Drake’s most brutal rap beefs—and who won them

Drake’s most brutal rap beefs—and who won them

Photograph from Instagram

Drake has two things in spades: success and sensitivity. In other words, the perfect recipe for drama. Although Drizzy’s recent quarrel with Eminem is nothing more than a joke that spiralled out of control, Toronto’s pride and joy has got a lot of enemies trying to drain him of his energy. Here, we recount five of his fiercest rap beefs.


Drake vs. Eminem

The (phony) feud: Last week, Hot 97 radio host Ebro jokingly said he’d heard a rumour that Eminem was sharpening his pen to come at Drake, who’s currently at odds with Shady Records affiliate Joe Budden (see below). The Internet, as it does, took rumour as fact and ran with it. Ebro, Budden, Drake and Em’s manager, Paul Rosenberg, were all quick to snuff out the flames on social media.

How Drake feels: Mildly irritated. Drake posted the equivalent of an eye-roll on Instagram with the caption “If they don’t have a story these days…”

Winner: Troll journalism. Who can resist the idea of battle between the 6 God and the Rap God?


Drake vs. Joe Budden

The feud: On his podcast, Budden, a member of the hip-hop supergroup Slaughterhouse, said Drake sounded “uninspired” on Views—which probably had something to do with the fact that Drizzy disses him on “4 PM in Calabasas” and “No Shopping.” Budden retaliated with back-to-back-to-back attack tracks, each accompanied by some seriously grizzly artwork: “Making a Murderer” (a bloody OVO owl), “Wake” (José Bautista getting cold-cocked by Rogned Odor) and “Afraid” (the CN Tower, a.k.a. Drizzy’s stoop, on fire).

How Drake feels: Heated. Aubrey has reached out to Budden multiple times online, mocked him onstage during his Summer Sixteen tour and invited him to attend his Madison Square Garden show, taunting, “I bet you can’t release 25 dis records between now and then.” Seeking validation, Budden has said he wants Drake to rap a response.

Winner: Budden—so far. Though he’s lesser known than any of Drake’s other rivals, his aggressive, whip-smart dis tracks have left Drake oddly quiet (at least musically) and earned him many mentions in the same breath as the most famous rapper on the planet right now.


Drake vs. Meek Mill

The feud: The former friends became enemies when Mill accused Drake of not writing his own raps—a cardinal sin in hip hop—and got huffy when Drake didn’t tweet about his average album, Dreams Worth More than Money.

How Drake feels: Beast mode. Drake removed his sensitive-guy sweater and tore into the Philadelphia rapper with “Charged Up” and, immediately thereafter, the vicious “Back to Back (Freestyle),” in which he posed a question to Meek and his girlfriend, Nicki Minaj: “Is that a world tour, or your girl’s tour?”

Winner: Drake, by a landslide. (And Norm Kelly, whose owes his entire meme-ification to that fateful tweet: “You’re no longer welcome in Toronto, @MeekMill.”) Though Mill has since fired disses back at Drizzy on “War Pain” and this spring’s “All the Way Up” remix, it’s difficult to make out the mufflings of a man six feet underground.


Drake vs. Common

The feud: Drake started volleying with Common’s former flame Serena Williams in 2011 (sample tweet: “@serenawilliams I cannot wait to put it on you and make you sweat…………during our match this weekend”). Common fired back with a song called “Sweet”: “Singing all around me, man, la la la / You ain’t motherf—— Frank Sinatra.”

How Drake feels: Fired up. Drizzy took the battle to wax, recording one of his hardest verses ever on Rick Ross’ song “Stay Schemin’,” in which he accused Common of dissing him in order to boost record sales.

Winner: Serena, who breaks rappers’ hearts as coolly as she rips through tennis records. (The boys, meanwhile, made nice and chalked it up to friendly competition.)


Drake vs. Jay-Z

The feud: Though Drake and Jay have collaborated on occasion, the Canadian kid’s quest for the throne has quietly bristled Jay-Z. Drake ticked off Hova (Jay-Z’s self-appointed nickname, because he’s the “God of rap”) in a 2014 Rolling Stone interview: “It’s like Hov can’t drop bars these days without at least four art references. I would love to collect at some point, but I think the whole rap/art world thing is getting kind of corny.” Jay responded on Jay Electronica’s “We Made It (Remix)”: “Sorry, Mrs. Drizzy, for so much art talk / Silly me rappin’ ’bout shit that I really bought.” Drake shot back on “Draft Day,” spitting, “Just hits, no misses, that’s for the married folk.”

How Drake feels: It’s complicated. On one hand, when Drake sent Kanye West his 2016 song “Pop Style,” Yeezy returned it with a Jay-Z cameo—which Drizzy removed. On the other: “I’ve expressed my admiration and respect for Jay countless times,” Drake said in April. “Sometimes we just fall on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to the rap world.”

Winner: Kanye West, because he gets to be best buds with both sides.


August 15, 2016

An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that "4 PM in Calabasas" and "No Shopping" are from the album Views.