Is Kanye West's "Real Friends" A Diss To Drake? The Lyrics Definitely Reference Him
Kanye's latest album — the elusive The Life of Pablo — hit everyone's collective consciousness with a bang via live stream at Madison Square Garden, and I think it's fair to say that everyone's riding on the coattails of the excitement right now (and that those models have certainly been given naps, or at the very least, chairs). The Life Of Pablo, in its entirety, was in a word, Kanye West. So like, crazy and genius all at the same time. But of course, fans started reeling over what some of the songs and lyrics meant the moment they hit the airwaves. After all, would a Kanye album be a Kanye album without some sort of ulterior message hidden somewhere? And would a Kanye album be a Kanye album without a diss hidden somewhere? Existential food for thought. But, after listening to much of the album, I've gotta wonder: Did Kanye West diss Drake in "Real Friends"?
I mean, it certainly sounds like the song "Real Friends" seems to take a stab — OK, two — at none other than Kanye's on-again/off-again homie, Drake. Their passive aggressive feud has long been hinted at — though the two have denied such things and have even collaborated on music in the past. But there's no denying that the following sentiment from West's "Real Friends" is at least referring to Drizzy: Specifically, "who are your real friends? We all came from the bottom," and "To be honest dog, I ain't feeling your energy." Whoa, that's two Drake song references ("Started From The Bottom" and "Energy," respectively). Both shoutouts are laced with some subtle (and not so subtle) digs. What gives?
Did a feud resurface unbeknownst to us? Last time I checked, the two seemed to be in a good place. Is this just a confrontational line for confrontation sake? Or does it really mean nothing at all, and am I just reading way too into it? Probably a combination of all three options. When we take a closer look at the song in general, things might appear more lucid: With lyrics like "Real friends, how many of us?/ How many of us, how many jealous? Real friends/ It's not many of us, we smile at each other/Trust issues," it's clear this song seeks to explore the relationships between being famous and being able to maintain friendships. A tricky and probably murky thing that I, for one, cannot relate to at all. (Sorry, Ye.) Though I do understand the sentiments of being busy, and forgetting to call those you love.
Kanye finishes up the song with this: "Real friends/ I guess I get what I deserve, don't I?" Which makes me think, perhaps this is more of a mea culpa to Drake and possibly others that Kanye has fallen out of touch, and less of a diss track. But then again, it's Kanye, so who really knows.