The Complex History Behind Kanye West and Drake’s Beef

The rivalry between hip hop megastars Kanye West and Drake has enthralled rap fans for over a decade. With both artists among the most successful and critically acclaimed rappers ever, their on-and-off feud has become the stuff of legend. So how did it all begin, and where do they stand now? Here’s a deep dive into the origins, key flashpoints, and ongoing saga of the Kanye-Drake beef.

Early Days: Friendship and Collaboration

Long before they were embroiled in bitter feuds, Kanye West and Drake actually started out as collaborators and friends in the late 2000s. West discovered the young Toronto rapper and helped promote his music, while Drake saw Kanye as both a mentor and inspiration.

The two first worked together on Jay-Z’s “Off That” in 2009. In 2010, Kanye brought Drake out as a surprise guest during his VMAs performance, helping solidify Drake as hip hop’s rising star. Their friendship peaked with several collaborations in 2010-2011, including “Forever,” “Find Your Love,” “Moment 4 Life,” and more.

But signs of trouble arose when Drake’s rising success began to eclipse Kanye’s. Tensions mounted as their friendly rivalry turned competitive and jealousies grew.

The Beef Begins: 2012-2015

The origins of their beef can be traced back to around 2012, when collaborations dried up and rapport cooled. Rumors swirled that the two were taking veiled shots at each other in lyrics.

Things escalated in 2014 when Drake cut a song called “Draft Day” with a reference to being “focused on making records and getting Grammys” instead of gossip and drama, which many saw as a jab at Kanye’s tabloid antics.

In late 2014, Drake and Kanye reportedly got into a physical altercation over the “Draft Day” lyrics at a nightclub. The scuffle signaled their friendship was over.

By 2015, subliminal disses were becoming overt. On Meek Mill’s “R.I.C.O.,” Drake bragged about ghostwriting for Kanye’s album The Life of Pablo, slamming Kanye’s pen game. Kanye fired back on Big Sean’s “All Your Fault” with the line “Then smack my chick, she gon’ smack you back.”

Pusha-T Enters the Ring: 2016-2018

The beef entered a new phase in 2016 when Kanye’s G.O.O.D. Music protégé Pusha-T reignited his own feud with Drake on “H.G.T.V Freestyle.” Drake never responded, but the battle lines were drawn.

Things boiled over in May 2018 when Pusha released his diss track “Infrared,” once again accusing Drake of using ghostwriters. This time, Drake hit back within 24 hours on “Duppy Freestyle,” mocking Pusha-T’s drug-dealing past and claiming he helped Kanye write songs for The Life of Pablo.

This set the stage for Pusha’s nuclear “The Story of Adidon” a week later. The ruthless diss track exposed Drake’s secret child andbaby mama, dealing a devastating blow to Drake’s image. It was produced by Kanye, making his involvement clear.

2018-2021: Potshots, Tensions, and Failed Peace Efforts

In the aftermath of Pusha-T’s diss, Drake blamed Kanye for the damage and their beef reached new heights. For the next few years, the two continued to take thinly veiled potshots in lyrics while issuing periodic calls for reconciliation.

In 2018, Kanye apologized for his role in Pusha’s diss on Twitter. But in songs on his album Ye, he still took perceived shots at Drake over sampling clearance issues and comments about Kanye’s wife Kim Kardashian.

By 2021, tensions were rising again as both prepped new albums. Drake threatened Kanye on Trippie Redd’s “Betrayal,” while Kanye and his affiliates taunted Drake online by leaking a group chat and his Toronto address.

Longtime Drake collaborator J Prince brokered a public truce between the two in November 2021. They squashed the beef and performed together in December, but the peace was short-lived.

2022-Present: Shots Reignite the Feud

Just a year after their truce concert, Drake and Kanye were back at each other’s throats. In late 2022, Drake threw shade at Kanye on his joint album with 21 Savage. Meanwhile, Kanye stirred controversy by wearing a “White Lives Matter” shirt and making antisemitic comments.

