Drake, 36, dropped the cover for the new single via Instagram on Wednesday, September 13. “😳💚,” he captioned the post.
Drake had used a photo of Berry, now 57, when she had gotten slimed while sitting in the audience at the 2012 Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards. Drake added a “Parental Advisory Explicit Content” sticker to the bottom of the cover. SZA, 33, reposted the cover art onto her page later on Wednesday and the song dropped on Friday, September 15.
Hours later on Friday, Berry posted a cryptic Instagram quote. “Sometimes you have to be the bigger guy … even if you’re a woman!” the note read, featuring a tag to musician Beabadoobee’s (real name Beatrice Kristi Ilejay Laus) account. Berry captioned her post with a pointer-finger emoji.
In the comments section, one fan asked the Oscar winner for her “thoughts” about Drake using a photo of her to promote his single.
“Didn’t get my permission. That’s not cool. I thought better of him!” she replied. “Hence my post today. When people you admire disappoint you, you have to be the bigger person and move on!”
The rapper has not publicly addressed Berry’s claims.
“Slime You Out” is the first single on Drake’s new album, For All the Dogs. The LP — featuring an illustration of a dog with red eyes that was drawn by Drake’s 6-year-old son, Adonis — will be released next month. Previously scheduled to drop on September 22, Drake pushed back the release date on Friday, explaining that he is still in the process of completing For All the Dogs.
“OK, my dilemma I am faced with is either cancel shows to finish the album or I complete the mission and drop the album before the last show,” he wrote via Instagram Story. “I owe you all these memories we are building, and anywhere we have missed to date, we will be spinning back for sure.”
He concluded: “For All the Dogs [comes out on] October 6th. It’s only right.”
Drake’s drama with Berry is not the first time his music has sparked controversy. Ghanian musician Obrafour sued Drake for $10 million in April, claiming that he never approved the Canada native’s sample of “One Ohene (Remix)” on his “Calling My Name” track.
Obrafour, 47, released his song in 2003 and claimed in his lawsuit that he never responded to Drake’s email request to sample it, according to Business Insider. Drake has not publicly addressed the legal drama nor has the case been settled yet.