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Andre 3000 addresses appearance on leaked Drake diss track by Kanye West, Drake producer comments on R Kelly credit on Certified Lover Boy

By | Published on Monday 6 September 2021


Andre 3000 has commented on his appearance on an unreleased track recorded for Kanye West’s ‘Donda’ album, after the song was played by Drake on his ‘Sound 42’ Sirius XM radio show.

With both having new albums to promote, of course, the ongoing feud between Drake and West has again reared its head in recent weeks. And the track played by Drake on his show, called ‘Life Of The Party’, features a whole verse-worth of Drake dissing from West, plus a slightly incongruous verse from Andre 3000, in which he pays tribute to his late mother.

The track was previewed at one of West’s public listening parties for ‘Donda’, but didn’t make it to the final tracklisting, amazing as it is that anything was left on the cutting room floor in the making of that 27 track album. Although, apparently, it wasn’t West’s decision to remove the track, you know, perhaps concerned all this Drake dissing is getting rather tiresome. I mean, of course it wasn’t. Instead, it seems, it was actually cut at Andre 3000’s request.

The Outkast rapper’s objection wasn’t being dragged into a feud he otherwise has no part in, though – seemingly not having even heard that particular verse prior to Drake’s airing of it. In a statement, he said that he’d recorded a verse that was quite sweary, but that this had been edited, because West wanted the album’s lyrics to be completely clean, and he felt that his contribution no longer worked as a result.

“A few weeks ago Kanye reached out about me being a part of the ‘Donda’ album”, Andre 3000 says in his statement. “I was inspired by his idea to make a musical tribute to his mom. It felt appropriate to me to support the ‘Donda’ concept by referencing my own mother, who passed away in 2013. We both share that loss”.

“I thought it was a beautiful choice to make a clean album but, unfortunately, I didn’t know that was the plan before I wrote and recorded my verse”, he goes on. “It was clear to me that an edited ‘clean’ format of the verse would not work without having the raw original also available. So, sadly, I had to be omitted from the original album release”.

Addressing all the Drake dissing on the track, he adds: “The track I received and wrote to didn’t have the diss verse on it and we were hoping to make a more focused offering for the ‘Donda’ album, but I guess things happen like they are supposed to”.

“It’s unfortunate that it was released in this way”, he goes on, “and two artists that I love are going back and forth. I wanted to be on [new Drake album] ‘Certified Lover Boy’ too. I just want to work with people that inspire me. Hopefully I can work with Kendrick on his album. I’d love to work with Lil Baby, Tyler and Jay-Z. I respect them all”.

So, there you go, Andre 3000 isn’t on Drake or Kanye’s new albums. But not because he’s siding with either of them. And if any of those other rappers listed there would just get in touch, hopefully we will get to hear some Andre 3000 guest moments on some other upcoming albums soon enough.

Talking of guest spots and notable collaborators, both the new Kanye and Drake albums have plenty of those, of course. And both have courted some controversy in that domain as well. Maybe that’s part of the feud too. Though Drake seemingly made less actual effort to recruit controversial collaborators.

After West was criticised for featuring recently controversial DaBaby and Marilyn Manson on the final version of ‘Donda’, there was much chatter last week about one of the people credited in the small print of ‘Certified Lover Boy’. And it wasn’t anything to do with the absolutely hilarious sampling of Right Said Fred’s ‘I’m Too Sexy’ on the track ‘Way 2 Sexy’.

The thing that obviously got many people talking was the appearance of R Kelly’s name as a co-writer of another track – ‘TSU’ – just as his first criminal trial over multiple allegations of sexual abuse against teenage girls and young women is going through the motions.

Addressing that controversy, Drake producer Noah ’40’ Shebib confirmed that Kelly did not directly work on the track when commenting on a post on Instagram: “On a song called ‘TSU’ at the beginning is a sample of OG Ron C talking. Behind that faintly, which you can’t even hear, is an R Kelly song playing in the background. It has no significance, no lyrics are present, R Kelly’s voice isn’t even present but if we wanted to use Ron C talking we were forced to license it”.

“Doesn’t sit well with me, let me just say that”, he goes on. “And I’m not here to defend Drake’s lyrics, but I thought I would clear up that there is no actual R Kelly present and it’s a bit misleading to call him a co-lyricist. It’s kinda wild cause I was just reading ‘Baby Girl’ by Kathy Landoli and the recounts of some of that stuff is horrific and disgusting. Then I saw this post and just had to say something because to think we would stand beside that guy or write with him is just incredibly disgusting”.

Elsewhere on the album, John Lennon and Paul McCartney are also credited as co-writers of opening track ‘Champagne Poetry’. Turns out – funnily enough – that they didn’t directly collaborate with Drake either, but got the credit due to an interpolation of Beatles song ‘Michelle’. So, like R Kelly, their involvement was indirect. But, also like R Kelly, they will profit from the immense success of ‘Certified Lover Boy’. Albeit without causing any controversy in the process.

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