After Meek Mill accused Drake last week of using a ghostwriter named Quentin Miller, things got … hairy. Mill set off a not-insignificant maelstrom of angst and handwringing. Drake’s one of the best in the game. What if it was all just a lie?
Complex and MTV published pieces suggesting maybe we needed to relitigate our attitudes about ghostwriters. Even if rappers such as Kanye West and Dr. Dre have benefited from their help — how far did your eyes widen upon learning that Jay Z wrote “Still Dre”? — this put an ugly dent in Drake’s quest for the crown of Best To Ever Do It.
Were we really going to have to reevaluate everything?
It was, in a word, unsettling, and all the more so because Drake, himself a prolific user of social media, did not answer immediately. But his producer and friend, Noah “40” Shebib tweeted a vigorous defense.
“Theres countless number ones and songs drake has written for others never mind himself, thats the funny part lol! To be even feeling my own need to say these things is crazy,” Shebib wrote. “and even more ironic is that drake is maybe the most personal rapper ever. never has someone spoken about themselves or there own perspective so vividly… ever. its why people have called him soft… because he shows humility and is truthful and honest. you’re smokin that s— you say you selling if you think someone wrote that s—. so if someone wants to be upset that drake made a great album, go for it, get mad all day lol! but don’t ever question my brothers pen.”
Then came the warm-up. Because it turns out, that’s what “Charged Up” was.
Whether you thought “Charged Up” was soft as baby lotion, as Meek Mill did, is irrelevant now and forevermore.
With “Back to Back,” not only did Drake drop bars, he accompanied his ether with a picture of Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Joe Carter after he hit a walk-off home run that resulted in the Blue Jays winning the 1993 World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies. That home run was responsible for the Blue Jays clinching back-to-back World Series titles.
Mill is from Philadelphia.
We’re pretty certain this is not how Mill saw things going for himself when he first rapped, “it’s levels to this s—.”
Yes, Meek. Yes, there are.
Perhaps what’s most interesting about the feud between Meek Mill and Drake was that it was high-profile enough to spill into popular culture. Drake, who killed hosting “Saturday Night Live” and who wasn’t afraid to make fun of himself while hosting the 2014 ESPYs, is about as mainstream a celebrity as it gets. Mill, on the other hand, is still very much a traditional sort of rapper. Outside of people who follow hip-hop closely, Mill is probably best known as Nicki Minaj’s boyfriend. Minaj, who has transcended what it means to be the star of hip-pop, has brought Mill along for the ride:
This was not 50 versus Rick Ross. This was a rap feud everyone could appreciate, made juuust messy enough by the fact that Drake and Minaj are on the same label. And then there’s that infamous image of them from the “Anaconda” video.
Drake was not afraid to hit Mill where he knew it would hurt. “I know that you gotta be a thug for her/this ain’t what she meant when she told you to open up more,” he rapped.
But perhaps the sickest line was this one: “You love her then you gotta give the world to her/Is that a world tour or your girl’s tour?” which amounted to gratuitous knife-twisting on Drake’s part. The “Back to Back” freestyle appeared on the OVO Soundcloud account around 5:30 Wednesday morning, just hours after Meek Mill was reportedly booed in Drake’s hometown of Toronto while performing on Minaj’s Pinkprint Tour.
Even Norm Kelly, a Toronto city councillor and apparent Drake partisan, tweeted his reaction to “Back to Back.”
This followed Kelly’s Twitter dustup with Mill last week.
After Drake dropped “Charged Up” Sunday, Kelly tweeted this gem, a reference to the diss track’s accompanying art:
After tweeting up a storm last week about how he had more reference tracks from Drake’s alleged ghostwriter and was willing to leak them, Hot 97’s Funkmaster Flex announced via Instagram that he had an exclusive interview with Meek Mill Monday. It was expected that Mill would answer Drake’s first track, which clearly was about him, even if Drake went the passive-aggressive route and didn’t actually name Mill in it.
But then, nothing materialized. There was no exclusive. Mill didn’t show up and freestyle a response. As a result, Azeem Khan of New York started a Change.org petition to get Flex booted from Hot 97 which has netted more than 9,000 signatures.
This morning, Flex has been quiet on the Mill/Drake front. And, perhaps tellingly, so has Mill.