Kanye West Details The Secret Warfare Drake Has Waged On Him

Since releasing Donda this August, Kanye West has not done a sit-down interview. That changes with this morning’s (November 5) episode of Drink Champs. Ye (as he is now formally known) sat down with N.O.R.E and DJ EFN for several hours. Throughout the chat, Kanye discusses various aspects of his music career. He describes why 2007’s “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” was a pivotal record for his longevity. West proclaims Nas his favorite rapper, while opining why he feels JAY-Z pulled ahead of Nasir Jones as a lyricist during the early 2000s. ‘Ye also says that an ex-girlfriend, Sumeke Rainey, supplied him with the similar classic Rock samples for Jay’s “Takeover” and breakthrough production credit, Beanie Sigel’s “The Truth.”

However, for many, one of the most interesting revelations from Kanye West had to do with his apparent nemesis, Drake. Ahead of the 17:00 mark (embedded below), West accuses Drake of doing things deliberately to mess with his headspace. “Drake don’t do a diss song where it’s an outright head-shot. He’s gonna set it up like war. When people went to go get [Adolf] Hitler, they didn’t go straight for [him]; they set up fake tanks, they set up [other things]. [Drake] is gonna do stuff like live five blocks down the street from you, DM every single girl in your family, every single girl around your family, all your ni**as’ girls.” Kanye previously accused Drake of lyrics in Travis Scott’s “SICKO MODE” as being deliberately antagonistic, given their directional relation to the Calabasas, California neighborhood where both men lived at the time.

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Kanye suggests that in professional Rap, Drake uses every factor he can to his benefit, not unlike a sports team using home-field advantage and other things. Certain bars Drake may spit are intended only to offend their target. “It’s all psychological. What button is someone gonna hit? Like, I was just at the game with J. Prince last night.” The Rap-A-Lot Records founder got into the beef that involved Drake, Kanye West, Pusha-T, and others. Prince, whose son Jas is credited with bringing Drake to Lil Wayne and Cash Money Records, had previously warned Kanye of career-ending consequences if the disses continued to play out. Prince also asked Drake to stand down during a 2018 back-and-forth with Pusha that remains ongoing. “He was talking about how many below-the-belts there were.” West then compares himself to Mike Tyson, claiming “I bit his ear.” With Drake being the Evander Holyfield character, West elaborates, “They ain’t see what Holyfield was doing. Tyson was tellin’ the refs, ‘Yo, you ain’t see this? You ain’t see this?’ Tyson was like, ‘I’ma take this into my own hands.’ [bites ear].” Mike Tyson had complained to referees about Evander Holyfield head-butting him during the 1997 WBA championship rematch that ended in disqualification. Kanye adds that he and J. Prince have mended fences on a mutual cause in getting Larry Hoover out of prison. Hoover and Prince have worked together for years before Kanye made it a thematic focal point of Donda. West brought Larry Hoover, Jr. with him to the Drink Champs studio.

At 48:00, West explains some of the things Drake did that may be akin to head-butting. “I love Drake, man. I was just telling you things that he was doing in the professional game of Rap that was throwing me off, and then, okay, I bit his ear.” West dismisses the consequences of his beef. West later says that Drake’s threatening “7am On Bridle Path” lyrics, (“You ni**as hot to them little kids, you ain’t famous to me / Told you I’m aimin’ straight for the head, not aiming to please / I can give a f*ck about who designing your sneakers and tees / Have somebody put you on a Gildan, you play with my seed”) were aimed at him. “There’s too many people that get paid off of either of us for something to happen to either of us. What [do we look like] being on a record, talking about, ‘Well, I’ma do this.’ No, you’re not. [Laughs] And life is so fun, and it’s lit. We get to be professional rappers for a period of time out of our life and pull in this energy and have people talking about it. But [there is] a certain responsibility, there’s a redemption—a redeeming quality. I be wanting to sit down with Drake and say this, just as an O.G. to him: ‘The redemption.’ I asked him for the beat to ‘TSU,’ ’cause that’s my favorite song on [Certified Lover Boy].” As N.O.R.E seeks clarification of the acronym, West laughs, withholding a joke about the success of Drake’s most recent album campaign. “The redemptive quality is that third verse. Because if you just leave it as is, it’s gonna stay as is.” West says that Sir Lucian Grainge, the Chairman of Universal Music Group, would be happy to see the song stay as is, presumably benefiting from two UMG-distributed artists, going back and forth. “I got a problem with it staying as is.”

