André 3000 has clarified his contribution to the unreleased DONDA track “Life of the Party,” which Drake leaked on SiriusXM’s Sound 42 show yesterday.
The song, which features a mind-blowing verse from 3 Stacks, and a diss verse from Ye aimed at Drake, is being hailed as one of the best songs of the year. So why didn't it make the cut on DONDA?
In a newly released statement, André 3000 explains that it had to do with West's anti-profanity position. Read the full statement below.
“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.
“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 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.”
For his part, André 3000 uses “Life of the Party” as a moving tribute to his mother, who passed away in 2013. “Miss Donda,” he appeals to West's late mother and the title of the album, “if you see my mama, tell her I’m lost/ You see, she’d always light a cigarette, we talk, I would cough/ Exaggeratin’ a little bit so she get the point/ Tryna get her to stop smokin’, I would leave and fire up a joint/ Till I quit, started back up again, 20 years later.”
In the diss verse, which André was reportedly unaware of, West takes shots at Drake, referencing a recently surfaced text exchange between himself, Drake, and Virgil Abloh.
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 then goes on to hint at an unrealized collaboration: “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.’”
In the light of the unending rollout of both DONDA and Certified Lover Boy and the convenient beef that has reignited between their respective creators, André 3000's professionalism and precision is a breath of fresh air.
His clearsightedness when it comes to his output, and his respect for his fellow rappers stand in stark contrast to the embarrassing squabbling between West and Drake. But it is his skill and vulnerability on “Life of the Party” that offers a vision of what DONDA could have been.