This month saw the start of a trial for three of the four men charged with killing divisive hip-hop artist XXXTentacion, but much of the attention has been on another well-known performer: Drake, who had a tense relationship with the deceased artist that included public call-outs and accusations of flow stealing.
It has just been more than four years since XXXTentacion, just 20 years old, was slain in Deerfield Beach, Florida. In relation to X’s death, three individuals, Michael Boatwright, Dedrick Williams, and Trayvon Newsome, are being accused of first-degree murder and armed robbery. Robert Allen, a fourth suspect, pleaded guilty in 2022 and is probably going to testify against the other three. (As of February 15, prosecutors have reportedly questioned Allen, according to WPLG Local 10).
According to TMZ, Drake successfully petitioned to avoid a deposition, a request that defense lawyer Mauricio Padilla had made in relation to the dispute between Drake and XXX. According to Rolling Stone, Drake was facing a court order to appear in person or through Zoom on February 24 because to the defense attorney’s claim that “Before X died, he claimed, “If anybody kills me, it’s Drake”.” (The remark alluded to a social media post from 2018 that X later claimed was the product of account hacking.)
Drake’s attorney, Bradford Cohen, responded after the initial attempt to get him to speak, saying that “no evidence has been provided to substantiate the assertion that [Drake] in any way contributed to, had knowledge of, or participated in the alleged incident and to mandate that he appear for deposition for something that he very clearly has no relevant knowledge of is unreasonable.”
The dispute between Drake and XXXTentacion has shady beginnings; it all started in 2017 when the Florida singer claimed that the Canadian legend had stolen the flow from his breakout single, “Look at Me!” Similar cascading flow is used by Drake on “KMT,” which attracted a lot of online attention.
I fuck with Drake, Drake’s a genius, XXXTentacion claimed in an interview with a Miami radio station from March 2017; nonetheless, he subsequently added, “He’s not a guy. He seems like a bitch, and that was a terrible move. Instead of taking my garbage, running away with it, and then putting it on his record, he could have demonstrated to me that he is welcoming and really interested in the culture. Then he would have earned my respect.
Drake mostly avoided talking to X, but he later refuted the charge of copying in an interview with DJ Semtex. I listen to the song they’re referring to and decide that, “Well, I understand where people might make this parallel off of the first two lines, whether it be cadence or the rhyme pattern or anything,” he said. “It’s ridiculous that people believe I’m the kind of person who would go and take it and make it my own after all this time, after everything I’ve gone through. I’m not a fool, and I’m not that kind of a crap.
Invoking the names of other famous people appears to be a clear part of the defense plan, although it is likely that Padilla may try to have Drake subpoenaed again for a different reason. By providing a list of possible witnesses in December that included Drake, Quavo, 6ix9ine, and even the late Takeoff, Padilla attracted attention and criticism.