Breaking Down Drake Vs. Kanye West: A Detailed History

drake kanye

Drake and Kanye West are two of the biggest and most influential artists in hip-hop today, and that should come as no surprise. Each has been at the top of his respective game for a while now; Drake has had three No. 1 albums and a Top 10 EP in four years, while Kanye is seven albums and nine years into an illustrious and genre-bending career. They both also dominated the headlines this year with massive albums and extensive promo runs, rarely staying out of the public eye for long.

Their most recent spurt in publicity came in the past few weeks, when Kanye announced to Hot 97′s Angie Martinez that he’d be leaving behind his lucrative shoe endorsement deal with Nike to take his talents to rival Adidas, a move that was quickly followed by a Nike announcement saying that they’d signed Drake to a shoe deal, a prototype of which can be found below left (Kanye’s Yeezys are on the right).

OVOs Yeezys

It was another frustration in a recent line of business-related issues for Kanye, who has had a difficult time trying to break into the fashion world as well as a few technical issues in trying to pull off his full Yeezus Tour. But he’s also had to deal with a simmering beef with Drake that, while seemingly squashed at varying points throughout the year, has been bubbling as the two vie for hip-hop, and cultural, dominance. So with the two recently pitted against each other again—Nike vs. Adidas, Yeezus vs. Nothing Was The SameXXL broke down the differences and similarities between the two artists, focusing on their overall aesthetics, beefs and successes within the game, and sales and cultural influence (Ed. Note: For comparison’s sake, Drake’s three albums were compared to Kanye’s first three albums where appropriate). Let the debates begin. —Dan Rys (@danrys)

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  • BrianRaider

    I Guess This Is A Cold War. I Didn’t Even Know A Rift Existed Until People Were Talking When Ye Did The Ovo Fest. That’s When I Heard It. Well I Enjoy Both Brothers Music! & Im About Unity Lets Put The Past In The Past Make Music & Money Together!!!! The Work They Made Together Is Timeless!!! #Unity!!!

  • YeezyTaughtMe

    XXL is forgetting one key component here. Aside from the fact that The College Dropout, Late Registration and Graduation are all monumentally better than any of Drake’s albums, Kanye also PRODUCED pretty much every track on those albums as well as acclaimed albums for Jay, Common, Scarface, etc. There should be another aspect of this “feud” called production, and Drake has nothing on Kanye there.

    • YeezusTaughtMe


  • Criquet

    Drake all the way just in 3 years he slayed any rappers & will continue to make history coz he is THAT guy. the most versatile artist ever cant do no wrong in my eyes whereas Kanye will stay delusional. i mean how can you want to be recognized amongst fashionista who worked so hard in years just like that coz i’m Kanye….

    • Jose J-Intellect Arroyo

      What rapper did Drake “slay”? IMO, he can’t really sing, not being able to hit high or low notes and doesn’t even produce his own material. On the most trashiest label right now, he (like his label mates) has no lyrical substance and raps about the same exact thing, missing women or wealth. At least Kanye can get lyrical, as in Gorgeous, and released masterpieces (College Dropout, Graduation and MBDTF)

  • kthack
  • HipHopHead999

    Both are some of the softest and most feminine rappers ever.

    • joeyaims

      Who you like?

  • SuperCR45 .

    Thats weird drake brought Kayne west in his ovo fest in Toronto

    • YeezusTaughtMe

      And your point?

  • SSgt Williams

    So let me get this straight? We are comparing an artist whom broke doors down, setting trends and will continue to break down walls for other artists after him to have a chance to follow there dreams? Drake didn’t design the Jordan 10s. Drake won’t design a Jordan shoe. Will he get a PE (Player exclusive) such as a different color of an already made Jordan shoe? Yes. Drake isn’t breaking any new rules here like Kanye. Kanye designed the Yeezy I and the Yeezy II respectively(hence why he demanded royalties for he design). Drake has a long way to go. What has Drake done that Kanye or anyone else for that matter haven’t done? Write an article on that.
    You forget, signing rappers on shoe endorsement deals has been done before. 50 Cent and G-Unit with Reebok, Rick Ross with Reebok, Big Sean with Adidas, Tyga with Adidas, Kanye with Nike, Eminem with Jordan, Drake with Jordan, the list continues. Tell us something we don’t already know.

  • vanchi

    y’all talking bout kanye doing so much over drake, drakes only been in the game 3 years give the niga time i bet y’all aint gina be saying shit in a couple years. “drake can’t sing”, he aint a singer he’s a rapper. “kanye designed his own shoes”, drake doesn’t wan a design shoes he just signed the deal to make more money who wouldn’t? “Kanye produced his own album”, kanye started as a producer and became both drake is just a rapper so why would he produce it? if drake and wayne create a “watch the throne” type album they will kill the game no buts about it

  • James

    The elephant in the room when it comes to this comparison is Grammys.
    Drake =1, Kanye = 21. Therein lies the rub. Drake still has some way to go before this becomes a serious debate.

    • Pro

      Hahaha! Very valid argument. I wud like to believe XXL deliberately left out awards in the comparison to balance things up. Drake still has a long way to go before any serious comparisons can be made.

  • Trevor Thompson

    To even compare Drake to Kanye is disrespectful. XXL needs to take its mind out of its oxygen-depleted anus, wake the fuck up and smell the goddamn coffee. Kanye is lyrical titan fused with a navy seal on the beat.. Drake? Nigga is in the infantry.