It’s also not the only song on the album that contains aggressive bars towards another rapper. Elsewhere on Certified Lover Boy, Drake appears to reference his less splashy but seemingly just as contentious beef with Swizz Beatz. Last year during an IG live session, Swizz went on a seemingly unprovoked rant against Drake, alluding to a leaked song by Busta Rhymes and Drake and saying “He’s not a bad kid, he’s a good kid. He started from different things, we made a hit record together, it’s all love. I just wanna play music. Because my filter is burnt. Because at the end of the day, n-ggas is pussy for real.”
At one point, Swizz even said “shoot your plane out the sky”—around that time, Drake had been making a big show of unveiling his new private jet designed by Virgil Abloh. Swizz later addressed his comments but didn’t exactly apologize, instead explaining that he was drunk and “Spoke on some things that I definitely shouldn’t have spoke on. Although I may feel a certain way about a certain person, as a G, I’m man enough to say that I did that on the wrong platform.” Drake’s right-hand-man and veritable enforcer Chubbs would later reply to Swizz saying “We don’t need no apology, it’s clear you don’t like us so act that same when you see us, pussy.”
On CLB’s “You Only Live Twice,” Drake raps “Unthinkable when I think of the way these n-ggas been actin’/Yeah I never did nothin’ and you play like we family, huh?/Next thing you wanna shoot me down, it can’t be love/Not sure where you was tryin to send it, it can’t be up/That day you sounded like a bitch, you fancy, huh?”
A couple things here: “Shoot me down” is obviously a direct response to Swizz’s plane comment, and Drake also slickly references “Fancy,” their collaboration from his first album back in 2010. But that’s not the only song from that era he alludes to. It can’t be coincidence that he starts the response off with “Unthinkable,” also the name of the 2009 song Drake wrote for Swizz’s wife, Alicia Keys. The last time Drake brought spouses into a war of words, it landed him in hot water. We’ll see how this one develops, but it wouldn’t be surprising if Pusha T’s next bars for Drake are over a Swizz beat… (It should be noted too that Drake went out of his way to respond to Swizz on a song that features Lil Wayne and Rick Ross, two rappers both are very close with.)
In the interest of counterbalancing all of this negativity though, it should be said that one song on Certified Lover Boy is a token of reconciliation. Drake and Kid Cudi came into the industry around the same time as friends, appearing in this very magazine together as well as each other’s music videos. But by 2016, that relationship soured when Cudi took aim at Drake (ironically, in the midst of his own issues with Kanye, at a time when Drake and Kanye were cool with each other and actually making an album together.) To recap: Cudi tweeted about rappers needing songwriters, Drake dissed him on a song, Cudi tweeted again this time saying “Say it to my face pussy,” Drake responded again on wax daring Cudi to “Come outside” so he could do just that. It’s unclear when they patched things up, or even how, given Drake’s ongoing feud with Kanye and his larger camp, but their new (and first legitimate) collab, “IMY2,” in which Cudi brings Drake into his spacey, vibey sonic realm, is among the early standouts on first-listen of the album.