Celebrity relationships and friendships are a rare breed. These famous faces have their lives played out in front of the masses, whether it’s the good, the bad, or the straight-up shady. In Elite Daily’s new series, It’s Complicated, we’re highlighting the biggest celebrity “feuds” that took over Hollywood and dominated our Sunday brunches for weeks on end. We’ll take a deep dive into the lives and social media feeds of our favorite stars and dissect what happened in front of the camera, what went down behind the scenes, and everything you might have missed in between.
There's been no love lost between Drake and Kanye West over the last few months. The two have been beefing on and off on social media and via their lyrics for the better part of a decade, over everything from alleged diss tracks and the size of their swimming pools (nope, that's not a metaphor) to rumors that the Canadian rapper previously hooked up with West's wife, Kim Kardashian. But things got seriously intense when West came for Drake on Twitter in December 2018, insisting in a series of 125 tweets (!!!) that the "God's Plan" singer dissed him in the song "No Stylist" and later called and threatened his family. It's now almost a month later, and the feud seems to be far from over. Wondering how we got here in the first place? Yeah, me too. So let's take a look back at the 13 times Kanye West and Drake shaded each other on social media and in their songs to see if we can figure this whole sordid mess out once and for all!
1. January 2011: Album Accusations
While lately, it may seem like West is the more aggressive of the two when it comes to throwing shade, the first public diss seems to have actually come from Drake back in 2011.
See, the rapper was being interviewed by English DJ Tim Westwood about the joint album he was working on with Lil Wayne, when he decided to throw out a pretty passive-aggressive remark about West and JAY-Z, who were also collabing on an album called Watch the Throne at the time.
"I heard some other guys are coming out with an album, too," Drake told Westwood. "There’s two other rappers that are coming out with an album together. I don’t know where they got that idea."
2. October 2011: Gauntlet Thrown
"When I was a kid trying to figure out what I liked, it was 'Ye who I related to the most," he explained. "Now, I would say, he is [a] really great competitor and friend, at the same time. My goal is to surpass everything he’s accomplished. I don’t want to be as good as Kanye, I want to be better."
3. Dec. 20, 2011: First Sneak Diss
Ah, the beginning of the diss track war! It all started when DJ Khaled dropped "I'm On One," and Drake's verse appeared to take another shot at West and JAY-Z’s album with the following lyric:
I’m just feeling like the throne is for the taking/Watch me take it.
Remember, their album was called Watch the Throne? So yeah, that happened.
4. Feb. 13, 2014: Truth Bomb
It would be a little over two years before Drake went into shade mode again, this time when he rolled up to an interview with Rolling Stone and called West his "friend," but also revealed that he was "ambivalent" about his last album, Yeezus.
"There were some real questionable bars on there," he told the magazine. "Like that 'Swaghili' line? Come on, man. Even Fabolous wouldn’t say some sh*t like that."
You can listen to West's offending track, "I'm In It," below (the line Drake dissed doesn't come until the very end, though).
5. Jan. 30, 2016: Pool Diss
Because it wasn't enough just to drag West's lyrics, we were treated to a second diss track when Drake released "Summer Sixteen," and bragged in his own lyrics about having a bigger, uh, swimming pool:
Ye’s pool is nice, mine’s just bigger’s what I’m saying.
6. February 4, 2016: Case Closed
So how did West respond to the bizarre swimming pool diss?
"I have three pools," he told radio host Big Boy. "That's it. That's my answer."
7. Nov. 20, 2016: Radio Rant
West took issue with Drake that fall, though, and during a stop on his Saint Pablo tour, he went off on a rant about how DJ Khaled was gaming radio stations in order to get them to play his Drake collab "For Free."
"Radio lied to you," he said onstage, according to Fader. "Real programming directors with wives and kids that love music, can’t play what they want to play because they’ve been paid to play that bullsh*t over and over and over. And when I say that bullsh*t, what I'm saying is we love Drake, Drake is great. He’s a great artist. But Frank Ocean is great, too. Is it just me or did you hear that song so many times. You say you wanna play 'For free?' Aye, aye. I love Drake. I love Khaled. But they set that song up, bro."
