This Memphis-inspired cut finds Drake teaming up with 21 Savage to play out their gangsta fantasies. They exchange six verses during which they spit on a range of topics, from gangs to weapons to sex. Drake concludes proceedings with some braggadocio bars about how his son will inherit the rewards he's garnered from his hard work.
"Knife Talk" marks the fourth collaboration between 21 Savage and Drake, following Drake's 2016 single "Sneakin," the unreleased leaked track "Issa," and "Mr. Right Now" from 21 Savage and Metro Boomin's joint album, Savage Mode II.
The song starts off with an intro from Project Pat sampled from his verse on Juicy J's 2017 cut "Feed the Streets." Pat is the older brother of Juicy, who cut his teeth in the Memphis rap group Three 6 Mafia.
The ominous production is courtesy of:
St. Louis producer and frequent 21 Savage collaborator Metro Boomin. Metro helmed most of the tracks on Drake and Future's 2015 joint mixtape What a Time to Be Alive. He also co-produced "Feed The Streets."
Ariana Grande's regular violinist Peter Lee Johnson. He co-produced five tracks on 21 Savage and Metro Boomin's Savage Mode II.
Pianist and producer Kiefer plays the piano on this track. Kiefer has also lent his production talents to Anderson Paak, co-producing two tracks on his Grammy-winning Ventura album.
The song "Sadeness" by Enigma (the one with the chanting monks), got its name from the French novelist Marquis de Sade, who believed sex had to be painful in order to be pleasurable - thus the word "sadism."