [NOT EVEN A CARDINAL DIRECTION—Eds.] before we realized that vaguely royal and religious names were the way to go, but by then it was too late"? Do the kids in Beverly Hills with normal names get kicked out of the good preschools or something? Is Gwyneth Paltrow to blame? We have a feeling that when Drake finally settles down with tennis champion <3 Serena Williams <3 they will make no such missteps in naming their progeny (because we'd really like to believe in love, and if they ever break up, that might be even worse than when Amy Poehler and Will Arnett couldn't make it work).
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 8
Back to Drake! Today, Rolling Stone published its annual year-end list, "The Year in Drake," covering 365 days of Jimmy Brooks. (Drake's character from Degrassi: The Next Generation. Duh.) Highlights include Drake's romance with tennis champion <3 Serena Williams <3, the viral success of his intentionally (?) bad dancing in his video for "Hotline Bling," that exceptionally awkward Madonna kiss at Coachella, the release of If You're Reading This It's Too Late, and Drake's beef with fellow rapper Meek Mill. Oh! If you haven't been following Drake's beef with Meek Mill, congratulations! You have healthier priorities than we do. Here's the TL;DR version: In a tweet sent back in July, Meek Mill accused Drake of not writing his own raps, saying, "Stop comparing drake to me too.... He don't write his own raps! That's why he ain't tweet my album because we found out," followed by the awkward grin emoji. Drizzy DID NOT like that, and initially gave Mill the silent treatment. Meanwhile, everyone from Azealia Banks to Toronto City Councillor Norm Kelly weighed in on the spat, which is further complicated by the fact that Meek Mill also happens to be the boyfriend of Drake's labelmate and all-around top bro Nicki Minaj. (You can tell they're besties because the way Drake smiles when he and Nicki get fake-married in her "Moment 4 Life" video has never been replicated.) Diss tracks were exchanged (and Drake's was nominated for a Grammy... WHAT?). Rolling Stone's Wallace Morgan writes of the feud: "Drake kept the heat on, opening his annual OVO Sound Fest in Toronto with the two tracks while a PowerPoint presentation of Mill memes flashed in the background. (He also sported a "Free Meek Mill" shirt during soundcheck.)" We'll get back to the Meek Mill beef (we can't avoid it forever), but in his retrospective, Morgan also identifies one of Drake's key contradictions—the great chasm that lies between Drake's trumped-up public persona and his reticence in interviews, here exhibited by Drake's claims to Fader that If You're Reading This is "a bit broken." It's a humblebrag that undercuts lyrics like, "Please do not speak to me like I'm that Drake from four years ago/I'm at a higher place." Which, come on, we would never, Drake. Like any true artist, we know that Drake is born anew, every day.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 9
Drake didn't do anything today, although it's possible he ruminated on that time he drove you to your bar exam in the snow, or how beautiful your kids would be, or World Series attitude, champagne bottle life.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 10
Today, the indomitable Erykah Badu discussed Drake's influence on her new mixtape, But You Caint Use My Phone, telling Pitchfork, "It was Drake's song that helped me reboot the music hard drive inside of me." Badu also responded to a question about ItsRoutine, a Drake sound-alike she found to impersonate Aubrey (Drake's real name. Duh.) on her mixtape. "I talk to Drake once a week," she said. "He's my friend, and I told him about ItsRoutine, and he laughed and made a joke that he didn't want these guys taking up his tea time." (That's right—Drake and Erykah Badu are tea-drinking friends, as stated on "Days in the East.") SIDEBAR... Indeed, much could be said about the function of the double in the world of Drake. Not only does he now have his own doppelgänger in Badu's oeuvre, but his video for "Hotline Bling" features Tanisha Scott, a dancer and choreographer who looks almost exactly like tennis champion <3 Serena Williams <3, and then there are the Drake Twins, the subjects of an Instagram account that features only Photoshopped images of Drake hanging out with Drake—which is the only possible improvement on Drake himself.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 11
Today, a handful of Drake fans hit a surreal new low when they tried to have longtime Drake rival Meek Mill arrested. (See Tuesday, December 8, if you somehow need a refresher on their rivalry.) Mill, who is on probation following gun charges in 2008, appeared in court in Philadelphia for a hearing today after allegedly violating his probation, according to reports from the Associated Press. At the hearing, prosecutor Noel DeSantis revealed that Drake fans had been contacting her and demanding that Mill be arrested when news of the alleged violations broke. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Mill's girlfriend and Drake's BFF, Nicki Minaj, testified at Friday's hearing, saying that she wanted to prevent Meek from becoming "just another statistic." Mill's lawyer, Frank DeSimone said that his client's probation violations were due to "immaturity," saying, "This is almost a child. He's 28." While we disagree with the suggestion that someone who is NEARLY 30 is "almost a child," it's clear that the real children here are the Drake fans who called for an actual person to go to actual jail because of a Twitter-based beef about rap authorship. Come on, fans of Drake, we're better than this! Let's channel our deeply misplaced rage into lining up the lyrics to "Hotline Bling" with Adele's "Hello," and pretending that the horrible exes who narrate each of those songs are talking to each other. "You used to call me on my cell phone." "I must've called a thousand times." I mean come on, this is too easy.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 12
Drake didn't do anything today, although it's possible he mused upon the 129 women who appear in his songs, helpfully catalogued at hip-hop blog DJ Booth in a living online document called "Every Girl Drake's Mentioned in a Song Ever." The comprehensive list is divided into subcategories ("Strippers," "Girlfriends," "Famous Women") and includes usual suspects like Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, tennis champion <3 Serena Williams <3, and tea-drinking confidante Erykah Badu, but also "Courtney from Hooters on Peachtree," "a girl who declines his offer to party and get high," "some girl he met at a mall," "his babysitter," "his mother, who we aren't counting, but [is] worth noting because he runs the full spectrum of women in his life in one song," "the girl who works at the Walgreens corporate headquarters," and the girl he drove in the snow to her bar exam, among 119 others.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 13
Tonight, Justin Bieber covered Drake's "Hotline Bling" at Marine Room Tavern in Laguna Beach, California. Thanks to slick production from Skrillex and Diplo, a video featuring an amazing all-female dance crew and not a Bieber in sight, and new bummed-out song material that Nate Sloan and Charlie Harding of the music podcast Switched on Pop categorize as "existential," Bieber has more in common with Drizzy now than he ever has (although they both were child stars, so there's that). From the creative genius of Erykah Badu to the baby-bird existential angst of Justin Bieber, the range of artists who've claimed Drake as an influence this week alone is a testament to the creative foment that surrounds Aubrey Drake Graham. He truly does contain multitudes. Or as he might put it himself, If I die all I know is I'm a mothafuckin' legend.