It seems no matter what is going on in hip hop, Drake and Kanye West keep choosing violence when it comes to their competitive rivalry.
The rivalry has been sparked to new heights after the two artists seem to be heading towards an epic album drop showdown 12 years in the making.
This article will take fans back to the beginning stages of the feud between the hip hop juggernauts. What made these two once musical friends become foes.
Back before Drake had a beard or even dropped his first album, he always gave high praise to Kanye when speaking to media. He told MTV News back in 2009 that West “shaped a lot of what I do, as far as music goes,” and called him the “most influential person” to his sound.
Kanye has played a pivotal part in Drizzy’s early hits. West produced “So Far Gone,” that originally appeared on the 808s & Heartbreak track “Say What’s Real.”
West got behind the camera and directed Drake’s “Best I Ever Had” music video.
Drake releases “Find Your Love,” which was co-written and co-produced by West.
We can see why Kanye starts to give Drake the side eye after he was seen with West’s ex Amber Rose, after the two had split two months earlier.
Drake’s recorded verse for “All of the Lights,” was reported removed when the song was officially released. Fingers point at Ye for being behind the decision.
We finally get to the first public diss between these two. During an interview with English DJ Tim Westwood, Drake takes a shot at Kanye West and Jay-Z for working on the joint album Watch The Throne, after Drake said he was working on one with Lil Wayne. “I heard some other guys are coming out with an album, too,” he said. “There’s two other rappers that are coming out with an album together. I don’t know where they got that idea.”
In an issue of The Source magazine, Drake confirms that he looks at Kanye as a “great competitor,” and wants to surpass him. “My goal is to surpass everything he’s accomplished. I don’t want to be as good as Kanye, I want to be better.”
Drake takes another jab at Ye and Hov on DJ Khalid’s “I’m On One,” when he said in his verse, “I’m just feeling like the throne is for the taking/Watch me take it.”
Drake brings out Kanye out to perform at his OVO Fest in 2013. While on stage Kanye admits that him and Jay would have never made Watch The Throne if it wasn’t for Drake “putting pressure on us like that.”
Afterwards, Drake recaps the event with MTV News and said that moment, “was probably the most important moment in my career to date.”
Drake takes another shot at Ye but then tries to sugar coat it. In an interview with The Rolling Stone, Drake dissed Kanye’s bars on his Yeezus album. “There were some real questionable bars on there,” he said. “Like that ‘Swaghili’ line? Come on, man. Even Fabolous wouldn’t say some s— like that.” The reference was to West’s “I’m In It,” in which he raps, “I be speakin’ Swaghili.” Again, Drake follows up the diss with admiration by saying “Kanye’s the reason I’m here. I love everything about that guy.”
Ye caught wind of the interview and addressed it during his concert in New Jersey. “They always be trying to pit n— against each other and it ain’t going down no more,” he said. “So, tonight, it ain’t none of that. We love Drake.”
Drake and Kanye are back together on Big Sean’s “Blessings,” collab.
During a radio interview, West spills the tea that him and Drake are planning on doing a collab album. He follows the comment with “he’s probably going to be mad that I mentioned it on your show.”
Kanye in another interview sheds light on how competitive his relationship with Drake is and calls him an “amazing sparring partner.”
“Someone who’s like, ‘Come on, man, get back up!’” he said. “I was sitting there getting fat. Sitting back, just knocked everybody out. And then this guy hits the gym, he’s just running around like, pow, 14 hits… I’m like, ‘Whoa. Let me go to the studio, then. Let’s see what’s happening. Let me get these lyrics up.’ So, that’s where we at right now, that’s where you getting these records from.”
West comes back to perform at Drake’s OVO Fest.
West mention Drake in his diss song towards Nike. In the song “Facts,” he raps, “If Nike ain’t have Drizzy, they wouldn’t have nothing.”
Drake had a little petty line in his hit song “Summer Sixteen,” when he rapped “Ye’s pool is nice, mine’s just bigger’s what I’m saying.”
Despite petty disses, the two still were creating music on West’s “30 Hours,” which included writing credit from Drake.
West comes back to perform at the OVO Fest and teases that he and Drake are working on a joint album...again. Drake showed mad love again to Ye and reminded his fans “the reason I am on this stage is because of this man on stage.”
During a stop on his Saint Pablo tour, West accuses DJ Khaled of “setting up” Drake collaboration “For Free” with radio stations. Like Drake has done in the past taking shots, Ye sugar coated it and ended his rant by saying “I love Drake, I love Khaled.”
Drake took his time to respond to the allegations behind “For Free.” He told DJ Semtex, “I’m not really sure what he’s referring to half the time. Because in the same breath, I went from being…like working on a project with him, to him sorta publicly s——ing on me and DJ Khaled for being on the radio too much. I’m not sure why we’re the target of your choice that you made that night. And yeah, I accept what you’re going through, and I just go and continue working on my own thing.”
That all didn’t stop the two from dropping another fire collaboration this time for “Glow.”
Now this year is when the s**t hits the fan and changes the dynamic of Drake and Kanye’s somewhat friendship to arch enemies. It all started when G.O.O.D. Music artist and longtime rival to Drake, Pusha T, dropped “Infrared,” which accuses Drake of having a ghostwriter.
A war of words escalates on social media between Pusha and Drizzy. Then the world gasp as Pusha T ethered Drake with “The Story of Adidon,” which dropped the bombshell that Drake fathered a son with former porn star Sophie Brussaux.
Fans think Kanye jumped in to kick a dead horse when he rapped “Too rich to fight you/Calm down, you light-skinned,” on “No Mistakes.”
Reports circled that Drake blamed Kanye for slipping his business about his son to Pusha T. West went on defense during an radio interview and took the time to deny he told Pusha.
