JAY-Z and Kanye West working relationship date back to the 90s, Kanye West was hired on to produce tracks for JAY-Z’s Roc-A-Fella Records. Over the years that followed, their working relationship turned into a brotherhood.
In 2007, West released the single “Big Brother” on his third album Graduation, which detailed his relationship with HOV. West pegged Jay-Z as a mentor, colleague, and idol, before depicting their sibling rivalry.
HOV was reportedly pleased with the single and described it as a “fair portrayal from a little brother’s perspective” and shared that “Roc-A-Fella is tough love.”
Four years later, Jay-Z and West released their collaborative album, Watch the Throne, which featured the hit record “Ni**as in Paris.” Later that year, the two would go on their co-headlining ‘Watch the Throne’ tour, which as originally a 23-city tour, but was then expanded into 34 cities across North America, and then they announced that they would be adding a European leg of the tour in February 2012.
In July 2013, Jay-Z sat down with BBC’s Zane Lowe to talk about the possibility of a second ‘Watch the Throne’ tour. During the interview, HOV described his relationship with West as a “big brother thing and a respect thing” and shared that “it’s always a good experience.”
However, he also shared that the interactions with West were always pleasant,“He’s going to challenge everything because he’s really trying to test it and poke holes to make sure that it stands up. I admire that. It kind of works for me.”
Things reportedly started to go sour when either Jay-Z or his wife Beyonce did not attend West wedding to Kim Kardashian in Forte DI Belvedere in Florence, Italy. Even though there were reports that both Beyonce and Kim during the Watch the Throne tour. The absence of HOV and Beyonce spark rumors that there was tension between the two artists. However, Beyonce did congratulate the couple on Instagram.
“Wishing you a lifetime of unconditional love. God bless your beautiful family”
In October 2016, West slammed Jay-Z during his Saint Pablo tour, after not receiving a phone call following West’s wife being robbed at gunpoint in Paris. West is Seattle “Don’t call me after the robbery and say ‘how you feelin?’ You wanna know how I’m feelin? Come by the house. Bring the kids by the house. Like we’re brothers. Let’s sit down.” He added, “I can’t take this shit bro. Our kids have never even played together.”
During a show in Sacramento, West went after Jay-Z again, “Call me, bruh! You still ain’t calling me! JAY-Z, call me! Aye, bruh, I know you got killers, please don’t send them at my head! Just call me! Talk to me like a man!” Shortly after his performance West was hospitalized for exhaustion and forced to cancel the rest of his tour.
According to Page Six, Jay-Z could only take Kanye in small increments. “Jay can’t stand him,” they said, “He looks at him as this crazy, eccentric motherfucker.”
Over the next couple of years, they spoke with each other through singles, interviews, over social media, and through West leaving Tidal due to being owed $3 million, but never directly with each other. However, by September 2018, it seemed like the beef between both sides might have been over. West referred to the Carters as family on Instagram in a post of Jay-Z and Beyoncé, with the caption “famleeeeee.”
According to Billboard, Jay-Z took issue with West when he mentioned his family.
“He knows that he crossed the line,” said JAY-Z. “I know him. He knows. I know he knows, because we’ve never let this much space go between one of our disagreements, and we’ve had many, because that’s who we are. That’s what I like about him. He’s an honest person, he’s open and he’ll say things and he’s wrong a lot of times and he’ll confront it.”
Malik Yusef is an associate of both Jay-Z and West’s and recently shared that he went to see Jay-Z after Kanye’s rant about Blue Ivy not playing with North West.
“I went to HOV’s house after Kanye had that rant about Blue Ivy [Carter] not playing with North [West] and I can’t tell you the whole conversation and I wouldn’t anyway, but you don’t put people’s kids in your mouth period,” said Yusef. “You keep people’s children out your mouth unless it’s a glaring praise. Any complaints about a person cannot include their children.”
Are wives off-limits as well?
“I think wives a little more on the limit. Of course, there are certain things that you can’t mention. If you talk about my wife in a certain type of way and Jay-Z is not the type of person that you can do whatever you want to do. In no type of way, there are no questions there and we understand where Jay [Z] is from, the projects that he is from, and the cloth that he is cut from. HOV is HOV and for my money, he is not the type of person that would look kindly on that [Talking about his family], and when I went to his house, he explained that it wasn’t something he looked kind on. And we got it squashed.”
HOV and West would reunite at Diddy’s 50th birthday and according to TMZ, quietly reached an agreement in the Tidal dispute sometime in early 2019.