From Joint Album Teases to Twitter Feuds: A Timeline of Drake and Kanye West's Relationship
Kanye West recently took aim at Drake by tweeting about him over 125 times — here's a background of their back and forth
Over the last decade, the Canadian rapper has gone from talking about West as someone he admires to exchanging diss tracks and engaging in social media feuds.
Most recently, West, 41, took aim at Drake, 32, on Twitter, tweeting over 125 times on Dec. 14 and claiming Drake threatened him, his wife Kim Kardashian West and their children North, 5, Saint, 3, Chicago, 10 months.
Though Drake and West’s ongoing feud seems to be far from over, here’s a look back at a timeline of their complicated love/hate relationship.
Sept. 1, 2007
Late 2008 – Early 2009
In an interview with MTV News at the time, Drake described West as “the most influential person” on his sound.
“Before I ever got the chance to meet him, Kanye West shaped a lot of what I do, as far as music goes,” he said. “We always, always, always took the time to listen to Kanye’s music and appreciate it beyond. We searched the samples and we find out where his inspiration came from, because he has one of the best ears in music, period. He knows how to recognize great music that’s not his. He knows how to utilize great sounds and great music. So before I met him, I had the utmost respect for Kanye West. I’d even go as far as to say he’s the most influential person as far as a musician that I’d ever had in my life.”
June 25, 2009
July 1, 2009
Drake’s music video for “Best I Ever Had,” which West directed, was released.
Aug. 27, 2009
April 28, 2010
“Find Your Love,” which was co-written and co-produced by West, was released by Drake.
Drake was spotted out at a club with West’s ex Amber Rose, with whom he’d split two months prior.
It became known that Drake recorded a verse on West’s “All of The Lights” when an earlier leak of the track (which was originally called “Ghetto University”) leaked. But when the song was officially released in November, Drake’s verse had been cut.
The first public diss came from Drake during an interview with English DJ Tim Westwood when he said that he and Lil Wayne were working on a joint album. He then threw a jab at West and JAY-Z, who were also working on their joint album, Watch the Throne.
“I heard some other guys are coming out with an album, too,” he said. “There’s two other rappers that are coming out with an album together. I don’t know where they got that idea.”
“It’s an honor,” he said. “When I was a kid trying to figure out what I liked, it was ‘Ye who I related to the most. He was an artist, in every sense, from his cover art to his music. Now, I would say, he is [a] really great competitor…and friend, at the same time… My goal is to surpass everything he’s accomplished. I don’t want to be as good as Kanye, I want to be better.”
Dec. 20, 2011
Aug. 5, 2013
West appeared as a surprise guest at Drake’s 2013 OVO Fest, and not only did he perform, but he also admitted that Drake had a part in inspiring Watch the Throne.
“Me and Hov would’ve never made Watch the Throne if [Drake] wasn’t putting pressure on us like that, so I just want to pay my respects,” West reportedly told the crowd, according to MTV News.
Afterward, Drake told MTV News that West’s appearance “was probably the most important moment in my career to date.”
“I think me and Kanye have wanted to express our respect for each other for a long time and sometimes rap, the business, the competitiveness and just the heart behind it forces you to not talk to the people you quietly admire,” he continued.
Feb. 13, 2014
“There were some real questionable bars on there,” he said. “Like that ‘Swaghili’ line? Come on, man. Even Fabolous wouldn’t say some s— like that.” The reference was to West’s “I'm In It,” in which he raps, “I be speakin’ Swaghili.”
Elsewhere in the interview, though, Drake made his respect for West clear: “Kanye’s the reason I’m here. I love everything about that guy,” he said.
Feb. 15, 2014
West reportedly responded to Drake’s interview during a concert stop in New Jersey.
“They always be trying to pit n— against each other and it ain’t going down no more,” he said. “So, tonight, it ain’t none of that. We love Drake.”
Jan. 31, 2015
During an interview with The Breakfast Club, West said that he and Drake “might” make an album together before adding, “he’s probably going to be mad that I mentioned it on your show.”
