Pet Shop Boys Speak Out About Drake West End Girls Sample Drama

Pet Shop Boys stars Chris Lowe and Neil Tennant performing in 2018
Pet Shop Boys stars Chris Lowe and Neil Tennant performing in 2018 Samir Hussein via Getty Images

Pet Shop Boys have responded after Drake sampled their hit song West End Girls without requesting their permission last year.

Back in October, the pop duo claimed that the Canadian rapper had sampled their 1984 song on his track All The Parties, taken from his eighth studio album For All The Dogs.

Drake’s track includes the lyrics: “And it’s 6, our town a dead end world/ East End boy and West End girls.”

This is almost identical to Pet Shop Boys’ lyrics: “In a West End town, a dead end world/ The East End boys and West End girls.”

On the day Drake’s song was released, the Pet Shop Boys wrote on their official X account: “Surprising to hear Drake singing the chorus of West End Girls in the track All The Parties on his new album. No credit given or permission requested.”

Speaking to NME in a new interview, Pet Shop Boys members Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe addressed the controversy directly.

Neil clarified: “It’s all sorted now, but I must say I thought it was a really nice bit in the record. He sang it very well.”

Drake Prince Williams via Getty Images

The pair went on to explain how a track called New London Boy from their new album Nonetheless uses spoken-rap, in the style of West End Girls.

Neil continued that “modern rap takes up a lot more words, whereas the classic early ’80s Grandmaster Flash style, which is the school I belong to, doesn’t take up as many words”. He added: “Also, I like the rhythm of it because you can understand the lyrics.”

To that, Chris added: “We should have just autotuned you and turned you into Drake!”

Neil added that he doesn’t think people regard West End Girls “as a rap record, even though we did”, to which his bandmate joked: “Hang on, you won the bloody Brit Award for Best Hip-Hop/Rap/Grime Artist this year!”

This was a reference to Neil’s contribution to Casisdead’s album Famous Last Words, which later earned the musician a Brits win.