- Getty/Prince Williams/Julian Finney
- Drake says his 2015 diss track aimed at Meek Mill, “Back to Back,” was inspired by his former partner Serena Williams and her rivalry with Maria Sharapova.
- The Canada-born rapper and Williams dated briefly in 2015, during which period he was also embroiled in an ongoing feud with Meek, whom had accused him of “ghostwriting.”
- “I was with Serena at the time. And we had been talking a lot about her and [Maria] Sharapova going back and forth over the years,” Drake told podcast Rap Radar.
- “You know, she’s a top competitor, so she was like: ‘You gotta finish it.'” he added. “‘And it’s gotta be something that everyone [Meek] is with and him have to hear.'”
- Drake and Meek squashed their beef in 2018 and went on to collaborate on the 2019 smash hit “Going Bad,” which sold nearly 3 million copies worldwide.
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The Canada-born rapper and Williams dated briefly in 2015 but kept their relationship away from the public eye, according to Complex.
During that period, Drake was also embroiled in an ongoing feud with fellow rapper Meek Mill, whom had accused him of using ghostwriters on “R.I.C.O.,” a project the pair collaborated on.
As a response, Drake released the diss tracks “Charged Up” and “Back to Back,” the latter of which he says Williams helped him finish.
“‘Charged Up’ was just a thing, like, I was just seeing if it was real,” Drake told podcast Rap Radar when asked about his beef with Meek. “I just wanted to know if was it real, whether it was a package, or maybe if it was just a mistake on his part.”
He continued: “And then I’d made the decision that I was gonna to go again. I remember I was working on some beat, I think it was a Boy Wonder beat or something, and it was kind of more like ‘rappy.’ It was gonna be another 100 bar thing.
“I was with Serena at the time. And we had been talking a lot about her and [Maria] Sharapova going back and forth over the years.”
Williams and Sharapova had endured an intense rivalry prior to 2015, meeting 18 times, though Williams more often than not came out on top, winning 16 of those encounters.
“And she had made this comment to me and she was like: ‘Well look, if you’re gonna go again, you gotta finish it.'” Drake added.
“You know, she’s a top competitor, so she was like: ‘You gotta finish it. I’m talking about done. Over. And it’s gotta be something that everyone [Meek] is with and him have to hear. You can’t do some s— for the moment and then it goes away.’
“She kinda put this battery in my back.”
Drake went on to finish the song, not only emerging as the victor of the pair’s exchange, but also scoring himself a top 10 hit on the U.S R&B/Hip-Hop Billboard charts.
Though Meek later struck back with a track of his own, “Wanna Know,” the pair ultimately squashed their beef in September 2018, when Drake brought out Meek on stage to perform in Boston.
They then later collaborated on the 2019 smash hit “Going Bad,” which went to number six in the charts and sold almost 3 million copies worldwide.