Why Is Drake Still Trolling Kanye?
On Friday, Drake premiered a new single called “Search & Rescue.” The track is classic forlorn Drizzy, seemingly hit by the sting of late-adulthood singledom. He affectionally croons in search of someone to “take me off the market / take me off the map” on the song’s moody Sad Pony and BNYX-produced beat. It’s also Drake at his most classically petty.
Last week, after he shared a snippet of the song on Instagram, just about all anyone cared about was the end of the track and what sounded like a sample from the 2021 series finale of Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Kim Kardashian’s voice is heard saying, “I didn’t come this far just to come this far and not be happy,” in reference to her then-impending separation from her now ex-husband, Kanye West. Adding further intrigue, Drake’s artwork for the single includes him and an unidentified woman with a striking resemblance to Kardashian, donned in motorcycle masks obscuring most of their faces.
Drake and Kanye have famously exchanged coded barbs for the past several years. The animosity goes back to 2018 over a supposed dispute over Kanye’s “Lift Yourself” beat, which Drake reportedly wanted. Ye’s bizarre version of the track, including his “Poopy-dee scoop/Scoop-diddy-whoop” verse, appeared to be an elaborate troll. That same year, Kanye produced “Infrared,” from Pusha T’s album Daytona, where Push alludes to Drake’s ghostwriting controversy. Kanye then was caught in the crossfire in the form of a line on Drake’s response track “Duppy Freestyle,” where he seems to claim he wrote songs on West’s album The Life of Pablo. “Father had to stretch his hands out and get it from me,” Drake raps. Then, Pusha T went nuclear with the searing diss track “The Story of Adidon,” in which he alleged that Drake was hiding his son’s existence.
In the lead-up to their dueling album releases in 2021, Donda and Certified Lover Boy, both Kanye and Drake proceeded to carry out a kind of social media proxy war. Kanye shared Drake’s Toronto home address and cryptic iMessage screenshots in an escalation of tensions. Drake then leaked a supposed Donda outtake called “Life of the Party.” The track features Andre 3000 — who did not appreciate being roped into the conflict — and a verse from West where he raps, “Told Drake don’t play with me on GD / And he sent that message to everybody / So if I hit you with a ‘WYD’ / You better hit me with, ‘Yes sir, I’m writing everything you need.’”
Then, a supposed detenté in the form of a benefit concert for the alleged gang leader Larry Hoover. The Amazon-streamed event, replete with Balenciaga-designed merch, raised funds to support causes related to criminal justice and help with Hoover’s ongoing legal expenses. But as recently as on last year’s Drake and 21 Savage collaboration, Her Loss, Drake raps, “I did that shit for J Prince,” on “Circo Loco,” suggesting the show of peace was merely a favor for the well-connected music executive.
During Ye’s recent unhinged appearance on the podcast “Drink Champs,” he claimed that Drizzy stoked online rumors that he and Kardashian had an affair — perhaps the hurt at the root of all of this conflict. Kardashian has denied any involvement, but the internet continues to run amok with theories on alleged breadcrumbs left in Drake’s music. The most popular is the so-called “Sicko Mode theory,” which alleges Drake’s verse on the hit Travis Scott single alludes to a real-life secret liaison in Callabassas, where all of the characters in this feud happened to reside.
So now, in 2023, a full five years after this supposed beef all started, Drake appears to be fanning the flames of the rumor, all on a track about being sort of devastatingly alone. For a while, fans online assumed the track’s title was “Mommy” — and it’s not hard to see why. The word juts out of Drake’s brooding chorus like a Freudian slip. “Deep down, I think about you all day, Mommy,” he coos. “I know I’m a pitbull but Dale, Mommy.” It’s hard to see the posturing, at this point, as much of a flex but more of a call for help.
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