We’re willing to grant, for the sake of argument, that feuds are a built-in aspect of the rap business, as much about keeping the marketing machine churning as actual interpersonal conflict, or even an appreciation of the refined art of the diss track. But, hey: If you’re going to have a feud as big and public and dumb as the one that’s been running for years now between Kanye West and Drake, can’t you keep poor André 3000 out of it?
This is per Rolling Stone, which reports that Drake—fresh off the release of Certified Lover Boy, which exists in direct competition at the moment with West’s bloated, messy Donda—decided to hop on Sirius XM this weekend and leak one of numerous songs West debuted during his interminable (and frequently objectionable) listening parties in the lead-up to the album’s release. Specifically, Drake played “Life Of The Party,” which only got played at a private Las Vegas event, and which features a verse from Outkast’s André 3000—and a verse attacking Drake, which is presumably why he decided to shove it out onto the internet this weekend.
The Drake-Kanye thing stretches back to at least 2018, when West produced Pusha-T’s Daytona, which accused Drake of employing ghostwriters for his songs. The escalation from that moment included the release of Pusha-T’s “The Story Of Adidon,” still one of the most brutally mean-spirited diss tracks in modern rap, plus a whole lot more snide rhymes and back-and-forths The bad blood (which, one has to assume, is also informed by these guy’s statuses as two of the most famous, bravado-heavy men in current music) is still apparently alive and well, including more diss tracks, doxxings, and (per Rolling Stone) contentious group texts. (Heaven forfend.)
And now it’s dragged in André 3000, who just wanted to write a verse on the dang record, and who has now issued a statement calling the whole situation “unfortunate.” Here’s his full statement, explaining (at least in part) why his track was eventually omitted from Donda, and expressing his sincere desire to just make some damn music:
A few weeks ago Kanye reached out about me being a part of the Donda album. I was inspired by his idea to make a musical tribute to his mom. It felt appropriate to me to support the Donda concept by referencing my own mother, who passed away in 2013. We both share that loss. I thought it was a beautiful choice to make a clean album but, unfortunately, I didn’t know that was the plan before I wrote and recorded my verse. It was clear to me that an edited ‘clean’ format of the verse would not work without having the raw, original also available. So, sadly, I had to be omitted from the original album release.
The track I received and wrote to didn’t have the diss verse on it and we were hoping to make a more focused offering for the Donda album but I guess things happen like they are supposed to. It’s unfortunate that it was released in this way and two artists that I love are going back and forth. I wanted to be on Certified Lover Boy too. I just want to work with people that inspire me. Hopefully I can work with Kendrick on his album. I’d love to work with Lil’ Baby, Tyler and Jay-Z. I respect them all.