Anyone following Drake’s Summer Sixteen Tour will notice the growing tension between the Toronto rapper and influential New York Hip-Hop radio station, Hot 97. On the final night of Drizzy’s tour in New York on August 1, the the same day as Funkmaster Flex’s birthday – the Hot 97 DJ who exposed Drake’s reference tracks to the world last year – hip hop fans across the globe expected tension.
The same man who was responsible for revealing to the world that Drake allegedly does not write his own lyrics was on the receiving end of some pretty devastating ones when Drizzy briefly paused his concert to unleash a short but painful freestyle: "They tellin lies on Hot 97, that’s how it goes. I told em fire Funk Flex and then I’ll come and do your show". Needless to say these lines sent shockwaves across social media as well as Madison Square Gardens where Drake performed in front of a crowd of over 18,000 people.
But one would be mistaken to think that this is just a personal vendetta against FunkMaster Flex. Just days before, another Hot 97 DJ, Ebro, alleged on air that in a private conversation with Drake, the rapper revealed that he had diss tracks ready for Eminem. This comes after the ongoing beef Drake has had this summer with Joe Budden - a friend and artist of Eminem's rap supergroup SlaughterHouse. Drake replied to these rumours with a cryptic Instagram post captioned: "They don't have a story these days", a subtle reference to his song '9' from his most successful album to date, Views. In the song he raps: "If they don't have a story these days, they'll make one". Ebro later confirmed on Twitter that the Eminem rumours were false and that he was just joking.
The tension continues to provide a lot of entertainment for many rap fans who miss the days of unapologetic rivalry between rappers, DJs and artists. Drake has certainly mastered the tactical element of the game and this was proven during the show when he brought out Dipset duo Cam'ron and Juelz Santana as well as Fat Joe and Remy Ma, all native hip hop royalty of the Big Apple. He was also joined by Future and J Cole during the action - packed night.
His performance as well as his awareness and appreciation for the rich history of the New York Hip Hop scene was more than enough to gain the seal of approval from fans of both the old and new generation. After the show, Drake was pictured with radio personality Charlemagne Tha God who is a host on Hot 97’s rival New York radio show, The Breakfast Club. Could this be a tactical move by the pair? Well, the way things stand, it's more likely we'll see Drizzy through the doors of The Breakfast Club before we see him anywhere near Hot 97 the next time he is in New York.