March 12, 2015
During an interview with French website Clique, West said that he looks at Drake as an “amazing sparring partner.”
“Someone who’s like, ‘Come on, man, get back up!'” he said. “I was sitting there getting fat. Sitting back, just knocked everybody out. And then this guy hits the gym, he’s just running around like, pow, 14 hits… I’m like, ‘Whoa. Let me go to the studio, then. Let’s see what’s happening. Let me get these lyrics up.’ So, that’s where we at right now, that’s where you getting these records from.”
Aug. 3, 2015
West returned to Drake’s OVO Fest yet again.
Dec. 31, 2015
West released “Facts,” and it included a diss about Nike, with whom Drake had an endorsement deal at the time. In the song, West rapped, “If Nike ain’t have Drizzy, they wouldn’t have nothing.”
Jan. 30, 2016
Drake released “Summer Sixteen” in which he bragged about having a bigger pool than West, specifically with the lyrics, “Ye’s pool is nice, mine’s just bigger’s what I’m saying.”
Feb. 12, 2016
All appeared to be well between the two when West released “30 Hours,” which included a writing credit for Drake.
Aug. 1, 2016
Continuing his streak, West appeared at OVO Fest once again and teased a joint album to the crowd.
Aug. 29, 2016
A billboard appeared featuring both the Drake’s OVO and West’s G.O.O.D. Music logos, which further fueled speculation of a joint album.
Nov. 20, 2016
He made it clear, though, that he still had appreciation for his fellow artists. “I love Drake, I love Khaled,” he said.
In response to West’s rant, Drake told DJ Semtex, “I’m not really sure what he’s referring to half the time.”
“Because in the same breath, I went from being…like working on a project with him, to him sorta publicly s——ing on me and DJ Khaled for being on the radio too much. I’m not sure why we’re the target of your choice that you made that night. And yeah, I accept what you’re going through, and I just go and continue working on my own thing.”
March 18, 2017
May 25, 2018
May 29, 2018
A war of words ensued following the release of “Infrared” — with Drake and Pusha exchanging social media insults and diss tracks — then Pusha released “The Story of Adidon.” Among his attacks were rhymes mocking Drake’s newfound anger, supposed habit of walking away from relationships, his mother (by name), and one set of lyrics that exposed the fact that Drake had fathered a child with former adult-film star Sophie Brussaux (Drake would later verify the longtime rumors on his album Scorpion).
June 1, 2018
When West dropped “No Mistakes” off of his album Ye, fans took the song’s final lyric to be a diss directed at Drake, “Too rich to fight you/Calm down, you light-skinned.”
Aug. 29, 2018
In an interview with Chicago radio station WGCI, West denied that he told Pusha about Drake’s kid.
“I’m ‘Ye. I got major things to do other than be telling him some information about Drake,” West said. “I honestly don’t care that much, in all honesty.”
Later in the interview, West continued to talk about his relationship with Drake and said, “When we talk about the Drake thing, it hits me in a really sensitive place because you hang around people and they come to your house and be around your family and this and that. And then they get mad about a beat and send you purple demon emojis. We understand that he got upset about [“The Story of Adidon”]. I feel that it was insensitive for him to, in any way, stress me out in any way after TMZ, while I’m in Wyoming healing, pulling all the pieces together, working on my music.”
When West made the TMZ reference, he was speaking about the time he made his “slavery is a choice” comments while on the show.
Sept. 4, 2018
Drake and French Montana’s track “No Stylist” is released with the lyrics, “I told her don’t wear no 350s around me,” in reference to West’s Yeezy 350 sneakers.
Sept. 5, 2018
West took to Twitter to apologize to Drake in a series of Tweets. He said he was sorry for “stepping on” Drake’s Scorpion release date, and also that he “should have spoken” to Pusha about dissing Drake on “Infrared.”
“There should have been no songs with my involvement that had any negative energy towards you,” West said.
West also explicitly denied telling Pusha about Drake’s son. “I did not have any conversations about your child with Pusha,” he wrote. “I don’t play with the idea of people’s children after I spoke to Wiz [Khalifa] a few years earlier.”
Sept. 20, 2018
A couple of weeks after West apologized to Drake, he switched gears and went off on him on Instagram. In since-deleted videos, West fired back at claims that his wife hooked up with Drake in the past — a conversation that occurred on Complex’s Everyday Struggle between DJ Akademiks and Nick Cannon on Sept. 3.
He also brought up Drake’s hit “In My Feelings” and his reference to “Kiki,” which some speculated to be Kardashian West as that has long been one of her nicknames.
“People making rumors or thinking you f— my wife and you’re not saying nothing… that don’t sit well with my spirit,” West said. “You know, if I had a girlfriend from Chicago, her name was Renita, and you was married to Rihanna, I wouldn’t make no song called ‘Riri.’ So when you’re like, ‘I don’t know where it came,’ you too smart for that bro.”
Prior to the release, Drake claimed he and West had connected in the studio. There, West allegedly pressured Drake into revealing details about Scorpion, convincing him that he had good intentions and never revealing that he was working on an album of his own.
“He sold me on this whole speech of like, ‘I’m in a great place, I’m making money, and I’m a father, and I wanna be Quincy Jones and help you. But in order to do that, you’ve gotta be transparent with me, you gotta play me your music, and you gotta tell me when you’re dropping. And I know you don’t like to do things like that,’” Drake recalled on The Shop. “I guess we all kind of felt a genuine vibe from it, so I played him my music and I told him when I was dropping.”
Drake went on to say that West invited him to spend time in Wyoming to work on some music. While there, Drake claimed he played West his song “March 14,” which addresses his relationship with 1-year-old son Adonis’ mother. The two even got into a discussion about their personal lives, with Drake showing the father of three a photo of his own son, who at that point was a secret. “I tell him I’m having trouble with my son’s mother. We had a conversation,” Drake said on The Shop.
That’s when Drake said he realized, “Oh this guy’s trolling me. This was like a manipulative, like, ‘I wanna break you’ thing.” In response, Drake pulled away. “I said, ‘Alright, I’m gonna go back to distancing myself again. I know what this is.’”
Dec. 13, 2018
West aimed a string of Tweets at Drake after receiving a text from someone named “Free” — likely a producer from his team — asking if he wanted to clear Drake’s request for “Say What’s Real.”
West shared a screenshot of the text and wrote, “This proves s— faker than wrestling,” before expressing that he was still waiting for Drake to apologize “for mentioning the 350s and trying to take food out your idols kids mouths” on “No Stylist.”
West then encouraged Drake to connect with him directly, rather than through his family members or management team. “Been trying to meet with you for six months bro. You sneak dissing on [brother-in-law Travis Scott] records and texting [mother-in-law] Kris [Jenner] talking bout how’s the family,” he wrote.
He continued, “Sending purple emojis when I’m dealing with mental s—. I need my apologies now. Not through Scooter [Braun] either. Not through Travis.”
In West’s string of Tweets, he again reiterated, “I told you I ain’t tell Pusha about your son.”
“It’s all love bro but don’t play with me,” he said. “You stay too close to be playing all these industry games bro.”
He continued: “I would never intentionally try to hurt you bro I never even heard none of the diss records That ain’t my MO never did a diss record.”
West also claimed that Drake bought the “first two rows at Pusha,” which is likely a reference to Pusha’s concert in Toronto where some irate audience members threw liquid on him and attempted to bum-rush the stage. During the concert, Pusha insinuated that Drake (whose hometown is Toronto) was the one who organized the attack.
“Stop this already bro You getting people hurt out here And over what,” West wrote.
Apparently calling out Drake on Twitter accomplished what West set out to do, as he shared an update that “Drake finally called.”
“Mission accomplished,” he wrote, before addressing whether he would give Drake clearance on “Say What’s Real,” which had seemingly inspired the tweetstorm.
“By the way… not cleared,” he said, adding crying-laughing face emojis.
Meanwhile, Drake followed suit and posted an Instagram story of several of the same crying-laughing face emojis.
Dec. 14, 2018
Just hours after West appeared to settle their beef, he hopped back on Twitter with over 125 Tweets and claimed Drake “called trying to [threaten] me.”
“So Drake if anything happens to me or anyone from my family you are the first suspect — so cut the tough talk,” West continued.
RELATED VIDEO: Kanye West Says Drake Is Threatening Him and His Family in Explosive Twitter Rant: ‘Leave Me Alone’
West even went as far as saying Drake wouldn’t even be where he is today without him.
“I’m the guy with the pink polo that made a way for him,” West wrote. “There would never be a drake without a Kanye west so never come out your mouth with a threat.”
“I’m your oxygen,” West continued.
“You trying to be a bully. I never been bullied in my life and I never will be. That’s why I made it this far in a pink polo,” West tweeted.
West also briefly professed his love for Drake writing, “I’m Ye bro Remember that I love you I would never intentionally hurt you That’s what I’ve been saying to you.”
“I will never put negative energy into a song,” West continued. “Only positive energy.”
Dec. 15, 2018
West began a lengthy tweetstorm by addressing a tweet Ariana Grande shared on Thursday evening, hours before she dropped her new song “Imagine.”
Speaking on behalf of herself and Miley Cyrus, who was also releasing a song at midnight, Grande tweeted, “Guys, i know there are grown men arguing online rn but miley and i dropping our beautiful, new songs tonight so if y’all could please jus behave for just like a few hours so the girls can shine that’d be so sick thank u.”
“I know Ariana said this to be cool and didn’t mean no harm but I don’t like even slightest level of slight commentary from someone I know loves and respects me,” West tweeted.
“People will no longer take mental health for a joke,” he continued before briefly outlining what led him to come after Drake online this week. (Months after telling the world that he suffered from bipolar disorder — and even referencing it on the cover his album Ye back in June — West said in October that he was “misdiagnosed” with the condition.)
“Drake verbally attacked [Kid] Cudi when he was in the hospital and went at me after TMZ because I decided to release albums in June,” he wrote. In a Facebook letter posted in 2016, Kid Cudi told his fans that he was checking himself into rehab to tackle his depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts.
West went on to write that things “snowballed and he refused to meet with me but texted my mother in law and did sneak disses on peoples records that I consider family,” referring to “Sicko Mode,” a song Travis Scott’s latest album Astroworld that Drake appears on.
“All of this foolishness weighed on my mental health so @ArianaGrande you know I got love for you but until you’re ready to really make sure everyone’s ok don’t use me or this moment to promote a song,” he added.
Hours after West posted his early morning tweets, Grande apologized in since-deleted tweets, adding that while the joke was “probably insensitive,” she wasn’t trying to use the feud to promote her song.
“With all due respect, i don’t need to use anyone to promote anything. period. i was making a comment ab what men were doing at the time vs. women. it was a joke which i understand now was probably insensitive. i apologize if i was in any way triggering and hope u feel well today,” she wrote in a since-deleted Tweet.
Later that day, in response to a post from The Shade Room regarding Grande’s joke about the pair’s public quarrel, Sophie Brussaux shared her own two cents. “I would hardly call Kanye arguing with himself ‘grown men.’” The Shade Room went on to highlight Brussaux’s reply in a separate post.
Meanwhile, a source told PEOPLE that Kim Kardashian wants to move on from all of the drama surrounding West’s public spats.
“Kim spent Friday in L.A. while Kanye was still in N.Y.C.,” says the insider, adding that although the Keeping Up with the Kardashians star, 38, defended her husband earlier this week, she’s ready to put the controversy behind them.
“Kim doesn’t plan on making another comment about the drama and she asked Kanye to do the same,” the source adds. “Clearly he is not doing well again. Kim just wants him off Twitter.”