Drake Is a Beef Factory
What is it about the rapper that makes everyone so angry? From Meek Mill’s ghostwriting slam to fights with Chris Brown, Tyga, and Jay Z, see Drizzy’s nine nastiest feuds.
Meek Mill may have publicly apologized to girlfriend Nicki Minaj for accusing her collaborator Drake of not writing his own lyrics, but he’s hardly the first (and probably won’t be the last) to beef with Drizzy. The Toronto-born star has attracted the ire and resentment of his fellow stars for years. Sometimes the feuds have played out in song lyrics, but other times they’ve turned into out-and-out physical brawls. From Chris Brown to Jay Z, we present all of Aubrey Drake Graham’s craziest, most public feuds.
1) Pusha T
In 2011, Pusha T was accused of dissing Drake in his song “Don’t Fuck with Me (Dreams Money Can Buy)” but the rapper denied it in an interview afterward. “A lot of people sort of took it like it was a Drake diss,” he told a radio station. “You ain’t never gonna hear me say like I was dissing Drake. I actually like him.”
Drake agreed, then went so far as to psychoanalyze him on Hot 97: “I’ve never really had any interaction with Pusha T so for him to diss me would be purely issues that he’s having within himself.” He continued, saying “If it was directed at me, just make it a little more direct next time.”
Challenge accepted: in May 2012, Pusha T clearly dissed Drake and Lil Wayne in his song “Exodus 23:1,” which seemed to focus on what a bad deal Drake’s recording contract was. “Contract all fucked / I guess that means you all fucked up / You signed to one nigga that signed to another nigga / That’s signed to three niggas, now that’s bad luck.”
Drake responded to the diss with some lyrics of his own at a live show in Washington, D.C., saying “If you was doing 16s when I was 16 and your shit still flopped and you switched teams, don’t talk to me, my nigga.”
On his 2011 song “Sweet,” Common rapped the line, “Some ho ass niggas / Singing all around me, man, la la la / You ain’t motherfucking Frank Sinatra / Uh, little bitch.” Many interpreted the line as a jab at Drake, since he is one of the few rappers known for his singing. Rumor also had it that Drake had angered Common by dating his ex-girlfriend, tennis champ Serena Williams. (Drake went so far as to tweet a sexy message at Williams that summer: “I cannot wait to put it on you and make you sweat…during our match this weekend,” he wrote.)
But Common denied the line was personal, contending it was about the art of hip-hop, which is “just like a boxing match. You step in the ring, you destroy the person you fighting against, and then you shake hands after. It’s as simple as that, really.”
Drake didn’t seem to buy it. That December, at the Cali Christmas concert, he addressed his haters on stage, saying, “I don’t give a fuck! If you got something to say to me say it to my motherfucking face nigga. Just ’cause I sing, I’m not no bitch. If you got something to say, I’m right here.”
And on Rick Ross’s track, “Stay Schemin,’” Drizzy rapped, “I just ask that when you see me you speak up, nigga, that’s all / Don’t be ducking like you never wanted nothing / It’s feeling like rap changed, [there] was a time it was rugged / Back when, if a nigga reached, it was for the weapon / Nowadays niggas reach just to sell they record.”
Two days later, Common responded with his own remix of “Stay Schemin,’” rapping over Drake’s beat: “I heard you say you wasn’t a bitch ’cause you sing / You a bitch cause you clean like a bitch that’s 18 / Can’t say my name but rap about a nigga’s wife / You so black and white trying to live a nigga’s life / I’m taking too long with this amateur guy / You ain’t wettin’ nobody, nigga, you Canada Dry.”
3) Chris Brown
Perhaps unsurprisingly given Chris Brown’s track record, the most violent of all Drake’s feuds was with the R&B singer. In July 2012, Drake and Brown began throwing bottles at each other while inside New York nightclub W.i.P., allegedly because Drake mocked Brown about dating his ex-girlfriend, Rihanna. Glass flew into NBA star Tony Parker’s eye and a bottle was slammed directly over an Australian tourist’s head. Brown and Drake were sued for damages by the club for $16 million.
The two continued to bash each other in music and interviews; Drake told hip-hop journalist Elliot Wilson in April 2013, “His insecurities are the fact that I make better music than him, that I’m more popping than him and that at one point in life the woman that he loves fell into my lap.”
The two seemed to be on good terms when they created a sketch mocking the feud for ESPN’s ESPY Awards last July. But they went right back to fighting again in December, when Brown accused Drake of going out with another of his ex-girlfriends, model Karrueche Tran.
Drake told AllHipHop in 2010 that he didn’t like the way Ludacris (among others) had copied his “supa dupa flow” rapping style. “A bunch of rappers started doing it and using the most terrible references in the world,” he said. “I don’t want to offend somebody…I hate that rappers picked that flow up…They go like ‘It’s a parade…MACY’S!’” That Macy’s line comes straight from Ludacris’s song “My Chick Bad,” in which he raps, “Coming down the street like a parade… MACY’S.”
