The latest installment in his long-running timestamp series, the track was released exclusively on Instagram in the early hours of Thursday morning (October 5), along with an accompanying video co-starring his five-year-old son Adonis Graham.
Over a soulful, boom bap-flavored beat from Conductor Williams — the producer synonymous with Westside Gunn‘s Griselda collective — the 6 God looks to reassert his status atop the Hip Hop food chain by spitting braggadocios yet introspective verses full of slick wordplay and clever double entendres.
Throughout the song, Drake namedrops everyone from 21 Savage, Central Cee and DJ Screw to Adele, Shania Twain and Michael Jackson — at one point comparing himself to the late King of Pop (“I feel like if Mike switched out the glove for the pen.”)
But it’s who he doesn’t name that has the internet buzzing as Drizzy appears to subliminally diss Kanye in his third and final verse.
“You n-ggas obsessed with me and it’s not on no hetero vibe/ Handle beef so quiet you think that I’m letting it slide/ Next thing you know we tip-toeing past enemy lines/ Diss me so long ago we making your memories fly/ Conspiracy theories start floating around like the Kennedy guy/ I’ll probably hold a grudge against you guys ’til I’m 75,” he raps.
“Aye, n-ggas lying for a living, I couldn’t relate/ We all gotta lay in the bed we make, but that couldn’t be Drake/ You forced a lot of fake love when real ones stood in your face/ That’s why you got deserted by your n-ggas like pudding and cake/ I got you on camera bowing down but the footage is safe/ Thank God, another USB to put in the safe.”
He then closes out the song by declaring: “Not saying I’m the best at what I do/ I’m just saying that it’s me versus whoever wanna lose/ Pick anyone of the who’s who’s, I got two 2’s for new crews/ R.I.P. to the DJ from Houston, we loose screws.”
Tension between Drake and Kanye West previously boiled over in 2021 in the run up to their respective albums Certified Lover Boy and Donda, with the rap superstars trading lyrical jabs and petty shots on social media.
The pair purportedly buried the hatchet that December by reuniting for the “Free Larry Hoover” benefit concert in L.A., but less than a year later the feud threatened to reignite when Drizzy appeared to imply on his song “Circo Loco” that their truce was nothing more than a favor to Rap-A-Lot Records boss J. Prince.
Longtime G.O.O.D. Music representative Malik Yusef also recently suggested that Kanye’s series of antisemitic comments last year were aimed at Drake, whose mother is Jewish.
“8AM In Charlotte” serves as a final appetizer for Drake’s eagerly anticipated new album For All the Dogs, which drops at midnight on Friday (October 6).
It’s unclear if the song will appear on the project as a tracklist has yet to be shared. It follows previous offerings “Slime You Out” featuring SZA, which recently topped the Billboard Hot 100, and “Search & Rescue.”
Prior to the release of his new album, Drizzy will host an episode of his Table For One radio show on SiriusXM’s Sound 42 channel at 9 p.m. ET on Thursday.