“Drake, here’s how they gon’ come at you, with silly rap feuds, tryna distract you.” In 2010, Jay-Z warned Drake of what was to come, as long as he stayed in the rap game. At the time, when “Light Up” was gaining popularity, who would have guessed Drake would be invovled in a feud by the next year? More surprising than the peaceful Drake being involved with beef is the beef being with Common, another rapper who has maintained peace over the years, for the most part.
The hip hop landscape has drastically changed over the past decade. Early in the 2000s, rappers were known for their primary beef. Jay-Z and Nas went through an epic battle, which boosted both rappers’ careers and 50 Cent made a name for himself by going after well-known rappers. After Lil Wayne attempted to go after Jay-Z throughout 2006 and most of 2007, the beef began to play out. Instead of hearing about new beefs, instead hip hop news was filled with rappers making peace with each other.
It was during this time when Drake was emerging in the game. By 2009, Drake took over the underground with his popular So Far Gone mixtape. Later in the year, Drake ended the speculation and finally signed with the fledgling Lil Wayne-led Young Money, giving instant credibility to Lil Wayne, as a record executive, and Young Money, as a label. Moving forward, Drake released his successful debut album and gained the respect of all of the power-players in the game. Drake was primarily known for his flirtations with Rihanna and Nicki Minaj, during this period of time.
The things which made Drake popular in 2010 seemed to backfire on him in 2011. From the beginning, Drake made it clear he was an emotional rapper. Initially, fans and critics loved Drake for this emotional intensity, but he was soon called “girly” for his by 2011. Hip hop, as a whole, has gotten soft to many veterans and longtime fans. Common, a veteran in the game, has noticed this and decided to give hip hop a reality check, with his single, “Sweet.” However, many felt the song was a jab at Drake, who has been spending a great amount of time with Common’s former flame, Serena Williams.
Common openly discussed “Sweet,” but denied directly dissing Drake. But, Common went on to say he felt as if rappers took offense to the song, they must indeed be “sweet.” Drake talked about the situation in the middle of one of his performances and responded to Common’s diss on his verse on Rick Ross’ “Stay Schemin’.” Picking up on this, Common left the subliminal disses behind him and called Drake out by name on his own remix of the song. The internet has been buzzing since Common leaked his freestyle and now the question is, will Drake respond?