The rapper teamed up with Fivio Foreign and Alicia Keys for his newest single, “City Of Gods.”
The new track, which dropped early Friday morning, features a number of hefty name drops, from Michael Jordan to Drake. However, in light of their recent feud, a lot of fans were quick to tune into Ye’s subtle references to his ex.
At one point in the song, it seems Ye suggests that Pete — who has been romantically linked to Kim since October last year — should “thank” him for letting him date his soon-to-be-ex wife.
“Never too big of a price / After I buy the Chicago Bulls, I'ma go link with Mike / And if I let 'em have my wife, n***** should thank me,” he raps.
These new lyrics come just days after Kim accused Ye of being controlling and manipulative in her first public statement regarding their divorce proceedings, which began over a year ago.
In case you aren’t caught up, the ongoing feud between Kim and Kanye reached new heights last weekend after the exes found themselves going back and forth in a public Instagram dispute.
The whole thing started when Kanye put Kim on blast for allowing their eldest daughter, North, to have a public TikTok account. As you might remember, the 8-year-old joined the platform late last year, posting regular videos from a joint account called @kimandnorth, which is monitored by Kim.
In a since-deleted post, Ye demanded to know why his daughter was being “put on” TikTok, writing: “SINCE THIS IS MY FIRST DIVORCE I NEED TO KNOW WHAT I SHOULD DO ABOUT MY DAUGHTER BEING PUT ON TIK TOK AGAINST MY WILL ?”
This prompted Kim to issue a response of her own, accusing her soon-to-be-ex of trying to “control and manipulate” the situation with his “constant attacks.”
“Kanye’s constant attacks on me in interviews and on social media is actually more hurtful than any TikTok North might create,” she wrote on her Instagram story.
“As the parent who is the main provider and caregiver for our children, I am doing my best to protect our daughter while also allowing her to express her creativity in the medium that she wishes with adult supervision — because it brings her happiness,” she added.
“Divorce is difficult enough on our children and Kanye’s obsession with trying to control and manipulate our situation so negatively and publicly is only causing further pain for all,” she continued. “From the beginning I have wanted nothing but a healthy and supportive co-parenting relationship because it is what is best for our children and it saddens me that Kanye continues to make it impossible every step of the way.”
Ye quickly hit back with a string of heated posts criticizing Kim, and in one statement even accused her of trying to “kid nap” their daughter Chicago after he wasn’t invited to her fourth birthday party last month.
In another post, he alleged that Kim had accused him of “stealing,” “being on drugs,” and “putting a hit out on her.” And as well as criticizing Kim’s parenting, the rapper also called out the entire Kardashian-Jenner family, claiming that they are playing with “Black men’s lives.”
“These ideas can actually get someone locked up,” he wrote of Kim’s alleged accusations. “[The Kardashians] play like that with Black men's lives [whether] it’s getting them free or getting them locked up. Im not playing about my Black children anymore.”
Before long, all of Ye’s posts about Kim were removed from his page. But just days later, he shocked fans by returning to Instagram to beg God to “bring [his] family back together” and share a collage of photographs taken from Kim’s US Vogue shoot, which dropped on Wednesday.
While fans have expressed concern for the entire family, particularly in light of Kanye's mental health struggles, many have also been quick to condemn the rapper's actions and treatment of Kim.
In fact, some have accused Kanye of using “manipulation tactics” to “control” and “guilt trip” Kim into reuniting with him, referencing the fact that he spent months prior to this begging her to get back with him.
“Kanye is using public manipulation tactics to guilt Kim back into his arms,” someone tweeted in response to Ye’s plea to God on Wednesday. “He can’t physically control Kim anymore, so now he uses social media & public opinions to try to control & guilt trip her.”
Concerns about “control” and “ownership” were recurrent in fans’ responses, with many noting that Ye has a tendency to speak about Kim as if she is an “object.”
“Kanye mad weird for the way he talks about kim,” one Twitter user said. “Y’all can form any opinion you want around the [North] situation but talking about her like she’s some kind of object that’s his and y’all AGREEING with it highlights how very much you do not care about women.”
Some even pointed toward the breakdown of Kanye’s relationship with Amber Rose, who claimed that the rapper “bullied” her after they split in 2010, to better contextualize the issue.
Kanye publicly shamed Amber in a 2015 interview by saying that he felt the need to “take 30 showers” after they broke up, implying that her sexual history made her unclean. Five years later, Amber said she felt that the only reason Ye spoke unkindly of her was because she “got away” from him.
In light of his past comments about Amber, one Twitter user wrote that they were not surprised by the way he’s handling his split from Kim. “Kanye treating Kim as an object is not surprising,” they wrote, “considering how he talked about Amber, years after they separated.”
Interestingly, this isn’t the first time that Kanye has been accused of being controlling in his marriage to Kim.
Back in 2019, Ye faced a lot of criticism from fans after he told Kim that her sexiness hurts his “soul” during an argument about the iconic waist-snatching dress she wore to the Met Gala that year.
“The corset, underwear, all of that vibe… I didn't realize that that was affecting my soul and my spirit as someone that's married and loved, the father of what's about to be four kids,” he said to Kim, trying to deter her from wearing the dress the night before the Met.
Kim — who had been planning the outfit for 11 months — responded by saying that his last-minute disapproval was giving her anxiety, to which Kanye said: “You are my wife, and it affects me when pictures are too sexy.”
Of course, Kim proceeded to wear the dress anyway. But that didn’t stop fans from expressing their concern over how Ye handled the situation, with some accusing him of being “insecure” and “delusional.”
With that in mind, the new lyrics — in which Kanye appears to deny Kim any agency by saying Pete should "thank" him for being allowed to date her — have reignited the debate about Ye's possessive tendencies.
Elsewhere in the new track, Ye also seems to take aim at Kim’s boyfriend Pete, rapping about sending “a hundred goons” to Saturday Night Live, where he is a cast member.
The lyrics read: “I been through the pain and all of the torment / I'm sayin' His name, I make it important (What?) / Now it's time to give 'em hell / Ask my staff, I pay 'em well / This afternoon, a hundred goons pullin' up to SNL (What?) / When I pull up, it's dead on arrival / They act like they love you, they don't even like you.”
Interestingly, this reference correlates with a fan theory that surfaced in mid-November, around the time that a huge group of Kanye look-alikes was actually spotted walking around NYC where SNL is filmed.
According to a blind item that was submitted anonymously to Deuxmoi, Ye had intended to send the clones to the SNL studio to spook Pete. However, they said that the plan was “not executed properly” and therefore never happened.
At the time, some theorized that Kanye had pulled the plug at the last minute because Taylor Swift was also performing on SNL that weekend, and Ye wanted to avoid reigniting their long-running feud if the clones were mistakenly interpreted as intended for her.
Whether or not the new lyrics are Kanye confirming the alleged plan or simply poking fun at the speculation, we can’t imagine that Pete will be losing sleep over it.
Last month, after Kanye threatened to “beat [his] ass” in his last song, “Eazy,” it was reported that Pete found the rapper’s lyrical jabs to be pretty entertaining.
“Pete thinks it’s totally hilarious,” an insider told Page Six in January. “Not just that — he thinks the whole [drama with him, Ye, and Kim] is hilarious. He loves it.”