Drake has been instructed to participate in a deposition in the trial of XXXTentacion’s murder.

Drake is facing a court order to either sit for a deposition or appear in court in connection with the ongoing XXXTentacion murder trial.

Prosecutors have never claimed that Drake (real name Aubrey Graham) was involved in XXXTentacion’s death. Instead, they’ve argued that XXX (real name Jahseh Onfroy) was killed in June 2018 during a robbery outside a motorcycle store that quickly escalated to violence. The theory that Graham is somehow connected to Onfroy’s death comes from Mauricio Padilla, a defense attorney for one of the three suspects, Dedrick Williams. (Williams, along with Michael Boatwright and Trayvon Newsome, pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.)

Padilla has inserted Graham, and his alleged feud with Onfroy, into his case as a possible alternative theory to the killing. He tried to subpoena Graham for a deposition at the end of January, claiming that Graham was properly served but did not show up for the deposition. As such, Padilla petitioned the court for an “order to show cause,” which the judge granted Thursday, Feb. 9.

The order, obtained by Rolling Stone, states that because Graham failed to appear for the deposition at the end of January, he “shall appear for a deposition” on Friday, Feb. 24. It continues: “If deponent Aubrey Drake Graham does not appear to deposition he must appear before this court on Monday Feb. 27, 2023 at 10 a.m. EST at so [sic] the court can determine why he should not be held in contempt.” 

A rep for Drake declined to comment, and a lawyer for the rapper did not immediately return a request for comment. Padilla also declined to comment.

Along with trying to get Graham to participate in a deposition, Padilla referenced the alleged feud between the two musicians in his opening argumentson Feb. 7. Specifically, he cited a social media post from Onfroy in Feb. 2018 that read, “If anyone tries to kill me it was @champagnepapi [Drake’s Instagram handle]. I’m snitching right now.” Onfroy, however, deleted that post — as well as a few other incendiary posts — and wrote, “Please stop entertaining that bullshit on Twitter. My accounts were previously hacked.”

Despite that ostensible retraction, which the defense attorney didn’t appear to acknowledge in his opening statement, Padilla wondered aloud to the court, “Do you think… any detective has ever asked Drake or anybody like that? No, they never did that.” 

Padilla delved even deeper into the alleged beef and Graham’s alleged potential connection to Onfroy’s death in a court filing submitted last December. According to the document, the feud began in 2017: First, a friend reportedly told Onfroy that Drake liked his music and was interested in meeting and helping him while he was in jail for allegedly abusing his pregnant girlfriend. Graham, however, never made contact, and Onfroy’s “feelings toward Drake began to shift in a negative fashion.”

Then Drake released “KMT” in March 2017. Onfroy, who allegedly managed to hear the song while still in custody, “instantly believed Drake stole his song,” according to the filing. “The cadence of the rap style and rhythm of the song is by all standards extremely similar and have caused many to believe that Graham did in fact steal important aspects of the song from Onfroy.” 

When Onfroy was released from jail, he escalated the beef (though it always appeared rather one-sided). His trolling attempts included posts about Graham’s mother, a photo of a Drake look-alike with semen on his face, and the “If anyone tries to kill me” tweet.

As for Onfroy’s ostensible retraction and hacking claim, the filing alleges that hip-hop personality DJ Akademiks (Livingston Allen) stated that Onfrony “removed the post and made a false claim that he had been hacked.” Livingston allegedly warned Onfroy that “although he did not believe that Graham was a violent person, Onfroy could be pushing him to retaliate.”

The filing goes on to allege that Graham has close ties to several people with gang affiliations, including Hassan Ali, who once claimed on DJ Akademiks’ podcast that he was “Drake’s shooter.” Furthermore, the filing claims Graham, since Onfroy’s death, has “consistently written lyrics… that the defense believes relates to the decedent.” These even include a few lines on “BS,” off Her Loss, where Drake says, “I never put no prices on the beef until we end this shit/I pay half a million for his soul, he my nemesis.” 

Finally, the filing includes quotes from a deposition given by Onfroy’s mother, Cleopatra Bernard, in which she recalled the concerns she had about her son’s feuds with Graham, as well as Migos. In the deposition, Bernard said that she asked one of Onfroy’s relatives to accompany him to the motorcycle shop the day he died “because of the ongoing battle with Drake and Migos.”

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