Kanye West has never been one to engage in lyrical warfare, having gone the majority of his career without a full-fledged hip-hop beef. Despite ruffling more than his fair share of feathers throughout the years, Yeezy has opted to play the pacifist, even after fielding shots from Drake, J. Cole, Daz Dillinger, Jay-Z, and more. Yet that’s not to say he hasn’t been tempted to clap back, as evidenced by a newly surfaced version of Pusha T‘s “What Would Meek Do?”
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A few weeks ago, a brief fragment of his original verse surfaced, in which Yeezy appeared to be delivering a message to J. Cole. “You heard Cole on that song He was tryna hate,” rapped Yeezy, alluding to Cole’s “False Prophets” single. Now, a full version of Ye’s OG verse has surfaced, which resolves the Cole cliffhanger (his presence lives and dies with that single line) while revealing yet another target – Drake. Consider that Kanye and Pusha likely recorded this one during the Surgical Summer sessions, which ultimately climaxed in a full-fledged war. Interestingly enough, Ye’s shots at Drake would have been prior to hearing “Duppy,” which reveals the extent of the behind-the-scenes animosity between both men.
While the illicit version currently making the rounds will not be posted here (you can check it out on Complex right here), some of the lyrics can be read as follows: “We got cribs on the block too, Drizzy wearing Yeezy on the low though / Only repping Nike for promo.” Given that this beef ultimately exploded in a bout of nastiness, Kanye’s shots feel tame by comparison. Yet the mere fact he decided to give Drake a few lines speaks to his mindset around that time, which is to say, uncharacteristically combative. It would appear the title “What Would Meek Do?” truly does operate on multiple levels.