After the massive global success of “Watch The Throne,” Jay-Z and Kanye West’s relationship seemed especially strong. Even so, the “99 Problems” rapper got candid in discussing challenges with the BBC’s Zane Lowe. “[West’s] going to challenge everything because he’s really trying to test it and poke holes to make sure that it stands up,” Jay-Z said, caveating that his collaboration with West was “a big brother thing and a respect thing.” The pair’s respective partners, Kim Kardashian and Beyoncé, had apparently bonded during the “Watch the Throne” tour — so it was especially surprising when neither Beyoncé nor Jay-Z attended West’s wedding to Kardashian in 2014.
During a stop on his “Saint Pablo” tour in 2016, West shed light on the beef when he publicly slammed Jay-Z for not contacting him, per Rolling Stone. “I’ve been sent here to give y’all my truth even at the risk of my own life, my own success, my own career,” West was ranting. “Jay-Z — call me, bruh. You still ain’t called me … Please call me. Talk to me like a man.”
After West’s outburst onstage, a source told Page Six that Jay-Z “can’t stand” West and that their friendship was “never what it seemed.” Jay-Z appeared to respond directly to West’s diss in his song “Kill Jay-Z,” in which he rapped, “You ain’t a saint / This ain’t KimbaYe / But you got hurt because you did cool by Ye.”