In response, Ludacris took aim at Drake on his song “Bada Boom”: “Counterfeit rappers say I’m stealing they flows, but I can’t steal what you never made up, bitch / Y’all some duplicate rap cloning niggas.”
In an interview this past March, Ludacris said the hatchet was buried after Drake apologized in private and called him a “god body.” Ludacris accepted the apology, though he says he would have preferred a more public one. He got exactly that (kind of) in Drake’s song “How Bout Now.”
In the song, Drake tells the apparently true story of a girl he dated who had no interest in his music: “I had no money left from acting, I was focused on the music. / I used to always try and burn you CDs of my new shit. You’d be like ‘Who’s this?’ I’d be like ‘Me, girl’ / You’d be like ‘Oh word, true shit?’ / Then ask if we could listen to Ludacris.” Luda appreciated the shout-out, later saying, “People can respect this man for being very honest on record.”
5) Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick Lamar pissed off just about everyone on his 2013 song “Control,” which included the line, “I’m usually homeboys with the same niggas I’m rhymin’ with / But this is hip hop and them niggas should know what time it is / and that goes for Jermaine Cole, Big KRIT, Wale, Pusha T, Meek Mill, A$AP Rocky, Drake, Big Sean, Jay Electron’, Tyler, Mac Miller / I got love for you all but I’m tryna murder you nigga s/ Tryna make sure your core fans never heard of you niggas.”
Drake didn’t seem bothered, telling Billboard, “It just sounded like an ambitious thought to me. That’s all it was. I know good and well that Kendrick’s not murdering me, at all, in any platform.” He also praised Lamar at an OVO Fest concert in 2014, saying, “There’s a lot of kings in this shit, so shout out to Kendrick and shout out my brother J. Cole.”
Lamar still hasn’t seemed to have totally let go of the rivalry, though, rapping on Jay Rock’s song “Pay For It,” “I tell ’em all to hail King Kendrick, resurrectin’ my vengeance / Been dissectin’ your motormouth, ’til I break down the engine,” in reference to Drake’s song “The Language” in which he calls himself “the kid with the motor mouth.”
6) Jay Z and Kanye West
Drake, Jay Z, and Kanye West have collaborated on songs before, but Drake challenged his mentors on DJ Khaled’s song “I’m On One,” which contained the lyric, “I’m just feeling like the throne is for the taking / Watch me take it!” The line, of course, referenced Kanye and Jay Z’s massive hit album, Watch the Throne.
Later, during an interview with Rolling Stone, Drake said he found Jay Z’s penchant for rhyming about art ridiculous. “It’s like Hov can’t drop bars these days without at least four art references!” he said. “I would love to collect at some point, but I think the whole rap/art world thing is getting kind of corny.”
Jay Z gave a fairly polite response while freestyling on “We Made It”: “Sorry Mrs. Drizzy for so much art talk / Silly me rappin’ ’bout shit that I really bought.”
Drake and Tyga’s bitter feud started last October, when Tyga told Vibe magazine he didn’t “like Drake as a person.” “He’s just fake to me,” Tyga said. “I like his music; you know what I’m saying? I think his music is good, but we’re all different people. We were forced together and it was kinda like we were forcing relationships together.”
Subtle shader Drake then went ahead and liked a bunch of Blac Chyna’s (Tyga’s ex-girlfriend) Instagram photos in response. Then, on his song “6 pm in New York,” Drake rapped, “I heard a little little homie talking reckless in Vibe/That’s quite a platform you chose, you should’ve kept it inside / Oh, you tried / It’s so childish calling my name on the world stage / You need to act your age and not your girl’s age,” a reference to Tyga’s 17-year-old girlfriend, Kylie Jenner.
In 2014, it was rumored that Diddy was feuding with Drake over his song “0 to 100,” which had reportedly been given to both rappers months before to record. Drake apparently grew tired of waiting for Diddy and just recorded the song himself. When the two came face-to-face at a Miami nightclub in December, Diddy allegedly lashed out and punched Drake, shouting, “You will never disrespect me again!”
In February of this year, Rap-A-Lot Records CEO J. Prince issued a “courtesy message” to Diddy, warning him against ever touching Drake again. In the song “Courtesy Call,” Prince raps, “Puffy putting his hands on my family opened the doors for his family to be touched.”
9) Lil Wayne
Though the two rappers are actually good friends and Wayne is currently caught up in a huge legal battle with Cash Money records—partially over Drake not receiving fair compensation—the two have still had some tension over the years.
In March, Lil Wayne reportedly began shopping around a book proposal in which he accused Drake of confessing to sleeping with Wayne’s girlfriend while he was locked up in Riker’s Island for gun possession. “This is the type of shit that a man never wants to find out when he’s locked up,” Wayne supposedly wrote. “Or, maybe so, ’cause only God knows what I would have done if I wasn’t locked up right now.”