Editorial: ‘DONDA’ vs ‘Certified Lover Boy,’ artists caught in crossfire

While tensions continue to run high between Drake and Kanye West — arguably two of the most influential artists of our generation — there’s no denying that their recent projects DONDA and Certified Lover Boy are worth the hype.

Each packed with 20-plus songs, a plethora of guest spots and subtle jabs (and some not so subtle) at one another, one detail that hasn’t been lost on fans is the surprising overlap between their feature lists.

Seven of hip-hop’s premier rappers contributed vocals to both projects, as OGM takes a look at the comparison between their verses and performances:


Lil Durk

Durkio has had an insane run these last two years, stemming from his feature on Drake’s “Laugh Now Cry Later” which bolstered his entrance into the mainstream. As a fellow Chicago artist, his dedication to Kanye is apparent in his “Jonah” verse, as he croons about his lost friends and familial conflict.

However, on Drake’s “In the Bible,” he takes a much more materialistic approach, shouting out his girl’s cosmetics business mid-verse. Both verses are on slower songs, but it’s impressive to see his ability to appropriately switch subject matter based on the song.

Lil Baby

The Voice and the Hero have been sticking together lately, with the duo making separate appearances on the same two projects. Similar to Durk, Baby’s mainstream come-up was heavily influenced by a Drake collaboration with “Yes Indeed,” but he also went viral last year when Kanye claimed Baby is his favorite rapper amidst one of his signature rants.

His verse on “Hurricane” follows a beautiful hook from The Weeknd as he laments the struggles he still faces despite his success. In contrast, “Girls Want Girls” has Lil Baby and Drake flexing their player tendencies.

Young Thug

Thug has been making move after move this year, from his YSL compilation Slime Language 2 to the recent purchase of land for “Slime City”. On “Remote Control”, Thug takes total command of the melodic song, using insane effects, flows and deliveries for one of his best verses this year.

His contribution on CLB is comparatively lackluster, but entertaining nonetheless. He playfully hops on the bouncy beat for a catchy flow and punchlines.

Travis Scott

Travis has a long history with both of these artists. Kanye gave him some of the biggest opportunities in his early career with the production of Yeezus as well as a GOOD Music deal, while Drake was more instrumental later with songs such as “Company” and “Sicko Mode. That being said, he brought the heat to both albums, spitting one of his signature autotuned verses on “Praise God.”

“Fair Trade” was a standout track on CLB, with Travis completely changing the soundscape of the song with his ethereal vocals and production.

Ty Dolla $ign

Ty’s collaborations with Ye and Drizzy are drastically different from each other, with the former opting for a banger, featuring alongside Playboi Carti on “Junya Pt. 2”. His mellow crooning is showcased in some back-and-forth with Drake on “Get Along Better.”

Jay-Z

Hov was one of the most anticipated features on both of these albums, having iconic songs and personal relationships with both. His tumultuous relationship with Kanye has been on display for the world to witness for years now, and though listeners will have their opinions, his verse on “Jail” is a welcome reunion with his former protege.

He and Drake were able to recall different times with their flows on “Love All” — reminding longtime fans of “Poundcake / Paris Morton Music 2.”

Kid Cudi

Like Jay, Cudi has had volatile relationships with both Drake and Kanye. Cudder’s appearance on DONDA was sure to be notable with their chemistry since Kids See Ghosts, as he croons alongside Don Toliver on “Moon.” His verse on “IMY2” was much more unexpected but with a Juice WRLD intro and melodies galore, the song represents a peace treaty between two of our era’s most influential artists.

Photo via NME.

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