Rap is beef heavy, of course, and Drake in particular has a long history of calling out people he feels have wronged him, from Pusha T to Ye, formerly known as Kanye West. Ye, who can’t seem to stay away from the news these days, is once again a target in “Her Loss.” But the reference that drew the most criticism on Friday was the one Drake makes to Megan Thee Stallion, with those against it saying it downplays the trauma she suffered after an alleged shooting on a throwaway line.
Here’s who Drake appears to be calling on the new album and how they responded.
On “Circo Loco,” Drake raps, “That bitch’s lying about to get shot, but she’s still a stud.” A reading of the line would suggest a backhanded compliment on a woman’s physique, claiming she lied about injections to look a certain way. But what sparked a widespread response was how the line also appears to refer to Megan Thee Stallion’s allegation that she was shot in the foot two years ago by fellow rapper Tory Lanez. , who has been charged with felony assault and is expected to go to trial at the end of the month.
Megan was ridiculed following the shooting, prompting her to tweet in her own defense about the traumatic incident and how “black women are so unprotected.” As Bethonie Butler of The Washington Post wrote at the time, Megan’s words were “particularly resonant to black women, many of whom recognize her treatment as a portrayal of the vitriol they often encounter when they experience violence.” . Her fans then rallied around her, and again on Friday after Drake’s words were interpreted as disrespecting her experience.
“Stop using my shot for leverage”, Megan tweeted, asking, “Since when is it cool to joke about women getting shot!” …ready to boycott shoes and clothes, but the dog goes after a black woman when she says one of your homies abused her. She continued with another tweet addressed to people who criticized her for defending herself: “every time, it never ends”, she wrote.
In the hook to the song “BackOutsideBoyz,” Drake and Lil Yachty rap-sing, “I tried to bring me the drama, he don’t know how we cha-cha slide” — wink and you go miss it diss for those unfamiliar with DRAM
The Virginia rapper’s 2015 debut single, “Cha Cha,” is sonically similar to Drake’s 2015 hit “Hotline Bling,” released a month after DRAM’s breakthrough song. “I feel like my record got hacked,” DRAM told Billboard later that year.
Now, seven years after the fact, Drake has something to say about that too. The DRAM took to Twitter Friday to crush the drama – sort of. In a video, the rapper said someone should tell Drake to shut up and move on, while also alluding to an incident five years ago where he was allegedly beaten by guards at the Drake’s body. They “went downtown with the kid,” DRAM said, but Drake “didn’t touch me.”
Alexis Ohanian, husband of Serena Williams
In the languorous track “Middle of the Ocean”, which borrows heavily from the soulful “Cry Together” by the O’Jays, Drake spends most of his time on his usual targets: his enemies. He remembers being underestimated when he first came to America from Canada. He boasts of his lyrical genius, which Drake says is designed for “divine ears.” There are contracts as thick as movie scripts to sign, earrings to wear, and so on.
Then seemingly out of nowhere, Drake shifts gears: “Sidebar, Serena, your husband is a groupie. He pretends we don’t have a problem but no, boo, it’s like you came for sushi.
The Serena here would be Serena Williams, the greatest of all time. Her husband? Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit. The couple have been married since 2017 and share a 5-year-old daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian. (Williams and Ohanian reportedly met in May 2015, months before TMZ claimed to have photos of Williams and Drake sharing a more-than-friends moment.)
Friday, Ohanian tweeted a photo of himself and Olympia watching Williams play tennis. He wrote: “The reason I keep winning is because I’m relentless in being the best at everything I do, including being the best groupie for my wife and daughter.”
On the duet “Circo Loco,” which features an interpolation of Daft Punk’s “One More Time,” Drake takes aim not only at Megan but also at his longtime nemesis Ye.
In reference to a hip-hop beef that’s been heated and reheated for years, Drake raps, “Opps tie, b—-, I did this s— for J Prince/B— -, I did it for the links with the mafia. The lyrics specifically reference the 2021 benefit concert Ye hosted in Los Angeles for Larry Hoover, a former Chicago gang member serving six life sentences. Drake performed several of his hits at the concert, intended to raise awareness for prison reform, and called Ye his “idol” from the stage.
But this latest track suggests the hatchet between the two rappers — who have traded divisiveness for years — is far from buried. Drake implies in “Circo Loco” that he did it for J Prince, the founder of Houston hip-hop label Rap-A-Lot and industry insider who helped convince Drake to take part in the gig. (Prince’s son, J Prince Jr, is the managing director of fashion brand Mob Ties, also mentioned in the couplet.)
For his part, Ye, who had quite a bit of 2022, refused to take the bait.
“I’ve already done enough to give this man his flowers many times over,” he said. tweeted. “Let’s really see who the real ops are in this musical game. Imagine all the rappers on the same side and everyone cleaning up each other’s contracts. It’s time for the kingdom. I love Drake.”
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