Drake Leaks Kanye West and Andre 3000 Song, Andre 3000 Responds

Another week, another new bizarre development in Drake and Kanye West’s eternal cold war, which has been running quite hot for the last month. It was inevitable that Drake would stoke the flames with new bars on his album—sure enough, a full song was dedicated to addressing and dissing Kanye. Neither Kanye nor his cohorts like Pusha T have responded at press time, but an unexpected plot twist came during the wee hours of Friday night/Saturday morning when Drake went on his Instagram to promote OVO Sound’s weekly Sirius radio show Sound 42 a little harder than usual. Fans took the hint, and instead of just Certified Lover Boy songs and rare loosie tracks, Drake unearthed a song not from his own vault, but…Kanye’s.

Let’s back up: this past week Kanye granted his first interview during the Donda era to a journalist in Berlin, where he previewed a new song with Andre 3000 called “Life of the Party.” (The album is named after/inspired by Kanye’s late mother, on one track he wistfully raps “Mama, you were the life of the party.”) It was expected that Kanye would formally release the track soon, if not on its own then by adding it to Donda on streaming services. Well, whatever his plans were, Drake promptly spoiled them—somehow Drake acquired a high quality rip of the full song, which he played on Sound 42. At the same time, he changed the caption of a photo of himself playing Sound 42 with friends in front of his Toronto mansion from “Tune tf in” to “Waste removal.” Read into that what you will.

Regardless of Drake’s intentions though, response to the song was immediately positive, with many listeners declaring if “Life of the Party” made the cut, it would easily be the best song on Donda. Over the warm, soulful beat, Andre delivers a verse that connects the album’s theme to his experience losing his own mother back in 2013. (Andre previously released a crushing song about his mother’s passing in 2018.) “Hey, Miss Donda/If you run into my mama, please tell her I said, “Say something”/I’m starting to believe ain’t no such thing as heaven’s trumpets/No after-over, this is it, done/If there’s a Heaven you would think they’d let ya speak to your sonMaybe she has in the form of a baby’s laugh/I heard passing by in a stroller remindin me ‘Hey, keep rolling on.’” To close out the idea of communing with lost parents, the song closes with old audio of DMX reassuring his child from his classic rollercoaster video.

Kanye opens his verse also talking to his mother—“Mama, your son in the red hat had suffered setbacks”—but the turns it takes from there might explain why Drake chose to spoil its release. (Unfortunately there’s a second red hat reference, this time in the present tense.) It’s unclear when Kanye recorded this but the majority of the verse addresses his issues with Drake, from general shots like declaring he fathered Drake and a swath of other rappers’ style (“He made 808s, so he’s everyone’s dad”) to a direct name-drop: “Told Drake don’t play with me on GD/And he sent that message to everybody/So if I hit you with a ‘w-y-d’/You better hit me ‘Yes sir I’m writing everything you need.'” (GD refers to, of course, the Chicago gang Gangster Disciples, whose imprisoned founder, Larry Hoover, Kanye has been working to free.) He also alludes to the group chat he posted weeks ago that he started and added Drake and Virgil Abloh into, and even admits CyHi the Prynce, his close collaborator and co-writer, told him straight up that “Sicko Mode” is the biggest song he’s ever written on. (CyHi contributed to the now diamond certified song because he works closely and often with fellow Kanye affiliate Travis Scott, but Drake’s scene-stealing verse is infamous for containing several Kanye disses.) 

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