8. February 2017: "I Accept It"
When asked about West’s accusation by DJ Semtex for A Nation of Billions, Drake had this to say:
I’m not really sure what he’s referring to half the time, cause in the same breath, I went from being, like, working on a project with him, to him sorta publicly sh*tting on me and DJ Khaled for being on the radio too much. I don’t really even understand the point you’re trying to make but whatever it is that you’re going through, I accept it, I don’t respect it at all. You know cause I feel like me and Khaled are just good people, I’m not sure why we’re the target of your choice that you made that night.
9. May 2018: Pusha T Drama
The diss track war continues, when Pusha T's Kanye West-produced "Infrared" is released with a pretty obvious reference in it to Drake's reported ghostwriter Quentin Miller.
Here's the lyric in question:
It was written like Nas but it came from Quentin.
Drake responded by releasing "Duppy Freestyle," on which he basically called West a hypocrite by referencing his own collab with the "I Love IT" singer on the 2016 track “Pop Style.”
So if you rebuke me for working with someone else on a couple of Vs / What do you really think of the n*gga that's making your beats? / I've done things for him I thought that he never would need / Father had to stretch his hands out and get it from me / I pop style for 30 hours, then let him repeat.
10. Sept. 5, 2018: West's Apology
West took to Twitter to apologize to Drake in a series of tweets, admitting that he should have spoken to Pusha about dissing Drake on "Infrared."
"Since we were building as friends and brothers I should have spoken to Pusha about the Quentin Miller bar," West wrote. "There should have been no songs with my involvement that had any negative energy towards you."
He also denied telling Pusha about Drake’s son, a secret Pusha shared with the world when he dropped the diss track "The Story of Adidon," which alleged that Drake had a secret child. (Drake had apparently been planning to announce the news publicly on his own album Scorpion, but Pusha dropped his diss track first).
"I did not have any conversations about your child with Pusha," West claimed in a tweet. "I don’t play with the idea of people’s children."
11. Sept. 20, 2018: Those 350s
A few weeks later, French Montana — who, you may recall, once dated West's sister-in-law Khloé Kardashian — released a new track titled "No Stylist," which featured Drake and dissed West's Yeezy Boost sneakers with the line: "I told her don’t wear no 350s 'round me."
Shortly after the song dropped, West hit up Instagram to go off on Drake in a since-deleted video, and while doing so, he also responded to all those rumors that his wife had hooked up with the Canadian rapper in the past, and was actually the KiKi he was singing about in his hit song "In My Feelings."
"People making rumors or thinking you f*cking my wife and you’re not saying nothing," West reportedly said at the time. "That don’t sit well with my spirit. You know, if I had a girlfriend from Chicago, her name was Renita, and you was married to Rihanna, I wouldn’t make no song called Riri."
12. December 2018: Tweet Storm
OK. So this was the day West went in on Twitter. In case you missed all the drama, he started his spree by uploading a screenshot showing that he received a request for clearance from Drake for his track called "Say What’s Real," which samples one of West's beats.
He also insisted that Drake still owed him an apology for dissing him (and his Yeezys) in "No Stylist":
And he was majorly fired up about the fact that Drake was texting Kris Jenner, and that he seemingly dissed him on Travis Scott's track "Sicko Mode," which the Canadian rapper appeared on.
Then he sent a series of tweets claiming Drake called and threatened his family.
I know. It's a lot. And just when we thought we were finally in the clear...
13. Dec. 29, 2018: More Kiki Drama
West came at Drake one last time on Dec. 29, after finding out that Drake had followed Kim Kardashian on Instagram back in September.
"I never knew til this morning that Drake followed my wife on Instagram back in September," he wrote in a since-deleted tweet. "I had to bring this up because it's the most f*cked up thing of all. Imagine having a problem with somebody and they follow your wife on Instagram."
West later deleted his rant, and then followed it up with a generic tweet about positive vibes.
So far, there's been zero response from Drake, so I have no clue where these two former-friends-turned-rivals actually stand right now. Will 2019 bring us another diss track?
Your move, Drizzy. Your. Move.