During an interview for HBO’s sports talk show “The Shop,” the Canadian rapper sat down with LeBron James and his business partner Maverick Carter for a candid conversation, in which he addressed his highly-publicized feud with Pusha and rift with West. Carter brought up Drake’s recording sessions with Kanye, during which he disclosed details about his “secret” son and Scorpion release.
“I ended up linking with ‘Ye and he sold me on this whole speech of like, I’m in a great place, I’m making money, I’m a father, and I wanna be Quincy Jones and help you, but in order to do that you gotta be transparent with me, and you gotta play me your music, and you gotta tell me when you’re dropping,” said Drake. “I was in the studio. We all kinda felt a genuine vibe from it. I played him my music. And I told him when I was dropping.”
— Rob Lopez (@r0bato) October 13, 2018
He said he was about 60 percent done with Scorpion at the time. Kanye played him the beat for “Lift Yourself” and offered to give it to him. “I was hype. I started writing to it. And then he was like, ‘Yo, you gotta come to Wyoming.’ [Producer] 40 went to Wyoming early. He was like, ‘Man, I’m here a day early. Something’s off. This guy’s working on an album.’ And I was like, ‘For real?’ He just told me he wanted to give me beats. He said he wasn’t dropping until like October or November. It’s all good. Let’s just see what it’s about. So I went and ended up pretty much spending the majority of my time working on his music, just tryna cook up ideas for him. Just trying to lend a helping hand. I spent all my time pretty much working on his stuff. I left Wyoming and I was like, ‘We left with ‘Lift Yourself’ and a pat on the back.’ I’ll try and make the most of this and hopefully he sends some other things through.”
During his trip to Wyoming, Drake played “March 14” for Kanye and showed him a photo of his son and revealed personal details about his relationship with his baby mother. “I tell him I’m having trouble with my son’s mother. We had a conversation,” said Drake.
Soon after, he saw that Kanye had announced the release dates for his album, as well as Pusha-T, Kids See Ghosts, Nas, and Teyana Taylor, which were in the same vicinity as Scorpion‘s release. “All around June 15, by the way. Then the next two days, I wake up to this text from him passive like, ‘Yo, I love you brother.’ ‘Lift Yourself’ comes out with him just talking nonsense. This guy’s trolling me? This was a manipulative I wanna break you thing. So I said alright. I’m gonna go back to distancing myself again. I know what this is. Then the first album drops and of course, there’s a diss song towards me that you produced that’s talking about writing. I was just there with you as friends helping you and now you’re dissing me. This is dark. It took me four days to really register what had happened.”
On his diss track “The Story of Adidon,” Pusha called Drake a “deadbeat” dad and disses his mother and father, but Drake was most hurt by what Pusha said about his friend and producer Noah “40” Shebib, who is battling multiple sclerosis.
“People love to say, like rap purists and people who just love confrontation, ‘Man, there’s no rules in this shit.’ But there are fucking rules in this shit. I knew something was gonna come up about my kid. They had to add the deadbeat thing to make it more appealing. The mom and dad thing, whatever you don’t even know my family. But I’ma tell you. Wishing death on my friend who has MS—I study rap battles for a living. When you mention defenseless people who are sick, in the hospital, that passed away, that really sent me to a place where I just believed then and believed now that there’s a price you have to pay for that. It’s over. Someone’s gonna punch you in the fucking face. The shit’s done. The event’s over. I wanted to do other things. I didn’t wanna further your reputation or your career by rapping back at you and having this exchange.”
Drake reveals that he did record a response to “Adidon,” but decided against releasing it because it was too personal. “I did and I said terrible things. I got home and I just listened back to it and I was like, ‘Man, this is not something I ever wanna be remembered for. This is not even a place that I necessarily even wanna go.’”
He applauds Pusha for the strategic move, but panned the diss. “By the way, hell of a chess move. The song, I thought it was trash. But the chess move was genius. Back against the wall. I either go all the way filthy or I fall back and I have this sort of chink in my armor for the rest of time to a rap purist, which is fine. I can live with that. I would much rather live with that than the things that I was about to, the research I did, the things that I was gonna say, and the places that I was gonna go—not only for him, but for the other guy too. And now, I feel pure. I’m good.”
He was able to channel his energy into recording four tracks that ended up on Scorpion. “I took that energy and I put it into me. Not you, you don’t get that from me. I didn’t have ‘In My Feelings,’ I didn’t have ‘Nonstop,’ I didn’t have ‘8 Out of 10,’ I didn’t have ‘Mob Ties.’”