From Becky with the hair to Kanye's Hurricane 'confession' - how cheating sells records
From Kim and Kanye to Jay Z and Beyonce - how rappers made cheating famous
Kanye West’s 10th album Donda has been dogged by controversy, but the biggest one yet might just be that one song contains a confession - that he cheated on Kim Kardashian.
According to Page Six, multiple reports have confirmed that the track 'Hurricane' is basically the rapper admitting to infidelity in his marriage. “The song is in a way his testimony of everything he did wrong and taking accountability for their marriage breakdown,” an insider told the publication.
Hurricane’s lyrics contain this line: “Here I go actin' too rich / Here I go with a new chick / And I know what the truth is / Still playin' after two kids / It's a lot to digest when your life always movin.'”
The song also alludes to Kanye, 44, never going home to the couple's multimillion-dollar mansion and struggling with alcohol abuse. Kim, who has four children with Kanye, announced in January that she was ending her marriage to the rap mogul and filed for divorce in February.
Kanye's not the only rapper that's admitted to cheating in lyrics, and extramarital affairs aren't the only controversies that have famously made it into verse.
Lyrics have often been used as evidence in court cases about serious crime. The lyrics and videos of rappers Tay-K, YNW Melly and Drakeo the Ruler have all been used as evidence in trials, including for murder.
But back to the bedroom, and which other rappers have reversed the message of Shaggy’s song 'Wasn’t Me' by basically admitting that... it was blatantly them under the covers of another lover?
Jay Z’s confessional LP 4:44 is the most high-profile case of a rapper admitting to cheating via an album drop. “Look, I apologize, often womanize / Took for my child to be born / See through a woman’s eyes / Took for these natural twins to believe in miracles / Took me too long for this song/ I don’t deserve you,” the lyrics state about him being unfaithful to Beyonce.
They continue: “And if my children knew, I don’t even know what I would do/If they ain’t look at me the same/I would prob’ly die with all the shame/“You did what with who?”/What good is a ménage à trois when you have a soulmate?/“You risked that for Blue?””
Jay, who married Beyonce in 2008, was responding to lyrics in her track Sorry from her Lemonade LP which fans thought alluded to Jay’s cheating. “Be better call Becky with the good hair,” Beyonce chimed, which instigated a megawatt online debate about who, exactly, Becky was.
The British rapper appeared to be confessing infidelity on his Heavy Is The Head LP, released around the time he split from TV presenter girlfriend Maya Jama. The track Lessons includes the rapper apologising for “doing the dirt” on Maya.
The lyrics continue: “Guess this is the karma for what I done to Maya / I just stood and let it burn, I couldn’t done the fire… Guess this is the karma for what I done to Maya / I just stood and let it burn, I couldn’t done the fire.”
However, in January 2020, speaking on New York's Hot 97 radio show Stormzy broke the meaning of the lyrics down, and while he admitted wrongdoing towards Maya, he denied he had actually cheated. "What I did was a big disrespect, what I did was very inconsiderate - like it didn't need to be cheating for it to still be a disrespect you know what I mean?” he said. “Now's a good time to say I didn't cheat on my ex."
A$ap really hammered home his affair with Rita Ora in lyrics to his 2015 track Better Things. “I swear that bitch Rita Ora got a big mouth,” go the lyrics. “Next time I see her might curse the bitch out/Kicked the bitch out once cause she bitched out/Spit my kids out, jizzed up all in her mouth and made the bitch bounce.”
Yikes - and it got worse when A$ap tried to justify his hostile overshare. "I just want to clarify, this isn't me saying: People don't go listen to Rita Ora, or she's an ugly person, or nothing," he told BBC's Annie Mac. "I'm not saying she's a terrible person, I'm just saying that when I was in a relationship and I did things with her that I wasn't supposed to do, she had a big mouth."
Alright, so basketball player Lamar’s a hop, skip and a jump away from producing his own music - but he did record a confessional rap apparently admitting to cheating on Khloe Kardashian in 2013. When rumours began circulating about their relationship demise, TMZ shared a leaked video of Lamar and his now late friend Jamie Sangouthai which included Lamar admitting to cheating on Khloe.
“When Khloe’s out of town / I guess I still be on the DL,” Odom blurted in the track. Anyone doubting the explicitness of the confession had their fears put to bed by 2019 when Lamar admitted to extramarital affairs in his autobiography.