The Rift Between Jay Z, Beyonce’s Husband And Drake Explained

Jay Z, Beyonce’s husband, and Drake are two great rappers with a complicated history. Both are superbly accomplished, with Jay Z boasting over 100 million records sold and Drake breaking numerous records in recent years. In the past year alone, Drake became the most streamed artist on Spotify, had 20 simultaneous hits in the Billboard Hot 100, and surpassed Michael Jackson for having the most American Music Award nominations in history.

That said, Beyonce’s husband and Drake can hardly be referred to as close friends. Delving a bit into the history of their rift, it dates back to 2010 when Drake offered insight on his friends-to-rivals relationship with Jay Z, the self-proclaimed “Michael Jordan of recording.” This was on his song “Thank Me Now.” The lyrics in relation to this read as follows.

“That’s around the time that your idols become your rivals/You make friends with Mike but got to A.I. him for your survival.”

But in 2013, Jay Z stated that he had a lot of respect for younger artists like Drake, who were competing against him in the hip-hop industry. He referred to the “Views” singer as the Kobe Bryant of rap music. The following was his actual statement in regards to this.

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“I’m competing with them (the younger artists), but I respect them… Even Drake, we have a great relationship, I know, he feels like ‘I’m the next one, I’m right here.'”

According to his revelation, he could feel Drake’s sense of motivation while they were writing lines for “Pound Cake,” saying he did not sense any malice, which was okay in such a competitive industry. Below is the video.

“Pound Cake” was rife with passive-aggressive lines from both artists, highlighting what seemed to be a generational contest. Drake admitted this to be true. The following is an excerpt of a report by MTV detailing this.

“Drake admits that Jay Z took an immediate opportunity to stunt on him during the opening lines of his ‘Pound Cake’ … ‘I had Benzes before you had braces,’ Jay spits — but just a couple of verses later, on, the Toronto rapper makes it clear that he’s expecting mutual respect after putting up consistent wins over the last four years.”

The following are the specific lines highlighting his point.

“F*** all that ‘happy to be here’ sh** that y’all want me on/ I’m the big homey, they still be tryna lil bro me, dog/ Like I should fall in line, like I should alert n****s when I’m ’bout to drop something crazy and not say I’m the greatest of my generation.”


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In 2014, Drake rekindled their rivalry when he took a shot at Jay Z’s habit of rapping about art, calling it “corny.” This was while visiting the James Turrell Retrospective at LACMA. He expressed his appreciation for James Turrell’s work, but took a jab at Jay Z’s art-inspired rap, stating, “It’s like Hov (Jay Z) 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.”

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This was while speaking to Rolling Stone. Jay Z soon responded with some fiery lyrics directed at Drake on the song “We Made It,” featuring Jay Electronica. The following were the lines.

“Sorry Mr. Drizzy for so much art talk/Silly me rapping ’bout s**t that I really bought/While these rappers rap bout guns they ain’t shot and a bunch of silly s**t that they ain’t got.”

Just last year, Beyonce’s husband, Jay Z, was said to be in bad terms with Drake. This was after Drake released “Pop Style,” which only featured one line from Jay Z. While attempting to clarify things, Drake explained that it was in fact Kanye West who pulled Jay Z into the song and that his decision to cut Jay Z’s verse was a creative one and not personal. The following was Drake’s statement in regard to this.

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“I’ve expressed my admiration for Jay countless times. Sometimes we just fall on opposite sides of the spectrum in the rap world.”

This was as reported by Complex.

[Featured Image by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for NARAS]