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N.O.R.E brings up that a member of West’s family, Travis Scott, released “SICKO MODE.” “I put everybody on a group text,” West responds at 52:20. “It was JAY-Z, Kim Kardashian,…” N.O.R.E alleges that Jay had nothing to do with it. Kanye explains that according to JAY-Z, he appeared on a song with Drake, unaware of a beef that Drake had with West.”I’m talking to all these people: Kid Cudi, Pusha, Drake, JAY-Z, Kim, and Trav. One of the lines I said that was [legendary], I said, ‘I’m worth more than all y’all that’s on this text, combined.'” Moments later, Ye continues, “[As] soon as I start droppin’ bars, ‘Oh my God, he’s in an episode. Oh my God, he needs to go to the hospital.'” West suggests people dismiss his antics as mental health issues. “As a community, we have to police ourselves. We’re in a league of our own. It’s like the NBA—life itself, but also this celebrity, influential place of musicians, influencers, and stuff like that. They have [things like] flagrant fouls inside of the league.” N.O.R.E asks if Ye told Travis Scott that featuring Drake’s “SICKO MODE” diss was a flagrant foul. “Exactly! The thing is, [Drake] could’ve put the line on [the song] without everybody knowing. So that means I feel like everybody should go to Drake and go, ‘You ain’t sayin’ that to North, Saint, Chicago, and Psalms’ dad.’ ‘Cause he could be saying sh*t that’s poking at me, and ‘driving me crazy,’ and then if I do something that seems crazy, then [the public is] just blaming me.” Kanye compares himself to incarcerated killers.

West takes it further. “I had this conversation where Drake is like, ‘I never f*cked Kim [Kardashian].’ I was like, ‘But you acted like you did. You have bars like ‘Hidden heels give your wife the chills;‘ it’s like somebody throwing a marble and hiding their hand, or something like that. All that’s disrespectful!” DJ EFN asks if the conversation actually happened. “We had this conversation,” West confirms. “This is all to the point where Kim be like, ‘I don’t listen to this ni**a no more [throws phone]. This ni**a actin’ like he f*cked.’ We never really had that conversation. ‘Aw, I never f*cked Kim.’ No, but did you DM her? Everything else around it! ‘Cause it ain’t just about the actual act of it. The anticipation of something is what we live in. Now is the shortest moment of our life. The now of the moment is just gone now. So you could be sitting there, like, ‘Did he? Did he not?’ That’s worse; I would have rather you did [and I knew for certain].” West adds that he copes with resentment issues and disloyalty in his life. He cites Virgil Abloh’s appointment to artistic director for Louis Vuitton as an example of betrayal. Kanye reveals that he was jealous of the 2018 move from his former designer and stylist.

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Kanye adds that hearing “SICKO MODE” in family settings added insult to injury. “I’d have to bring my kids to a party with this man threatening my life on a song. Welcome to Calabasas. Then they wonder why you end up in the hospital.” West was hospitalized in 2016, abruptly ending his Life Of Pablo Tour. He continues, “It has to be some type of respect—a male perspective, a God perspective, and some type of community. Leadership. And I’m the leader. I told Lauryn [Hill that]; I told everybody. ‘I’m the leader. Let’s open up this bible….cause all this that we’re doin’, it ain’t adding up to nothing.” West alleges that he has been afforded wealth and power to lead others. He throws out the figure of $9 billion.

“That’s why I said [on “Life Of The Party”], ‘I put ’em on a group text and it wasn’t about the matching Arc’teryx or Kid Cudi dress.” You know how it is: if you text a girl, they might just—to gain some position—text you back [slowly], different things. Let me tell you: as the leader, I don’t operate like that. Don’t be on my phone texting back slow. Or don’t be on my phone. Like I told you, I’m a Xerox printer. Meaning, I can see a dinosaur bone and build a dinosaur out of it, mentally. So if I hear a verse, I’m gonna build a [dinosaur] out of a line, too.” West gets specific. “This is a perfect time for me to come back, ’cause you gotta understand I was Ye. And then they started making more Ye’s. Watch this: Ye is like this encompassing thing of fashion, bars, beats, production, videos, [interviews]. Then what happens? You get [A$AP] Rocky dressin’ better than me. Tyler [The Creator] making better videos. Drake, more records. Virgil, higher position in fashion. J. Cole, more backpack. Kendrick [Lamar], better bars, and stuff. So I literally had to go like ‘Thanos’—and I don’t have to be the villain, but when I went and did the Donda thing, Ye returned. And everybody had to sit back and watch the real leader. They talk about GOATs and this and that, I affect people 20 years older than me; I affect people 20 years younger than me. And that’s what it factually is. You gotta know who you is, and you gotta tell people who you are.”

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Elsewhere in the interview, West explains why be believes Talib Kweli was wrong to criticize him on Drink Champs. He argues that Future has become the most influential Hip-Hop artist of recent years. West also explains why he wants to him his marriage to Kim Kardashian together.

#BonusBeat: A recent episode of Ambrosia For Heads’ What’s The Headline‘ podcast discussing reports of Kanye West wanting a Verzuz battle against Drake: