Those hoping that Drake would address Kanye West on Certified Lover Boy apparently got their wish. Drake, 34, dropped his long-awaited album on Friday (Sept. 3), and fans picked up a potential diss directed towards Kanye, 44, on the track, “7am on Bridle Path.” The song’s title references Drake’s address in Toronto – which, as fans of this reignited feud will recall, Ye posted a now-deleted screenshot of that address (h/t Complex). While Drake doesn’t address Kanye by name, he seems to refer to this on the track. “Give that address to your driver, make it your destination / ‘Stead of just a post out of desperation,” he raps, per Genius. “ This me reachin’ the deepest state of my meditation / Why you over there tryna impress the nation? / Minds runnin’ wild with the speculation.”
Earlier in the track, Drake dropped a verse that seemed to reference the competition between Certified Lover Boy and Ye’s DONDA. “You over there in denial, we not neck and neck / It’s been a lot of years since we seen you comin’ correct / Man, f-ck a ‘Respectfully,’ I just want my respect / They tried to label me mean, I say what I mean / People that could’ve stayed on the team / They played in-between.” Drake also seemingly slighted Ye’s fashion ambitions: “Told you I’m aimin’ straight for the head, not aiming to please / I could give a f-ck about who designing your sneakers and tees.”
— 𝐑𝐨𝐝 (@R0DRIIGUESS) September 3, 2021
— Lauren💕 (@sadsnoopdog) September 3, 2021
The Drake and Kanye feud is a clash of styles – in that it can be interesting and banal, often at the same time. It’s fascinating to watch two of the biggest hip-hop stars of their generation – who started friendly before, as Complex put it, a series of misunderstandings got ugly – clash and push each other to use their art to further the rivalry. It’s also a bit tedious considering the players involved (and, to be honest, nothing akin to Kendrick Lamar’s “Control” verse has come out of the feud.) It’s been a decade since the first public diss – when Drake said that he and Lil Wayne were working on a joint album and threw a jab at Kanye and Jay-Z’s Watch The Throne, per Complex’s comprehensive timeline of their feud up to 2018 – and perhaps the most explosive moment came in 2018 when Kanye got dragged into Drake’s beef with Pusha T over allegations of ghostwriting. It ultimately resulted in “The Story of Adidon,” Pusha’s track that exposed Drake’s secret son, Adonis Graham, but Drake came through that scandal relatively unscathed.
After 2018, there have been some minor shots here and there, but it was quiet for the most part – until July. “We looking for [the] Drake drop date,” tweeted Consequence, the veteran rapper, and Kanye ally. The tweet came one day after Kanye missed his July 23 release date for DONDA, and Consequence hinted that Ye was looking to release his album the same day Drake planned to drop Certified Lover Boy. This hypothetical head-to-head harkened back to 2007 when Ye and 50 Cent both released albums – Curtis and Graduation, respectively – a battle that Ye won. He sold 957k units in the first week, while 50 Cent moved 691k, per Billboard. Drake seemed unfazed by the idea of going up against Donda. “Certified Lover Boy on the way, and that’s for anyone in the way,” he said during an episode of Sound 42’s Fri Yiy Friday, one week after Consequence’s tweet.
Kanye seemingly responded by adding a new line to DONDA. During the second listening party at the Mercedes-Benz stadium in Atlanta, Ye rapped debuted a new addition to the song “Junya”: “Move out of the way of my release/ Tryna get me off my Qs and Ps/ Why can’t losers never lose in peace? Ain’t nobody ‘round me losing sleep/ Better find God ‘fore he find me.” Drake then countered with his verse on Trippie Redd’s “Betrayal”: “All these fools I’m beefin’ that I barely know/ Forty-five, forty-four (Burned out), let it go/ Ye ain’t changin’ shit for me, it’s set in stone.” This verse resulted in the now-famous “Joker” message.
“I live for this,” Kanye reportedly wrote in a group text that supposedly included Drake. Before that, he had shared a picture of Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker. “I’ve been f-cked with by nerd ass jock n—–s like you my whole life,” added Ye. “You will never recover. I promise you.” However, DONDA hit streaming services on Aug. 29, days after Drake revealed CLB would arrive on Sept. 3, thus depriving fans of a head-to-head battle. Plus, there weren’t that many immediately identified references to Drake on DONDA beyond that “Junya” verse. Kanye said the album was released without his permission, so whether or not Ye was working on any more Drake disses, we may never know.