San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

The rivalry between Drake & Kanye has made a significant impact on hip-hop

Hemen Mesfin
Drake and Kanye’s public rivalry has prompted many fans to compare the two’s historical stats in a head-to-head matchup.

Kanye West and Aubrey “Drake” Graham are two rappers whose careers have dominated the airwaves over the last 15 years. From the iconic songs they’ve collaborated on to the bitter sneak disses aimed at each other, the rappers have seemed to reach another boiling point in their relationship.

The release of their new albums, “Donda” by Kanye West and “Certified Lover Boy” by Drake, showcases that tensions between the two rappers and their fan bases haven’t been this high since Drake’s 2018 spat with G.O.O.D. Music’s Pusha T. 

Criminal justice junior Javier Flores and a massive Kanye fan was relieved to hear the new album sound like Kanye’s past music. 

“For ‘Donda,’ I really liked it, I felt like it was very different… it really grew on Kanye’s sound from what he’s done with ‘The Life of Pablo’ and ‘808s and Heartbreak,’” Flores said. 

West’s album “Donda” was released to the world in the most extravagant way possible, extremely on-brand for the rapper. He lived in Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta enjoying soccer games and live streaming the final productions of the album. He would end his stay in Atlanta by performing two album listening parties in late July and early August, finishing with a final listening party in his hometown of Chicago at Soldier Field on Aug. 26.

Following West’s dramatic rollout for “Donda,” fans felt like the pressure was on for Drake to release his long-awaited “Certified Lover Boy.” Teasers were broadcasted during an ESPN segment, finally confirming a release date for the album, Sep. 3 a date that would turn out to be only five days after West surprisingly released Donda on Aug. 29.

It seemed like the two rappers were using their album releases as a way to battle one another, something not uncommon in hip-hop. 

After Drake rapped lyrics aimed at West in his guest feature for Trippie Redd’s “Betrayal,” West infamously tweeted a screenshot of a conversation on a group chat on iMessage which fans speculated included Drake. 

“I live for this. I’ve been f***** with by nerd a** jock n****s like you my whole life. You will never recover. I promise you.” West said in the text. 

Adding to the drama, Drake, on a recent Sirius XM guest DJ set, directly leaked an unreleased song of West’s which contained a verse from legendary Atlanta rapper Andre 3000.

While a collaboration between Andre 3000 and Kanye West is something fans have anticipated with excitement, the manner in which it was released disheartened Andre 3000. He said in a statement through a representative, “It’s unfortunate that it was released in this way and two artists that I love are going back and forth.” 

SDSU students who have been following the story and albums online shared their opinion about seeing two of the top rappers in the world beefing. 

Psychology senior Cassandra Greene feels that Kanye West has slowly been falling off the wagon. 

“I would say both are legendary.  Yet, I think Kanye had done some things in his career that is very bizarre and crazy,” Greene said “Drake keeps to himself and just drops bangers.” 

The different paths the rappers have been on in recent years are reflected in each of their albums. 

“Donda” also sounds like West’s most personal album to date, with many songs focusing on Christianity, mental health and his publicized marriage with Kim Kardashian.

Songs such as “Off the Grid”, “Jail”, and “Hurricane” are instant hits as they display the best of West’s production skills and his ability for getting the best features on his songs with Fivio Foreign, Playboi Carti, The Weeknd, Lil Baby, and Jay-Z all providing verses.

“Certified Lover Boy” on the other hand continues Drake’s run of commercially successful albums. “Way 2 Sexy” with Future and “Girls Want Girls” with Lil Baby are clear frontrunners for hits from the album. 

Kanye West’s “Donda” ended its first week run with 309,000 sales, according to Chart Data on Twitter. These numbers earned West his tenth number one album on the Billboard Top 200 in his career.

Drake’s “Certified Lover Boy” would also go on to be the number one album the week it was released becoming his tenth number one album on the Billboard top 200, garnering over 613,000 sales, according to Chart Data on Twitter.  

General business major junior Mathew Siegfried sums up Kanye and Drake’s career over the last 5 years. 

“Kanye’s had a longer career but I think over the last five years Drake has been far more successful,” Siegfried said. 

Whether you stand with Kanye West, Drake or have no interest in their beef at all, one can’t deny that their relationship has played an important role in hip-hop in the last decade.

About the Contributor
Hemen Mesfin
Hemen Mesfin, '21-22 Graphics Editor
Born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Mesfin and has been living in San Diego for a while and is excited to be part of this year’s editorial staff. She has a strong interest in storytelling and strives to create meaningful designs.

In her free time, Mesfin enjoys traveling, taking landscape photos and quoting The Office.

Hemen Mesfin is a senior studying graphic design. 
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San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913
The rivalry between Drake & Kanye has made a significant impact on hip-hop