Kanye West And JAY-Z Have Ended Their Beef

Fans are currently anticipating the arrival of Kanye West’s tenth solo album, Donda. Def Jam Records announced today (July 23) is a release date amid several album preview listening parties. However, the general public has yet to receive the LP titled after Kanye’s late mother’s name as of noon on Friday—at least via a digital streaming platform. This continues a five-year trend from Kanye, who has regularly kept fans waiting for hours and days following purported album release dates.

However, through the preview parties, details have emerged surrounding the album—West’s first since 2019’s Jesus Is King. Yesterday (July 22), Pitchfork reported that Pusha-T, Travis Scott, Lil Baby, Lil Durk, Baby Keem, and the late Pop Smoke are among guests. After a broadcast at Atlanta, Georgia’s Mercedes Benz Stadium, the publication also confirmed that JAY-Z is a Donda guest, appearing towards the album’s close. Moreover, Young Guru, Jay’s longtime engineer, tweeted that the Hov verse was recorded less than eight hours before the stadium party.

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The collaboration comes after years of distance between the onetime mentor and superstar pupil, both products of the Roc-A-Fella Records movement (which Jay co-founded). A decade to the week (July 20, 2011) after Funkmaster Flex premiered “Otis” on HOT 97, the Watch The Throne duo appears back in form. “Hold up, Donda, I’m with your baby when I touch back road / I told him to stop all that red cap, we going home,” JAY-Z raps on the song. “This might be the return of the Throne. Hova and Yeezus, like Moses and Jesus.” The lyrics reference Kanye’s public support, endorsement, and meeting with former President Donald Trump. They also appear as JAY-Z speaking to West’s late mother.

Between the early 2000s and the mid-2010s, the pair collaborated extensively. West caught mainstream attention as a producer for JAY-Z, giving way to his vocal career. By 2011, the duo teamed up for Watch The Throne, a chart-topping album recorded in luxury hotel rooms on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

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However, in the middle of the last decade, there was a rift in the relationship. Ahead of his sudden 2016 hospitalization, Kanye West broke a contract to Live Nation, a partner in Jay’s Roc Nation. Meanwhile, during some of the dates from the tour West did appear at, he broke against Jay and wife Beyoncé Knowles-Carter. This happened in October of that year, following Kim Kardashian West being robbed at gunpoint in a Paris hotel. Speaking to Jay (who was not in attendance) from a Seattle, Washington stage, West said, “Don’t call me after the robbery and say ‘how you feelin?’ You wanna know how I’m feelin? Come by the house. Bring the kids by the house. Like we’re brothers. Let’s sit down.” He then added, “I can’t take this sh*t, bro. Our kids have never even played together.” Days later, in Sacramento, West continued his message. “Call me, bruh! You still ain’t calling me! JAY-Z, call me! Aye, bruh, I know you got killers, please don’t send them at my head! Just call me! Talk to me like a man!” Years later, West would tell Charlamagne Tha God that a rift blossomed after Jay and Bey’ did not attend Kanye and Kim Kardashian’s 2014 wedding in Florence, Italy.

The following year, JAY-Z addressed West on his 4:44  album and elaborated during a corresponding Rap Radar interview.

On “Kill JAY-Z,” the Brooklyn vet spit: “I know people back-stab you, I feel bad too / But this ‘f*ck everybody’ attitude ain’t natural / But you ain’t a Saint, this ain’t KumbaYe / But you got hurt because you did cool by ‘Ye / You gave him $20 million without thinkin’ / He gave you 20 minutes on stage, f*ck was he thinkin’? / ‘F*ck wrong with everybody?’ is what you sayin’ / But if everybody’s crazy, you’re the one that’s insane.” In the interview, Hov explained, “What really hurt me was, you can’t bring my wife and my kids into it,” JAY-Z said, just after the 50:00 mark. “Like, Kanye [West] is my little brother. He’s talked about me a hundred times, he even made a song called ‘Big Brother.’ We’ve gotten past bigger issues. But you brought my family into it, now it’s a problem.”

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Carter told Elliott Wilson and Brian “BDot” Miller, “You know it’s a problem because me and him would have been talked about it, been resolved our issues. And he knows crossed the line, he knows. And I know he knows. ‘Cause we’ve never let this much space go between one of our disagreements and we’ve had many. That’s just who we are.” Later, he said, “He’s an honest person, and he’s wrong a lot of times. But the point is… I was getting to a point where ‘You got hurt by that.’ You can’t diss somebody by saying you got hurt. That’s the softest diss of all-time. What are you talking about, you sucka-ass ni**a? You soft as sh*t! It’s not about a Kanye diss. I’m talking about me. When I say, ‘You dropped out of school, you lost your principles,’ I’m not talking about Kanye. I’m talking about me. The whole thing.” At the time, there were reports that Kanye West was suing JAY-Z’s Tidal after previously being an artist partner in the DSP during its US launch.

In 2018, West teased fans with the proclamation that Watch The Throne may get another album. While that has not happened, West and Jay were photographed together at Diddy’s 2019 50th birthday party.

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The New York Times reported that despite the couple’s divorce proceedings, Kanye’s estranged spouse Kim Kardashian West was in attendance at Mercedes Benz Stadium with other members of her family and the couple’s children.

#BonusBeat: Ambrosia For HeadsWhat’s The Headline podcast discussing the merits of Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy 10 years after its release: