I was really hoping that I would never feel the need to write about Kanye in this way again. Following my review article on "ye", Kanye's latest solo album he released this year, I felt incredibly optimistic about the artist's mental state and the direction he was heading. For the longest time, he dropped his political charade and appeared to dive deeper into his music and Yeezy company. At one point he spent an extended period of time in Chicago and even said he was moving there permanently to a crowd in September. There was a great sense that he was progressing and making steps toward improving his mental health.
You could, therefore, imagine my surprise when Kanye let out this barrage of tweets about his current relationship Drake, among a couple of other things.
For the uninitiated, Kanye's issues with Drake originated from a feud Drake and Pusha T got into back in May of this year. Pusha T released his "Daytona" album on which he takes shots at Drake for a multitude of things. Kanye produced the entire album, among others at the time, as he was spending a lot of time in Wyoming at the time. A few days after Pusha T releases "Daytona" Drake responds with "Duppy Freestyle" which prompts "The Story of Adidon" from Pusha T and we all know what happened from there.
Kanye and Drake also have a history in of its self. This video from Complex really explains a lot of it but essentially, the two of them have been competitors for pretty much the entirety of Drake's career. Kanye helped produce "Find Your Love" off of Drake's breakout mixtape "So Far Gone" which perfectly ties into how this new saga in the beef began. Keep in mind, Kanye posted probably a hundred tweets over the past couple of days but I only want to go through and talk about a handful of them.
"Say What's Real" was another song off of "Take Care" that Kanye produced. If you listen to the song, it very obviously has later-Kanye influences especially for 2011. Drake probably wanted to get clearance in order to eventually re-release "Take Care" on streaming services. It's a very peculiar thing for Kanye to take offense to, especially considering this is simply a business transaction.
On the French Montana song "No Stylist" Drake says "Keeping it G, I told her don't wear no 350s around me". That's it. That's the entire line. But I get it, Kanye's Adidas line of shoes is his bread and butter right now but I don't think Drake's line did anything to hurt his shoe sales. Drake has a contract with Nike/Jordan so if anything, it's just playing up that rivalry that Kanye West so conveniently started with "Facts" which he not only posted on Soundcloud but remixed for "The Life of Pablo".
If we remember, it was Kanye who attempted to call off the beef between Drake and Pusha T. If Drake feels Kanye wronged him, he's in no way obligated to accept his olive branch or even meet with him face-to-face. I also have an issue with the timing of Kanye's olive branch. He had an opportunity to say something and intervene when Pusha T initiated everything with "Infrared" off of "Daytona" but he waits until everything gets too out of control.
This was a huge point of contention in the whole feud. Drake recently went on LeBron James' show "The Shop" to discuss what happened between him and Kanye and everything seems to point toward Kanye being the source. According to Drake, he talked to Kanye about his son, revealed that he was having problems with the child's mother and even showed Kanye a picture of his son. Time passes and "The Story of Adidon" comes out. Way too convenient. But Pusha T says it was a woman that Drake's producer, OVO 40, was seeing that revealed that information. Much harder to confirm. Kanye did, however, intentionally release his albums around the same time as Drake's "Scorpion" and essentially burn a beat that Drake asked for on "Life Yourself" so Kanye wasn't exactly a saint during this time.
Drake said it himself, "your idols become your rivals". Kanye kept referencing that he's Drake's idol. Maybe at one point, but Drake has been on the same level or perhaps surpassed Kanye for a few years now in terms of sheer popularity. Kanye still has that legendary run in the early 2000s but in the past five years, the two of them have essentially been neck and neck. Let's also be clear about this: there wouldn't be a Kanye without Pharrell. Pharrell had established himself as outside the norm for the entirety of his career and was already well established by the time Kanye even got some industry traction.
This tweet right here gave me the greatest indication that Kanye lacks a great deal of self-awareness. Kanye is mad at Travis Scott for allowing Drake to diss Kanye on "Sicko Mode". But Drake is originally mad at Kanye for allowing Pusha T to diss him on "Daytona". Does anyone else see the irony in this? Kanye was perfectly fine playing the subliminal games with Drake, releasing his albums in June and burning the "Lift Yourself" beat, but somehow has a problem when Drake does the same caliber of mind games on him.
I really don't have anything to say about this particular tweet but I hope everyone realizes the irony here. Another moment where Kanye lacks self-awareness.
If he's still talking about Drake here, which I can only assume he is, I still can't see the logic behind this argument. As I mentioned before, Drake and Kanye are both in the upper echelon of rap so to say that Drake's dissing Kanye for clout really doesn't add up. I understand that Kanye has done a lot to break the norms on music, fashion and just culture in general. I would never want to take that away from him. However, just because he's done all those things should never make him immune from criticism.
This came a couple of days after the initial set of tweets and I just think it's an incredibly dangerous line of thinking. In a way, Kanye is saying that creativity and being on medication are mutually exclusive. Many people need medication in order to just live their daily lives. If Kanye wants to truly change the narrative behind mental health, he should be pushing the idea that medication is meant to assist people, not hold them back. He's gone back and forth on what he's even diagnosed with. His album art on "ye" said "I hate being bipolar, it's awesome" but later when he sat down with Trump he said he was misdiagnosed and he was actually sleep deprived. I'm not saying I don't believe Kanye when he says he has a mental illness, I just wish he would remain consistent.
I still enjoy Kanye's music and I can still see the good in him despite all of his shortcomings. It's just that over time, he's given me more and more reasons to worry about his mental state. At one point, he's saying that medication is helping him, the other he's saying he's been off medication for a long time and it was holding him back. It's all or nothing with him, and that's who he is and I understand that. Drake might not think of Kanye as an idol anymore, and at one point in time, I did too. But it's been harder and harder to watch him go down this self-destructive path. He very obviously doesn't take advice (or criticism) from anyone, but the path that mentality has lead him down has left me with a lot of concerns. I'll always wish the best for him, but the public's patience for change has begun to get thin, as is mine. I'm growing weary of the false promises Kanye gives that he'll better himself only for him to go on another rant of some sort and end up right back to where he started. I wish the best for him, but I don't know how much longer I can stand to watch this train wreck continue.