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).
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 Same—XXL 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)