Today, Fader published an interview with Makonnen where the Atlanta artist dives into an alleged altercation with Drake and his squad during an MTV VMAs after-party last August. It's the latest glimpse into the intriguing story behind Makonnen's ultra-short, shockingly-uneventful time with Drake and his OVO Sound imprint.
It was literally all good just a few years ago, with Drake building his OVO Sound roster with the likes of Majid Jordan and Partynextdoor, and adding the white-hot Makonnen when he did felt like the perfect move. While it feels like the root of whatever the core issue between Drake/OVO and Makonnen is, the situation took a sharp turn at some point. Sadly, no one's really spoken on it until now. Let's walk through their brief history and see if we can pinpoint where things went wrong.
Sept. 1, 2014 - OVO Sound releases "Tuesday"
Makonnen arguably owned the summer of 2014 with his smash hit "Tuesday," and Drake is wont to do, he hopped right on the track and helped give Makonnen that extra glow he needed in the mainstream. This of course lead to OVO Sound releasing the Drake-featured "Tuesday" along with the announcement of Makonnen being officially signed to OVO.
Dec. 23, 2015 - Makonnen opens up about being on OVO Sound
Surprisingly, Makonnen's name wasn't ringing post-OVO singing like you thought it might. While he definitely didn't stop working and releasing material, we wouldn't blame you if you forgot about tunes like the DJ Mustard-produced "Second Chance," which dropped in November of 2015 on the OVO Sound-released I LOVE MAKONNEN 2.
In a conversation with FADER that December, this is how he described his relationship with OVO: "It's cool, they put out my music and stuff and we just keep it moving. Let them tell you their relationship with Makonnen. I'm just an artist, being an artist, and there's only so much that I can do." He later mentioned that "Second Chance" had been completed back in January of 2015, and that it "was supposed to be that summer banger this summer." It's hard to tell what the situation was, but there was a feeling of either miscommunications or a lack of direction for him that resulted in some missed opportunities.
April 19, 2016 - Makonnen confirms he was released from OVO Sound
After it was reported by Billboard that Makonnen was no longer OVO, Makonnen hit Complex with a statement, and he had no ill words of Drake or anyone with OVO. "I cannot thank OVO, 40, Oliver, Future & Mr. Morgan, enough for all that they have done for my career. No words can express how much I appreciate Drake for being a part of the success of Tuesday. I’m sure the haters will have something negative to say, but all in all my choice to be solely on Warner Bros Records was the right thing for me and for my best interest. Sorry there’s no beef to report."
At the time, that seemed to be that.
Aug. 30, 2016 - Drake and Makonnen's awkward VMAs encounter
After the MTV VMAs in 2016, Makonnen took to Twitter to ask him about their relationship. He started out saying he has "love and respect for everyone," and that he "was there tonight to meet and greet everyone with love," ending it by saying "this is so weird." He then tweeted (and deleted) a comment to Drake: "Idk what is all this about?" He followed that up by saying to Drake: "I have no beef or animosity towards u, what happened just now is beyond me, I hope we can talk about this."
March 23, 2017 - Makonnen opens up about the VMAs encounter
In an interview with Fader, Makonnen decided to give his side of the alleged showdown at Up&Down: "It was in the middle of the goddamn afterparty at the Up&Down club,. Everybody that was in there was in there. I'm in here around these Vanguard Awards and I'm accepted and I took pictures with Chainsmokers and G-Eazy and everybody and we all friends. And I'm here in the middle of the floor, no security, and they coming and I just step to the side and they see me and stop and the biggest motherfucker in the game goes, woo woo woo, 'Next time I'ma fuck you up!'"
Now, for a situation where there was "no beef or animosity," it's weird to now hear that "the dude that's doing it–we have a platinum-selling record together! The guy! The leader of the crew!" was now having his goons throwing shots at a former artist on his label.
As of now, Drake has not spoken out about this situation, but one has to imagine that it'd be as easy as a freestyle on an episode of OVO Sound Radio for his side of the story to come out... if he chose.