Friday night’s episode of HBO’s The Shop didn’t disappoint.
After chopping it up with athletes Ben Simmons, Victor Oladipo, Mo Bamba, and Elena Delle Donne, LeBron James welcomed Drake into the shop, where they discussed a wide range of topics. Drizzy spoke about his relationship with his parents, the mother of his child, as well as eventually leaving the rap game; however, the highlight of the episode was definitely toward the end, when the 6 God discussed his issues with Kanye West.
Drake claimed they connected in the studio prior to the release of their respective albums, Scorpion and Ye. The Chicago rapper pressured Drake to reveal details about his then-mysterious project, which was about 60 percent done at the time. Drake, assuming Kanye had good intentions, obliged.
“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, and I’m a father, and I wanna be Quincy Jones and help you, but in order to do that, you’ve gotta be transparent with me. And you gotta play me your music, and you gotta tell me when you’re dropping. And I know you don’t like to do things like that,'” Drake recalled. “And so I was in the studio, guess we all kind of felt a genuine vibe from it. So I play him my music, and I told him when I was dropping.”
Drake said he believed everything was good between him and Ye, that is, until he left the Wyoming sessions. He told LeBron that he accepted the invitation to Jackson Hole, unaware that Kanye was working on his eighth studio album.
“He played me ‘Lift Yourself’ and he was like, ‘Yo, you can have this if you want.’ And I was hype. I started writing to it. And then he was like, ‘Yo, you gotta come to Wyoming.’ So Wyoming happened,” he explained. “And then (producer Noah “40” Shebib) went to Wyoming early, and he was like, ‘Man, I’m here a day early, man. Something’s off.’ He’s like, ‘This guy is working on an album.’ And I was like, ‘For real? He just told me he wanted to work on, like he just told me he wanted to give me beats.'”
He continued: “And he said he wasn’t dropping until like October, November, something like that. And I’m like, ‘It’s all good, let’s just go, and 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 trying to like cook up ideas for him.”
During his Wyoming visit, Drake played “March 14” for Kanye and even showed him a picture of his then-secret son.
“I’m in Wyoming, I play him “March 14.” I send him a picture of my son,” Drake explained. “I tell him I’m having trouble with my son’s mother. We had a conversation.”
The day after the two spoke Drake’s family problems, he woke to find details of their discussion on the internet.
“I wake up, and all these dates are out. Then the next two days, whatever, I wake up now to this text from him, passive like, ‘Yo, I love you brother,'” he recalled. “‘Lift Yourself’ comes out with him just talking nonsense. Oh this guy’s trolling me. This was like a manipulative, like, ‘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 toward 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. So I’m like, man, this is dark.”
As we now know, Drake began beefing with the G.O.O.D. Music crew over Pusha-T’s “Infrared.” Drake responded with “Duppy Freestyle,” and Pusha-T hit back with “The Story of Adidon,” which outed Drake as a father.
“People love to say, like rap purists and people who just love confrontation, they love to say, ‘Aye there’s no rules in this shit.’ But there are fucking rules in this shit,” he said. “And I’m gonna tell you something: It’s like, I knew something was gonna come up about my kid. They had to add the deadbeat thing to make it more appealing, which is fine. I understand that. Even that, I was like, OK. The mom and dad thing, whatever. You don’t even know my family. But I’mma tell you, wishing death on my friend that has MS… I study rap battles for a living. Now 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 believe now, that there’s just a price that you have to pay for that. It’s over. You’re gonna get… someone’s gonna fucking 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. And that was it for me.”
Drake also explained why he didn’t drop his response, which was locked and loaded to go.
“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,” he said. “This is not even a place that I necessarily want to go. And to all the people who enjoy that, I tip my hat to you. 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 the other guy too.”
Earlier in the episode, Drake opened up about his relationship with Sophie Brussaux, the mother of his son. He explained that he will always love her and try to maintain a healthy relationship—something he, unfortunately, didn’t witness with his own parents.
“I do wanna be able to explain to my son what happened, but I don’t have any desire to not love his mother. Or I don’t ever want the world to be angry at his mother. We found ourselves in a situation, and we are both equally responsible. And now I’m just really excited to be a great father. I have a son, he’s a beautiful boy,” he said “No matter what happens, I have an unconditional love for the mother of my child because I want him to love his mother and I have to project that energy. But I didn’t come from that. I came from my mother being like, ‘Nah, your dad is this.’ But one thing my dad would never speak ill of my mother ever, ever, ever. And my mother is the nicest, kindest, sweetest woman, but she’s a woman scorned, and a woman who is exhausted.”