As of April 2023, Drake has further escalated tensions by sampling a clip of Kim Kardashian talking about her divorce from Kanye on his new song “Search & Rescue.” The single’s artwork also taunts Kanye with an image of Drake with a Kardashian lookalike.

This latest jab makes it clear their beef is alive and well. Given the volatile history between the two massive egos, more disses and drama likely lie ahead. After over a decade of feuding, this rap rivalry seems destined to continue.

The Roots of Their Beef Run Deep

So why have Drake and Kanye allowed their feud to fester for so long? The roots run much deeper than typical rap beefs.

Clashing Egos

Both have massive egos and insecurities that make it hard for them to get along. Kanye resents Drake surpassing his success. Drake can’t stand Kanye’s “big brother” mentality.


They’re threatened by each other’s status in hip hop. Their rivalry is partially competitive – a constant struggle for cultural dominance.


Personal slights and attacks on friends and family – like Pusha-T vs. Drake – have made the feud more bitter and personal.


Antagonizing each other provokes buzz, media attention, and fan engagement. But it also breeds genuine animosity.

Unresolved Issues

Attempts at reconciliation have repeatedly failed to resolve their core issues. They air grievances but neither apologizes or backs down.

Mutual Obsession

As much as they clash, both Kanye and Drake seem obsessed with each other. They find it hard to leave the rivalry alone and move on.

The Beef By the Numbers

  • 12+ years of on-and-off feuding

  • 9 diss tracks and response songs

  • 6 tense standoffs at award shows and events

  • 4 aborted truces and peace efforts

  • 2 major leaks of private information

  • 1 epic rap beef for the ages

5 Key Flashpoints in the Kanye-Drake Beef

  1. 2014: Their relationship sours over perceived lyrical shots and a physical scuffle erupts.

  2. 2018: Pusha-T’s brutal “The Story of Adidon” diss shocks rap fans worldwide.

  3. 2021: Leaked group chats and addresses signal the beef is back on.

  4. 2022: Drake takes lyrical jabs at Kanye after brief 2021 truce.

  5. 2023: Drake samples Kim Kardashian dissing Kanye, inflaming the feud.

Is An End Even Possible?

Kanye and Drake’s toxic feud seems destined to continue with no end in sight. Each rapper possesses an ego too massive to allow the other to get the last word.

Nonetheless, their beef has created some of the biggest storylines and conversations in hip hop over the past decade. It remains one of music’s most compelling rivalries, keeping fans and media mesmerized through every leaked diss, shady lyric, and social media meltdown.

While a conclusive resolution seems unlikely at this point, there always remains a chance that these two towering figures will somehow find a way to bury the hatchet for good, realize their shared genius, and deliver more era-defining collaborations. For the sake of art, many rap fans still hold out hope.

The ENTIRE History of Kanye and Drake’s Beef


What happened between Drake and Kanye?

Once friendly collaborators, Kanye and Drake’s relationship soured as a result of several misunderstandings. Hints appeared in tweets, emojis, lyrics, and diss tracks in the late 2010s, especially in relation to Kanye’s close friend Pusha-T.

Is Drake bigger than Kanye?

Drake dominates total streaming numbers but Kanye shows fantastic growth. Drake is so much bigger than Kanye West when it comes to Spotify followers with over 3 times the amount of followers than Kanye.

Was Drake with Kim Kardashian?

Many people also speculated if Kim was the ‘Kiki’ in question in Drake’s hit track ‘In My Feelings’ – however, later that year Kim responded to a video where DJ Akademiks suggested the pair had a fling. “Never happened. End of story,” she simply said, however, the rumours continued to reignite over the years.

What happened with Pusha T and Drake?

Pusha T went on to reveal that Drake had a “secret” son named Adonis. The feud took a drastic turn when Pusha T released “The Story of Adidon,” a blistering diss track that exposed Drake’s most closely guarded secret.

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