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The journey to Drake and Kanye West's mysterious joint album

Ralph Bristout

 // Aug 2, 2016

Last week, Kanye West delivered the long-delayed music video to The Life of Pablo standout, "Wolves." A frankenstein-like track that has been cut, pulled, and recreated via several iterations, the song took new life since it first debuted at Kanye's Yeezy Season 1 fashion show back in 2015. Part of this new life? An album with Drake.

"Toronto, I got one question for you," announced Kanye West last night (August 1) as he stood center stage of Drake's OVO Fest 2016 as a surprise guest. "Is y'all ready for this album?," he added. "Now, I'm not talking about Pablo. I wasn't talking about Views. I wanna ask y'all right now, y'all ready for THIS album?" Soon after Drake hit the stage.

While there is no timetable, this announcement came a G.O.O.D. time. Not only does this come after the success of What a Time to Be Alive, the No. 1 hit album between Drizzy and Future, as well as the approaching five-year anniversary of Kanye and Jay Z's Watch the Throne (August 8), but this adds yet another chapter in the ongoing journey to the long-awaited collaborative project between the two musical titans.

It's been over a year now, since 'Ye revealed that he and Drake were working on a project and it all started with the song "Wolves." During the recording of Pablo, Kanye mentioned that there was a dozen of tracks that didn’t make the final cut, including collaborations with Drake. Among the cuts that made it on the album, "Wolves," was originally meant to feature the OVO star for their planned album.

"The "Wolves" song came from a conversation that me and Drake had, when we was gonna do an album together, and the album was called Wolves," said Kanye to The Breakfast Club last year.

Kanye West Interview at The Breakfast Club Power 105.1 (02/20/2015)
Breakfast Club Power 105.1 FM

The big reveal came after Drake and Kanye reconciled following years of a budding rivalry that saw the two lobbing coded lines back and forth. It all started after Drake was taken off of Kanye's "All of the Lights" once a version of the My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy hit online in 2010, months after Drizzy's Thank Me Later topped charts. "The change was to put all those people on it, and I wasn’t one of them," the "Over" rapper would tell Shade45 a few weeks after MBDTF's release. "That's completely okay." From there, rap fans witnessed a fair exchange of subliminal darts, such as on songs like "I'm On One," in which Drake rapped, "I'm just feeling like the throne is for the taking, watch me take it." Adding clarity to Drizzy's hidden slight, Yeezy one-upped that sub on "Otis," rhyming, "Ni—as talking real reckless, stuntmen / I adopted these ni—as, Phillip Drummond them / Now I’m about to make them tuck their whole summer in." In a November cover story for The Source that year, Drake took a step further, drawing a line in the sand. "I would say, he is [a] really great... competitor... and friend, at the same time. My goal is to surpass everything he’s accomplished. I don’t want to be as good as Kanye, I want to be better."

By 2013, the rumbling feud would be placed on ice after the two reconciled at OVO Fest 2013.

Kanye West and Drake Unite in Toronto
Revolt TV

So as the two let bygones be bygones, Kanye sat in that aforementioned interview with The Breakfast Club to make clear that not only were the two on good terms, but this newly formed bond has transformed into plans for an album. "I asked [Drake], and we talked about it, and he said yeah we was gonna do it. And actually, he was sending beats back and forth, I got this one record with Young Thug that I think we gonna put on Rihanna's album," he revealed as an afterthought.

He later added, "It might happen because I threw it out here. He might be mad that I mentioned it on y'all show. As the smoke lingered, more updates surfaced since the announcement. There was the "Blessings" collaboration on Big Sean's Dark Sky Paradise that featured the two megastars. Earlier this year, the two also joined forces on "Pop Style."

"I love 'Ye, man. He's a really good guy. Obviously grew up with him as a role model... We have one of those friendships that you don't often get in rap, because we can link each other and discuss anything," said Drake to Zane Lowe back in April. "I hope we get some more music out ASAP. We had plans. We were supposed to do a mixtape together, or album together."

One has to wonder whether or not Kanye's stream of consciousness over the weekend had anything to do with plans surrounding this supposed album. After all, Drake is practically Apple Music's premier spokesman. Kanye, on the other hand, is Team Tidal. Add that to the ongoing talks about a possible Apple/Tidal takeover, and we're now heading to a world of endless possibilities.

So in the words of Ye, we ask, "Is y'all ready for this album?"

Insider Access | Drake and Kanye West Perform "Blessings"
OVO Fest (8.4.15)
Video
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