André 3000 is clarifying his contribution to unreleased “Donda” track “Life of the Party” after Drake leaked the song on SiriusXM’s Sound 42 show.
The song’s leak adds fuel to the ongoing tension between Drake and Kanye West, as both rappers have taken shots at each other on their new albums. On “Life of the Party,” West raps: “I put Virgil and Drake on the same text, and it wasn’t about the matching Arc’teryx or Kid Cudi dress/ Just told these grown men stop it with the funny shit.” He continues, hinting at a collaboration that never came to be: “Thought we was the new Abu Dhabi/ Told Drake don’t play with me on GD and he sent that message to everybody/ So if I hit you with a ‘WYD,’ you better hit me with, ‘Yessir, I’m writing everything you need.’”
The rare appearance from André 3000 on the track, however, consists of a moving tribute to his mother, in line with the theme of “Donda.” In a statement obtained by Variety, André 3000 explained why the track didn’t make it onto the final cut of “Donda” and said the version of the song he wrote his verse to did not contain the Drake diss.
“A few weeks ago Kanye reached out about me being a part of the ‘Donda’ album. 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. 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,” André 3000 said.
“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,” he continued. “It’s unfortunate that it was released in this way and two artists that I love are going back and forth. I wanted to be on ‘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.”
West had recently teased “Life of the Party” at his “Donda” listening event in Las Vegas. It remains unknown how Drake got his hands on the song.
Representatives for Drake declined to comment on the matter, while representatives for West did not immediately respond to Variety‘s request for comment.