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Why Drake may be facing a $1.5-million lawsuit from a fellow rapper

Drake performs at OVO Fest at the Molson Ampitheatre in Toronto August 5, 2013. (J.P. Moczulski for The Globe and Mail)

J.P. MOCZULSKI/The Globe and Mail

Stand back and watch out for flying bottles. Canadian rapper Drake has entered into a feud with fellow rapper Future after the latter dissed the former in a magazine article.

The New York Post's Page Six reports that Toronto-born Drake recently demanded Future be fired from his upcoming tour, slated to kick off this Friday in Pittsburgh. Drake now faces a possible lawsuit action from Future estimated to be in the $1.5-million (U.S.) range.

Why the bad blood? Let us recap:

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On Oct. 4, Future went to Billboard magazine's office to give their editors a sample of his latest album, Honest. Billboard associate editor Erika Ramirez subsequently published a story that included quotes from Future, parts of which she also posted on Twitter. And that's where the trouble began.

Among other comments, Ramirez wrote that, "Not only is future's #honest album interesting, so are his thought on Drake's #NWTS album."

Ramirez then directly quoted Future, who apparently said, "I've been on the songs of all these rappers that put out an album, and my music is still better."

More to the point, the Future interview included this quote: "Drake made an album that is full of hits but it doesn't grab you. They're not possessive; they don't make you feel the way I do."

In the ego-sensitive rap world, them's fighting words.

Future's management team shifted into immediate damage control and argued with Billboard that the rapper's quotes were off the record and taken out of context. The online version of the Future story was edited, but Ramirez didn't delete her tweets.

According to New York Post sources, Drake, whose previous feud with Chris Brown (allegedly fueled by Drake dating Brown's ex, Rihanna) culminated in a violent bottle-smashing brawl in a Manhattan club last year, was so enraged by the Billboard article that he demanded Future be fired from the tour. "He told his agent either Future gets fired, or he'll fire him," said the unnamed source.

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And so Future was dismissed from the Drake tour, which was followed by frantic negotiations to reinstate him late last week. Then over the weekend, Drake's camp demanded financial concessions, which prompted Future to pull out of the tour for good.

That's where the lawyers enter the fray. Future was set to earn roughly $40,000 per gig on the tour, which was scheduled to hit 39 cities. Page Six claims Future is set to file a lawsuit against Drake this week for lost wages, which would total $1.5-million.

But for once, there really isn't an obvious good guy or bad guy in a rap feud. All Future did was speak his mind while plugging his product in the highly competitive music industry; all Drake did was exercise his headliner's right over an artist opening his show each night.

Whose side would you take?

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