Is Drake Feuding With Kanye & Jay Z? 'Views' Version Of "Pop Style" Cuts The Rappers' Verses
Music fans are likely especially happy on this fine Friday, and not just because the weekend is finally here. Drake dropped his long-anticipated album Views (formerly known as Views From The 6) and it reads like a playlist of rap's biggest heavy hitters — the album features collaborations with Rihanna, Mary J. Blige, and Future, just to name a few. But there was one notable (and seemingly last-minute) change made to the Views track list that might raise some eyebrows: "Pop Style," which was released as a single not even a month ago featuring Kanye West and Jay Z, is on the album as a solo track. So why did Drake cut West and Jay from the album version of "Pop Style?"
Before fans jump to the obvious conclusion of a feud between Drake, West, and Jay, it's important to look at the long history between these guys. West and Jay have always gone together like peanut butter and jelly — they've always seemingly had each other's backs, have been longtime collaborators, and have never publicly feuded, despite tabloid rumors suggesting a feud between their spouses, Beyoncé and Kim Kardashian. But adding Drake to the mix brings a little ambiguity, which could explain the song's change.
The three rappers have dropped each other's names both in interviews and songs in the past. In 2011, Drake rapped on DJ Khaled's "I'm On One," a thinly-veiled jab at West and Jay Z, "I'm just feeling like the throne is for the taking — watch me take it," referencing Jay and West's 2011 album Watch the Throne. But then, in 2014, Drake addressed the song to Rolling Stone by chalking the reference up to his competitive nature, saying,
Calling them "gods" is certainly pretty high praise. Furthermore, Drake said of West specifically, "Kanye and me are friends; we're plotting on getting some work done together." He then seemingly dissed Jay's inclusion of art references in his music by saying, "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."
Hmmm... well, OK. Jay responded, naturally, via song lyrics. In 2014's "We Made It," he rapped, "Sorry Mr. Drizzy for so much art talk/ Silly me rappin' 'bout sh*t that I really bought/ Why these rappers rap about guns they ain't shot?/ And a bunch of other silly sh*t that they ain't got."
As for Drake and West, it seems there's only love between them. In an interview on OVO Sound Radio Thursday night, Drake sung West's praises as both an artist and a neighbor. The two live close to each other in Calabasas, Calif., and seem to spend lots of time with each other. Drake said,
In the interview, Drake also addressed why he left West and Jay off the album version of "Pop Style," and his response is certainly up for interpretation. He said,
It seems like Drake wanted West on the song, and got more than he bargained for when Jay joined for a few lines. It's also telling that Drake has released Views exclusively to Apple Music, choosing not to release it to Jay's music streaming service TIDAL. It certainly seems like Drake has respect for Jay, but prefers to keep their relationship at a distance.
Either way, music fans can respect and enjoy all three of them, which is exactly what I predict Drake, Jay, and West would want.