“I’m ‘Ye. I got major things to do other than be telling him some information about Drake,” West said. “I honestly don’t care that much, in all honesty.”
Seems like Drake didn’t believe West and started cranking out disses aimed at him. First on French Montana’s “No Stylist” with lyrics, “I told her don’t wear no 350s around me,” in reference to West’s Yeezy 350 sneakers.
Trying to go the extra mile to repair their friendship, West went on Twitter to apologize in a series of tweets to Drake.
Maybe Ye was upset his apology wasn’t accepted but weeks later Ye went off on Drake in another social media rant. This time on Instagram as he denied claims that Drake smashed his wife at the time Kim Kardashian.
Drizzy appeared on LeBron James’ and Maverick Carter’s HBO series The Shop, and shared his side to the story on how his relationship with Ye went south. He highlighted in detail many incidences that lead up to the public fallout. One was when West “betrayed” Drake by dropping Ye weeks before his Scorpion album.
“He sold me on this whole speech of like, ‘I’m in a great place, I’m making money, and I’m a father, and I wanna be Quincy Jones and help you. But in order to do that, you’ve gotta be transparent with me, you gotta play me your music, and you gotta tell me when you’re dropping. And I know you don’t like to do things like that,’” Drake recalled on The Shop. “I guess we all kind of felt a genuine vibe from it, so I played him my music and I told him when I was dropping.”
Another issue that create a hilarious response on social media was when Drake promised Ye the “Lift Your Self,” beat before releasing it himself as a troll. That’s when things went down hill.
“I wake up now to this text from him, being passive, and sent me something like “I love you brother.” “Lift Yourself,” comes out and him talkin nonsense.”
The nonsense Drake was referring to was the track when Kanye crazy lyrics included “Poopy-di scoop, Scoop-diddy-whoop, Whoop-di-scoop-di-poop.”
To add, Drake said West invited him to his studio in Wyoming where the two had a heart-to-heart conversation about their personal lives. That’s when Drake revealed he had a son and he was having issues with his mother. That’s when Drake said he realized, “Oh this guy’s trolling me. This was like a manipulative, like, ‘I wanna break you’ thing.” In response, Drake pulled away. “I said, ‘Alright, I’m gonna go back to distancing myself again. I know what this is.’”
West seemed to be frustrated with public and behind the scenes chatter between Drake’s team and him. So much so he went on another classic rant on social media sharing screenshot of a text from a person name Free asking Ye to clear Drake’s request for “Say What’s Real.” Ye showed his reply back saying “This proves s— faker than wrestling,” before expressing that he was still waiting for Drake to apologize “for mentioning the 350s and trying to take food out your idols kids mouths” on “No Stylist.”
He continued: “I would never intentionally try to hurt you bro I never even heard none of the diss records That ain’t my MO never did a diss record.”
Kanye later accused Drake of buying the first two rows at Pusha T’s concert in Toronto (Drakes hometown) and encouraging fans that attended to throw liquid at Pusha while on stage.
“Stop this already bro You getting people hurt out here And over what,” West wrote.
Not getting the reaction he wanted from Drake, Kanye ends the rant by tweeting, “By the way… not cleared,” adding crying-laughing face emojis.
Later that month, things were calm and then Kanye West made bold accusations that Drake “threaten” him
Not stopping there, Ye pretty much said if there was no him there would be no Drake.
West then try to smooth the disses with love by saying, “I’m Ye bro Remember that I love you I would never intentionally hurt you That’s what I’ve been saying to you.”
“I will never put negative energy into a song,” West continued. “Only positive energy.”
Things seem to be peachy between the two. Even Karen Civil corrected a fan that was trying to be petty and suggest that Drake drop his Certified Lover Boy album the same day as Kanye West’s Donda. Civil told the fan Drizzy would because the two are “friends.
However, longtime friend of Kanye, Consequence, tweeted that they (referring to Ye’s team) were looking for “Drake’s drop date,” to try to line the two up for the ultimate album drop face-off.
Drake hearing the rumbles sent out a “warning” to any artist that had the guts to stand in his way of CLB drop.
During his second listening party for Donda, Ye returned the warning to Drake by adding sub lyrics. On the song, “Junya” with Playboi Carti, West added, “Move out of the way of my release/ Tryna get me off my Qs and Ps/ Why can’t losers never lose in peace? Ain’t nobody ‘round me losing sleep/ Better find God ‘fore he find me.”
Members from both Ye and Drizzy’s crew exchange words on Instagram challenging each other to “come outside.”
Drake sends more shots at West on Trippie Redd’s “Betrayal.” He rapped, “All these fools I’m beefin’ that I barely know/ Forty-five, forty-four (Burned out), let it go/ Ye ain’t changin’ shit for me, it’s set in stone.”
Consequence didn’t waste time and later that day respond to the lyrics by tweeting “it’s party time.”
Shortly after Con’s tweet, Ye posted a screenshot of a group chat where he added Pusha T to, then follows with a Joker photo and text saying “I live for this. I’ve been fucked with by nerd ass jock n****s like you my whole life. You will never recover. I promise you.” Many take it as a response to Drake’s “Betrayal” verse.
Kanye woke up, chose violence and posts a picture of a map showing Drake’s address...then later deletes it (like people don’t know how to screenshot in 2021).
Drake seemed unbothered by the antic and soon posted a video of him cruising in his car laughing.
Rick Ross spoke on the current back-and-forth between his friends Drake and Kanye during a Sirius XM interview. Ross says the beef is “not personal” but competitive despite how it is being played out on the internet.
So that is the current time line of events that lead us to this point. Will we see these two titans go head-to-head on the Billboard charts? It’s looking like it. Who will win? Who knows but I will say the fans ultimately win as we witness history being made and new music!
©2021 Cox Media Group