If you’re a fan of Drake or Taylor Swift — or both — you might be aware of the artists’ long-spanning friendship.
The duo have consistently been vocal about their mutual respect for each other. Not only did Taylor name-check him on her 2019 track “I Forgot That You Existed,” but they also sparked speculation that they’d be collaborating on a song as recently as this year.
Fans went wild in April when Drake shared a throwback photo of himself and Taylor to his Instagram page, in which the pair looked very cozy with his arm wrapped around her. “They are too soft to understand the meaning of hard work,” he captioned it.
But fast forward to October and November, and there was no sign of a Drake and Taylor collab on each of the artists’ new projects.
Taylor released her tenth studio album Midnights on Oct. 21, and it quickly garnered huge success across the globe. Not only did she receive tons of praise from fans and critics, but the 32-year-old also became the first artist in history to claim all the top 10 spots on the Billboard Hot 100 in a single frame.
The following week, Drake released a project of his own: his highly anticipated collaborative album with rapper 21 Savage, titled Her Loss.
The duo went on a now-viral promotional tour ahead of the project’s release, which included a fake Vogue shoot and a fake Tiny Desk appearance. Since it dropped, Her Loss has had huge success as well, quickly breaking the record of the collab album with the most Spotify streams in a single day.
And this week, Drake and 21 Savage have dominated the majority of the Billboard Hot 100, with their songs “Rich Flex,” “Major Distribution,” “On BS,” “Spin Bout U,” “Pussy & Millions,” “Privileged Rappers,” “Circo Loco,” and “BackOutsideBoyz” taking up spots 2 through 9.
However, it looks like Drake isn’t quite satisfied with occupying most of the top 10 places, given that he pointedly covered the No. 1 song — Taylor’s “Anti-Hero” — with a series of emojis when he shared a screenshot of the charts.
“Anti-Hero” is the lead single from midnights, and it has remained in the top spot since it was released — making it the longest-running No. 1 single of Taylor’s career. She’s since released several remixes of the hit, including a Jayda G version and a Kungs one.
Sharing a screenshot of the Billboard Hot 100 charts to his Instagram story on Monday, Drake notably used a sleepy emoji, a sweating face, and more to shield Taylor’s success from his followers. “@21savage congrats my brother,” he wrote.
“drake being petty towards taylor because she blocked him on the charts… like bffr it was YOUR decision to release your album right after hers,” one person tweeted.
“men in the industry see a woman thriving and just want to pick a fight with her. same thing kanye did to her for years,” another wrote, referring to Kanye West’s infamous feud with Taylor that was sparked after he stormed the stage during her acceptance speech at the 2009 VMAs to cut her off and declare that Beyoncé should’ve won instead. “just weird and petty jealousy that men can’t hide,” they added.
Before long, fans noticed that the producer of Drake and 21 Savage’s song “Rich Flex,” which was second under “Anti-Hero,” had seemingly shaded Taylor too.
“The world knows what the real #1 song is.. No tricks on this side,” the producer wrote on his Instagram story. Once again, fans pointed out the double standard, suggesting that if the roles were reversed, Taylor would be “dragged for the rest of her life.”
“now if taylor and her team did this…” one person wrote alongside a GIF of a famous quote from Taylor during a 2019 interview where she explained the difference in how men and women artists are viewed by the public.
“When a man does something, it’s strategic; a woman does the same thing, it’s calculated. A man is allowed to react; a woman can only overreact,” Taylor said in the interview.
“it’s so sad how men are always trying to belittle women’s success,” another fan wrote in response to Drake and his producer’s Instagram stories.
A quick look at Drake’s Instagram account now shows that he has deleted the aforementioned Instagram photo of himself and Taylor, although it remains unclear exactly when this happened. Fans later spotted that he has unfollowed her on the platform, too.
“no because this is honestly so ridiculous for him to do. Taylor has shown him nothing but respect over the years and he’s petty bc [he] wanted to have the number one,” one person said.
“Drake being petty to Taylor is weird sir u literally posted this in April with no caption,” another tweeted.