On the latest episode of Talib Kweli’s People’s Party, Will.i.am chimed in on the lyricist’s 2021 back-and-forth with Kanye West and offered up a theory.

Last year, Kweli said he and Ye weren’t on the best of terms, which led to Yeezy dissing him. Of particular note, West said he “never fucked with” Kweli’s music and that he posed “like a backpacker.” On People’s Party, Will.i.am said Ye’s comments on Drink Champs “hurt” him personally and shared his thoughts on Ye admitting to “using” Kweli almost two decades ago.

“The only times I talk about Ye, I feel conflicted, like a lot of people,” said the Black Eyed Peas frontman. “And the confliction is…because I know Kanye personally, he’s different than the person he broadcasts. The broadcasting of Kanye is different than the actual Kanye that you sit and talk to, the sensitive one. So when these two things exist in the world, the broadcast hurts the one that you’re like, ‘Yo, that’s my dude.’ One of the things that hurt me on Drink Champs, was when he said, ‘I used them.’ That really hurt. I’m like, ‘What?’” 

The moment caused Will.i.am to question why Ye would diss his former collaborator, and that’s when he recalled West already copped to using Kweli way back on his debut album. “Then you hear ‘Get Em High,’” Will.i.am said of Ye’s College Dropout track with Common and Kweli, which he cites as proof for his theory. “If you go to the lyrics…I’m on a hike, taking screenshots like, ‘Yo did you peep the freaking lyrics, bro?’ … There’s evidence in the motherfucking record, my n***a.”

On the song, Kanye’s then girlfriend Sumeke Rainey plays a character who appears to grill him. “And bring a friend for my friend, his name Kweli,” he raps on the track, to which Rainey replies, “You mean Talib? Lyrics stick to your rib/That’s my favorite CD that I play at my crib/You don’t really know him, why is you lyin’?” Kanye then goes on to spit about getting Kweli to rap a few bars for the woman he’s interested in: "Yo Kwe’, she don't believe me, please pick up the line/She gon' think that I'm lyin', just spit a couple of lines/Then maybe I'll be able to give her dick all the time and get her high."

After playing that portion of the track, Will.i.am stopped and added, “Boom—so if he goes on Drink Champs like, ‘I used that n***a,’ uhh…actually! N***a, it’s proof. He told you!” The two proceeded to laugh at Kweli’s lines that follow, in which he laments Ye for using him to pick up women.

“And then, I wasn’t hurt no more,” Will.i.am said. “Cause he was honest!”

Kweli added, “He’s telling you on his debut album, ‘I’m using these n***as.’” He suggested that without the context, Ye’s comments on Drink Champs appeared malicious, but now it “all makes sense” to him. “At least that’s poetically what I’m telling myself,” Talib concluded.

Watch the clip up top, and check out the full episode here.