Kanye West vs Drake beef timeline: How one of pop culture's most notorious feuds started

How did we get here again?

Clémence Michallon
New York
Friday 14 December 2018 22:46
Kanye West addresses rumours that Drake had an affair with Kim Kardashian

Kanye West and Drake have been feuding for so long that it's easy to forget how the acrimony began and developed.

The latest chapter of their ongoing fight was written on Thursday when West sent out dozens of tweets criticising Drake for mocking his sneakers, asking for apologies, and accusing Drake of being a bully. "There would never be a Drake without a Kanye," West wrote.

Origins of the beef between West and the Canadian rapper appear to have emerged a decade ago, when the two started sharing managers – setting them on the path of in-person meetings, mutual praise across blog posts and interviews, and, eventually, their drawn-out fall-out.

Here is how history remembers the Kanye West vs Drake beef so far:

2008: The managers

2008, as Complex notes, was the year Drake secured Cortez Bryant as his manager.

Who is Bryant's business partner, you ask? None other than Gee Roberson, who counted West among his clients at the time.

This appears to be the moment West and Drake's paths started to cross – the inciting incident, perhaps, of the soap opera of their lives.

2009: The friendship

It might be hard to believe today, but there was once a time when Drake and West heaped praise on each other publicly.

That was the year West said Drake had one of the best lines of the year on his song Every Girl.

Drake, meanwhile, called West "the most influential" musician in his life in an interview with MTV.

2009 was also the year West and Drake met in Hawaii, and the year they were both featured on a remix of Jamie Foxx's Digital Girl.

2010: Trouble in paradise

Find Your Love, a Drake song co-written and co-produced by West, was released in May 2010. A good sign, surely?

Well, not exactly – West said in 2013 that he was "fine" working on the track until Drake "got too big".

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In September of that year, Drake was spotted with Amber Rose – then West's recent ex, which many believe contributed to their discord.

2011: Drake's ambition

2011 will go down in beef history as the year Drake told The Source about West: “My goal is to surpass everything he’s accomplished. I don’t want to be as good as Kanye, I want to be better.”

In December of that year, Drizzy appeared to confirm he was coming for West's crown by rapping on DJ Khaled's I'm On One: "I’m just feeling like the throne is for the taking / Watch me take it."

2013: Drake acknowledges the elephant in the room

"Me and Ye just fell into this thing where we hadn’t actually talked to each other in so long that all this stuff got built up," Drake told Billboard that year.

"Sometimes you just have to find the opportunity to tell someone that you really like and respect them. After that, everything can move forward."

2014: An appeasement?

Rolling Stone readers gasped when Drake was quoted as dissing West's album Yeezus in these terms: "There were some real questionable bars on there

"Like that ‘Swaghili’ line? Come on, man. Even Fabolous wouldn’t say some s*** like that."

Drake promptly said on Twitter he never commented on Yeezus in the interview.

West was later quoted as supporting Drake during his tours, saying magazines were trying to "pit n***** against each other".

2015: Friendship, part two

Big Sean's Blessings, on which West and Drake both feature, came out in January 2015, inaugurating what is remembered as one of the more positive years of the West / Drake timeline.

In February 2015, West teased the possibility of doing an album with Drake in the future.

That same month, Drake brought West onstage during one of his shows.

2016: Are we really fighting about pools?

If 2015 was the year of sunshine and rainbows in the Drake / West universe, then 2016 can be marked as the year where their feud officially delved into the absurd.

In his track Summer Sixteen, Drake claimed to own a larger pool than West, rapping: “Now I got a house in LA, now I got a bigger pool than Ye / And look, man, Ye’s pool is nice, mine’s just bigger’s what I’m saying.”

West contributed to the argument by stating: "I have three pools."

2016 was also the year of West's third appearance at Drake's OVO Fest, and marked renewed speculation about a possible joint album by the two artists.

2018: Things get somewhat complicated

Nothing much happened on the West / Drake front in 2017 – but 2018 came back with a vengeance.

In May, Drake released his song Duppy Freestyle. In it, he responds to Pusha T, with whom Drake is involved in a separate feud.

Pusha T had accused Drake of resorting to ghostwriters. In turn, Drake implied in the lyrics of Duppy Freestyle he had ghostwritten for West, the founder of Pusha T's label GOOD Music.

Things escalated until September, when Drake appeared to diss West's Yeezy 350 sneakers in a collaboration with French Montana, writing: "Keeping it G, I told her don’t wear no 350s around me."

Instead of fighting back, West addressed Drake in a series of tweets apologising for various things, writing at one point: "There should have been no songs with my involvement that had any negative energy towards you."

All of this brings us to December 2018 and West's most recent tweetstorm, which appeared to have been triggered by a clearance request from Drake regarding his own song Say What's Real, which features a sample by West.

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West tweeted a screenshot of a request before firing off many tweets about Drake, at one point claiming Drake had threatened him during a phone call.

His wife Kim Kardashian chimed in, writing: "@drake Never threaten my husband or our family. He paved the way for their to be a Drake."

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