Drake Speaks In Detail About How Kanye West Betrayed Him (Video)
The summer of 2018 recently came to a close. Although there were a few, the biggest back-and-forth Rap beef of the season was also its first. It took place when Pusha-T dissed Drake on his Kanye West-produced “Infrared.” Mere hours later, Drake responded with “Duppy Freestyle.” The a la carte track mentioned Pusha’s then-fiancée (now wife) Virginia Williams by name. Pusha responded with “The Story Of Adidon,” a scathing attack on Drake that outed him as a father (accused him of being a deadbeat dad), called out the OVO founder’s parents by name, and mocked musical partner Noah “40” Shebib for living with multiple sclerosis—warning that the hit-maker producer may be dying soon.
Reportedly at the behest of early mentor and Rap-A-Lot Records founder J. Prince (who was publishing his memoir at the time), Drake did not respond to Pusha-T. While there have been passing references to Kanye, the beef between Pusha-T and Drake has seemingly gone cold. However, tensions still linger, perhaps at a boil. Kanye West attempted to extend an olive branch with Drake in early September. However, days later, West publicly stated that he felt Drake was making suggestive references to his wife, Kim Kardashian. “The fact that there are people thinking that you f*cked my wife, and you’re not saying nothing, and you’re carrying it like that, that doesn’t sit well with my spirit,” the rapper said in an Instagram video.
In this murky storm that may have some Rap fans still in search of a climactic second-reply from Drake, the Canadian MC/singer has remained quiet. Drake has been on tour with Migos, dropping video singles with French Montana, making peace with Meek Mill, and making chart history with his summer 2018 LP, Scorpion.
Drake opened up about Kanye West’s betrayal and Pusha-T’s involvement while appearing on episode 2 of Lebron James’ The Shop. In a clip, the chart-topper spoke about being a father, as well as the child of separated parents. At the 6:00 mark, Drake is asked if the recent situation surrounding him, Kanye, and Pusha were “a big challenge.”
“‘Challenge’ is a good word for it, I guess,” replies Drake. He then offers some new backstory long before May’s diss tracks. “I ended up linking with [Kanye West]. He sold me on this whole speech of like ‘I’m in a great place. I’m making money, and I’m a father. I want to be Quincy Jones and help you, but in order to do that, you’ve got to be transparent with me—and you’ve got to play me your music, you’ve got to tell me when you’re dropping [an album], and I know you don’t like to do things like that.’ So I was in the studio; [my team and I] all kind of felt a genuine vibe from it. So I played him my music, and I told him when I was dropping.” Drake says he had 16 songs completed at this point.
“From there, it was all good. He played me this [track] ‘Lift Yourself.’ He was like, ‘Yo, you can have this if you want.’ I was hype; I started writing to it. Then he was like, ‘Yo, you gotta come to Wyoming.’ So Wyoming happened. Then, 40 went to Wyoming early. He [told me], ‘Man, I’m here a day early. Something’s off. This guy’s working on an album.’ I was like, ‘For real? He just told me he wanted to give me beats; he said he wasn’t dropping ’til like October-November or something like that.’ I’m like, ‘It’s all good. Let’s just go and see what it’s about.’ So I went and pretty much spent a majority of my time working on his music, like just trying to hook up ideas for him,” Drake says as he, Lebron, and the co-hosts laugh, “just trying to lend a helping hand.” Drake says that when he and 40 left Wyoming, they thought “Lift Yourself” was their song, presumably ready for Scorpion. “I’ll make the most of this. Hopefully, he sends some other [tracks] through.”
However, something else happened out west. Drake says he played Kanye West “March 14,” the song that addressed Drake’s newfound role as a father. “I [also] send him a picture of my son. I tell him I’m having trouble with my son’s mother. We had a conversation; I shared my [life].”
In April, Kanye West announced the five consecutive albums he was producing. Less than a week before, Drake announced Scorpion. The consecutive Fridays included June 15, Drake’s intended release date for Scorpion. Several days later, Kanye texted Drake a friendly message. That same day, West’s version of “Lift Yourself” drops. “[It was] just him, talking nonsense. I’m like, ‘Oh, this guy’s trolling me.’ This was like a manipulative ‘I want to break you’ thing,” states Drake, who was sitting on a polished version of the same song, presumably ruined without warning by West. “I said, ‘Alright. I’m gonna go back to distancing myself again. I know what this is.’ Then, [Pusha-T’s DAYTONA] drops. And, of course, there’s a diss song (“Infrared”) towards me that you produced—that’s talking about [ghostwriting]. Bruh, I was just there with you, as friends, helping you. And now you’re dissing me.” Drake subsequently moved his album release to June 29.
Drake goes on to explain his decision behind not responding to “The Story Of Adidon.” “We thrive off of competitive nature. Rap purists and people who just love confrontation love to say, ‘Man, there’s no rules in this sh*t.’ But there are f*cking rules in this sh*t! I’m gonna tell you something: I knew something was gonna come up about my kid. They had to add the ‘deadbeat’ thing to make it more appealing, which is fine—I understand that. Even that, I was like okay. [Pusha-T mentioning my parents on ‘The Story Of Adidon’], whatever—you don’t even know my family. But I’ma tell you: wishing death on my friend that has M.S…I study Rap battles for a living. Now when you mention defenseless people who are sick in the hospital that passed away, that really sent me to a place that I just believed then—and believe now that there’s just a price that you have to pay for that. It’s over. Someone’s gonna f*ckin’ punch you in the f*ckin’ face. The sh*t’s done; the event’s over. I wanted to do other things; I didn’t want to further your reputation or your career by rapping back at you and having this exchange. That was it for me.”
Drake says he “wrote terrible things” in the diss reply he recorded in response to “The Story Of Adidon.” “I got home, and I listened back to it, and I said, ‘Man, this is not something that I ever want to be remembered for. This is not a place that I necessarily even want to go.’ To all the people who enjoy that, I tip my hat to you.” He calls “The Story Of Adidon” “a hell of a chess move,” before dismissing the song as “trash.” “It was genius. Back against the wall, I either go all the way filthy, or I fall back—and I have this sort of chink in my armor for the rest of time [in the eyes] of a Rap purist. I’d much rather that than the things I was going to say and the places I was gonna go, not only to him but the other guy too,” Drake details, referring to West and Pusha—who he never addresses by name during the interview. “Now, I feel pure; I’m good.”
The Shop airs on HBO Friday nights. Drake was the guest on episode 2.