Drake’s new music didn’t come without some controversy.
On Saturday night, the Toronto rapper surprised fans by dropping two new tracks including “Chicago Freestyle” and “When to Say When.” The latter contains a lyric that did not sit well with Michael Jackson fans.
“Michael Jackson shit, but the palace is not for kids / Still women sayin’ it’s childish the way we live,” he raps.
Drake is referring to the King of Pop, who was charged with seven counts of molesting a minor at his Neverland Ranch. He was acquitted on all charges in 2005, but sexual abuse allegations resurfaced in last year’s HBO documentary “Finding Neverland.” Drake’s “palace” may refer to his three-acre compound in Hidden Hills, Calif., which he calls the YOLO estate, or his new Toronto mansion nicknamed The Embassy.
Michael Jackson fans were quick to call him out for seemingly dissing the late legend.
Wait….did Drake try to come at Michael Jackson ? He lost his mfn mind
— #SeeYouSoon (@danisbabysitter) March 1, 2020
Drake really said “Michael Jackson shit but this palace is not for kids”
Bruh why you do mans like that? He gone!
— Jeffrey ♛ (@LYDdreamer23) March 1, 2020
Drake coming for Michael Jackson? Oh he’s gonna get dragged ALL the way back to the Canadian border.
— ℝ (@barenaissance) March 1, 2020
Others assumed that the MJ reference was Drake’s way of addressing the criticism surrounding his friendships with teen stars like Millie Bobby Brown and Billie Eilish, which some have labeled “creepy.”
Drake really addressing the shit of people saying he praying on kids lol…. But why use Michael Jackson as a bar
— Na-Te' (@NaTe__ZA) March 1, 2020
Is Drake really going to bring up Michael Jackson in this song after the shit with MBB and Billie? Is that intentional or?
— ᄃﾑ丂乇ﾘ (@DAMNicantonio) March 1, 2020
The lyric is also surprising considering Drake sampled Jackson’s unreleased vocals from his 1983 session with Paul Anka on “Don’t Matter to Me” off 2018’s Scorpion. “Drake wants to drop Michael Jackson p*dophile jokes but spend money on a damn unreleased verse for his last album. that shit is disrespectful,” tweeted one fan.
so Drake wants to drop Michael Jackson p*dophile jokes but spend money on a damn unreleased verse for his last album. that shit is disrespectful af
— logan (@ldb22) March 1, 2020
Both “When to Say When” and “Chicago Freestyle” arrive ahead of Drake’s upcoming album. He also released a visual for the tracks, which was shot at various locations throughout New York as well as his hometown of Toronto.