Here's What We Know About Where Kanye West & Drake's Complicated Relationship Stands
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.
Rappers Kanye West and Drake have had somewhat of a sordid past that's turned into a nearly decade-long feud. Through the years, we've witnessed the two go from collaborating together to shading each other, and, most recently, we've seen their road become even rockier after West's many Twitter rants directed at the Scorpion rapper. After receiving a request for clearance from Drake for a track called “Say What’s Real,” West took to Twitter earlier this December to send out rapid-fire tweets demanding an apology from Drake. Elite Daily reached out to West and Drake’s teams previously for comment, but did not hear back by the time of publication. So, where do these two stand currently? Are the two rappers still at each other's throats, or are Kanye West and Drake friends? Let's take a look at their feud to see whether or not there is any current beef between them.
To bring you up to speed, we have to go back to the root of the issue. Let's rewind time a bit, shall we?
While there's no pinpointing the moment when their beef initially started, Drake openly discussed that he wanted to "surpass" Kanye back in 2011, which probably didn't leave a good taste in Yeezy's mouth. In his cover story with The Source, Drake talked openly about being compared to Kanye:
It’s an honor. When I was a kid trying to figure out what I liked, it was ‘Ye who I related to the most. He was an artist, in every sense, from his cover art to his music. Now, I would say, he is really great [pause] 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.
Once more, the "God's Plan" rapper decided to stir the pot in 2014, which started when Drake interviewed with Rolling Stone in February and dissed Kanye's song, "I'm In It." He said, "There were some real questionable bars on there," adding, "Like that 'Swaghili' line? Come on, man. Even Fabolous wouldn't say some sh*t like that."
But, during a concert in Newark later that month, Kanye acknowledged Drake's interview and chose to take the high road. "They always be trying to pit n***as against each other and it ain’t going down no more... So, tonight, it ain’t none of that. We love Drake, we love every motherf**ker that put their heart into this motherf**kin’ music."
Let's just pause to give Kanye a round of applause here, because up until this point, he'd been trying to squash any sort of drama between himself and Drake. (But spoiler alert: it didn't last much longer.)
All seemed to be well for the two rappers in 2015 — so well, in fact, that, in an interview on Power 105.1's The Breakfast Club in February, West hinted that he and Drake might be collaborating on an album together. "It might happen," he hinted. "But he's probably going to be mad that I mentioned it on your show."
While it still seems that everything was on the up-and-up, rumors of trouble in paradise begin to spark just one year later.
On April 29, Drake chatted with Zane Lowe on OVO Sound radio and revealed that he and West "were supposed to do a mixtape together," and noted that West "is one of my favorite people. Period." He continued, saying, "I love Ye. I grew up with him as a role model, he is part of the reason I am here right now."
But it seems that that respect dissipated rather quickly when, on Nov. 20, Kanye West had an onstage rant and cut his Saint Pablo tour short. He took shots at celebs like JAY-Z and Beyoncé, as well as Hillary Clinton. But what's important here is that he expressed anger at DJ Khaled and Drake's song "For Free," seemingly hinting that Khaled was in cahoots with the radio shows, using his status to ensure that his music would be played on the radio. West said in part:
Is it just me or did you hear that song so many times—you say you wanna play 'For Free.' Aye, aye. You know what it is, though? Because aye, I love Drake. I love Khaled. But they set that song up, bro. … Khaled, I know you got hitters from Miami. Please do not send them at my head.
OK, fam. Shots officially fired.
On Feb. 19, 2017, Drake finally addressed Kanye West's onstage rant in an interview with Notion of Billions. Regarding West's rant, Drake said,
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 shitting 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.
But by the spring of 2017, the pair seemingly reconciled and collaborated on the track "Glow" on Drake's album, More Life. Round and round and round these two go.
This is where Kanye West and Drake's relationship really started to crumble. On May 25, Pusha T released his album, DAYTONA, which Kanye West produced, and his track "Infrared" targeted Drake and the reported rumor that his music is ghostwritten.
Just hours after the album was released, Drake responded with a song of his own called "Duppy Freestyle," which took shots at Pusha T and West. Notable lyrics claimed that Drake's helped West write some of his tracks.
According to Esquire, Pusha T then "invited" Drake to invoice him for the work he did with West — which Drake then posted on Instagram, showing a fake invoice for $100,000 to West's label, G.O.O.D. Music/Def Jam for "promotional assistance and career-reviving."
The drama continued after Pusha T released a song called "The Story Of Adidon," a track that suggested Drake was hiding the fact that he had a secret child. The finger was then pointed at Kanye West for revealing that information to Pusha T... but Kanye West denied the rumors in an interview on Chicago radio station WGCI, claiming, "I’m ‘Ye. I got major things to do other than be telling him some information about Drake."
Then, in the early morning of Sept. 5, West went on a Twitter spree, apologizing to Drake, noting that he "should have spoken" to Pusha T about throwing shade at Drake on "Infrared." In his series of tweets, he noted that he was sending "good energy" and "love" to Drake, and that there shouldn't have been any songs with his involvement that had "any negative energy" towards Drake.
West also reiterated the fact of his claim that he was not the responsible party for revealing Drake's alleged child to Pusha T:
But just as quickly as West apologized, he seemingly took it back. On Dec. 13, West sent out yet another barrage of tweets, demanding an apology from Drake for dissing his Yeezy brand and for befriending the Kardashian-Jenner family behind West's back on "No Stylist," his track with French Montana.
West claimed he had received a clearance request from Drake for "Say What's Real," a track that sampled one of Kanye's beats. West said that move "proves sh*t is faker than wrestling."
West's next handful of tweets were aimed at Drake directly, and also noted that ultimately, Drake's clearance request for "Say What's Real" would not be approved.
Drake reportedly saw the collection of West's tweets, and took to his Instagram Story to share his reaction, which was just the laughing-so-hard-I'm-crying emoji:
Probably not the reaction West was hoping for.
But apparently, Drake must have felt compelled to smooth things over, and it seems that the two sorted things out. And how do we know that? Because Kanye West tweeted about it, of course.
Everything seemed fine for about 48 hours, until West hopped back on Twitter to claim that Drake "verbally attacked" rapper Kid Cudi, as well as sneaking past West to talk to his mother-in-law.
But that anger wore off about 10 minutes later, after he tweeted that Drake and Travis Scott love West "more than anyone" and that he "loves those guys back."
West wasn't seemingly feeling the love shortly after, though, and became angered after he found out that Drake still followed Kim Kardashian on Instagram, which was a trigger for West after speculation that Drake and Kardashian were having an affair (though those rumors — based on Drake's song about a girl nicknamed KiKi, "In My Feelings," — were largely perpetuated by trolls and Kardashian shut down the rumors on Instagram immediately). Drake did right by Kanye West and unfollowed Kim Kardashian on Instagram, perhaps proving his loyalty to West and his hopes for a clean slate.
If you're wondering where these two stand now, your guess is as good as any. Are they hugging it out and laughing at their dramatic past? Are they each writing their own respective diss track towards the other rapper? It seems as though we don't know anything for sure, so do yourself a favor and keep your social media constantly refreshed. We never know when the next twist in this rap-beef saga will come.