Drake escalated his ongoing beef with Meek Mill Monday night, closing out Toronto’s OVO Fest with a performance highlighted by guests – including Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, Future and Travi$ Scott – and memes making fun of his rap rival.
The Toronto native opened his set by performing his two Meek Mill diss tracks, “Back to Back” and “Charged Up,” as Meek-bashing memes flashed behind him on massive screens. (One noteworthy, unwanted accolade: A “Participation Award” certificate for Meek Mill’s response track, “Wanna Know.”)
The battle began, though, even before the show, as Drake showed up to his OVO rehearsal wearing a “Free Meek Mill” T-shirt. Drake previously wore the shirt during a 2014 tour, though with a completely different intent – in support for Meek, who was incarcerated at the time because of a revoked parole connected to a 2008 conviction of drug dealing and gun possession.
For Monday’s OVO set, Drake brought out a parade of high-profile guests during his viral-friendly performance. After a surprise spot from Future, Kanye West performed his own 12-song mini-set, including new tracks “Wolves” and “All Day” and two collaborations with Travi$ Scott. West also united with Drake on “Blessings,” their recent collaboration with Big Sean.
After a brief solo performance, highlighted by the live debut of his track “Hotline Bling,” Drake was joined by Pharrell to perform Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky.” Drake ended the set with a variety of solo tracks, concluding with his Meek Mill collaboration, “R.I.C.O.” During his set, the rapper teased his rumored third Meek Mill diss track “3 Peat,” but the song has yet to materialize.
The Drake/Meek Mill drama started in late July, when Meek accused the rapper of using a ghostwriter, Quentin Miller (who was openly credited on Drake’s 2015 LP, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late). “Stop comparing Drake to me too,” Meek tweeted. “He don’t write his own raps! That’s why he ain’t tweet my album because we found out!”
Both Miller and Drake’s longtime producer Noah “40” Shebib denied that Drake used the services of a “ghostwriter.” (“I am not and never will be a ‘ghostwriter’ for Drake,” Miller wrote on his Tumblr.)
Drake first responded with the mellow diss track “Charged Up,” – which Meek called “baby lotion soft” – then delivered a grittier K.O. punch three days later with “Back to Back.” Meek fired back with his own diss, “Wanna Know,” but the court of public opinion has ruled thus far on Drake’s side: The track was roundly criticized, with corporations, politicians and NBA stars like Kevin Durant and Isaiah Thomas showing support for the Toronto native.