(Yes, Kanye stans. We know he goes by ‘Ye’ nowadays.)

Let’s be honest – most hip-hop fans weren’t expecting a Drake-Kanye reunion in 2021.

The two old friends haven’t performed together in over half a decade – until now, they’ve been locked in a long, well-publicized beef that’s taken place over Twitter, personal texts, and of course, rap lyrics.

Take this for example – a diss by Drake on French Montana’s 2018 track, No Stylist.

“We flying at seven and packed for the beach / Yeah, keeping it G, I told her, ‘don’t wear no 350s around me.’”

In case you (probably) missed it, Drake’s insulting the Adidas 350 sneakers that Kanye designed that year.

Meanwhile, Kanye has dropped dozens of tweets on Drake – accusing the Canadian rapper of ghostwriting his lyrics, manipulating seats at Pusha T’s concerts, and several other things that require an article of their own.

Today, however, things are different. After ages, fans that were at each others’ necks relived old memories as they watched the pair bury the hatchet. Performing at Dave Chapelle’s ‘Free Larry Hoover’ benefit concert, the event was described as ‘an epic night in music history’, and the ‘best concert ever’.

While I’m doubtful of that, it’s pretty cool to see the pair hit off ‘Forever’ after a whole decade.

(They haven’t done that track together since, well… forever.)

 

How Modern Rap’s Biggest Feud Calmed Down

Across the years, both rappers’ fans have been guilty of fanning flames and slinging insults over social media – in the end, however, it was a social cause that brought them back to the same stage.

Speaking to Billboard, top music executive J. Prince spilled the beans. As the man responsible for introducing Drake to Lil’ Wayne nearly 12 years ago, he’s been something of a father figure to the rapper, as well as the perfect liaison to address Kanye’s concerns.

“We have to start with the name Larry Hoover. He planted the seed,” said Prince. “He wanted to see Kanye and Drake come together in the name of peace. His son Larry Jr. was hanging out with Kanye a lot, and of course, Drake is my son, but [Larry Hoover] planted the seed, and I watered it.”

 

The Story of Larry Hoover

To cut a long story short, Larry Hoover is the former leader of ‘Gangster Disciples’ – a Chicago street gang that operated well within Kanye’s early years in the city. Hoover is currently serving six life sentences for ordering the murder of a 19-year old drug dealer, back in 1973.

The Kanye fans among you might remember Larry Hoover from Kanye’s 2021 album, Donda. One of its most hard-hitting tracks is ‘Jesus Lord’, where Kanye ponders his relationship with the afterlife, and references Larry Hoover’s son in a sample.

Exactly midway through the album, Larry Hoover Jr. discusses the cracks in America’s criminal justice framework, and thanks Kanye for taking his father’s case to then-President Donald Trump – who could have issued a Presidential pardon to free Hoover. The core message that Kanye tries to put forward is that despite Hoover’s actions, his son, and even his grandchildren have suffered as a result – echoing the suffering of many other families broken apart by the law, institutional racism, and gang violence.

“Matter of fact, he hasn’t hugged, kissed, or touched any of his grandchildren, and they haven’t been able to touch they grandfather.” – Larry Hoover Jr.

“I painted the bigger picture to Drake,” continues Prince. “I let him know that this is a moment and a movement that can save lives. So I had to tap into a power greater than the anger or whatever these guys had for one another.”

Somehow, the record executive managed to patch up the feud in service of a greater goal, and the pair agreed to perform together – even sharing several moments together on Instagram and Twitter:

 

 

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A Fan’s Dream Come True

The moment footage came out of the two sharing a stage once again, you bet Twitter’s servers shared an uneasy look. Hundreds of thousands of tweets from all over the world shot up – supporting not only the two artists’ reunion, but also the cause they were aiming to promote.

A few did joke about the fact that unlike Kanye, Drake wasn’t too interested in revisiting his classics:

https://twitter.com/ihyjuju/status/1469205673149755392?s=20

For others, things weren’t that funny – a few cornered Drake for treating the show as a promotion for his 2021 album, Certified Lover Boy.

https://twitter.com/Kuavo/status/1469202568899219458?s=20

Not to forget, Dave Chappelle also made an important appearance that night. The stand-up comedian delivered a speech to guests in which he underscored the special moment.

“You have to admit to yourself,” he said from inside Drake’s HQ, “this shit is impressive.”

(Image Sources: Amazon, Twitter)