Deen doesn’t care for the good old days.
Originally, I’d written an entire prologue distilling the history and purpose of rap beefs down to three lengthy paragraphs, but I’m just going to abandon ‘journalistic responsibility’ and context like Drake supposedly abandoned his addition to the ever broadening coalition of beige humans. Let’s jump right into the latest salvo in this 12 year slap fight that started over BAPE hoodies and will likely end with Drake explaining how blackface is an integral part of Canadian Jewish traditions. If you need more detailed background for all this shit, fuck off to Entertainment Weekly or some shit.
Fine, that was a bit harsh. I apologize. I’ll provide a little context.
Pusha-T has this amusing habit of baiting Drake and other members of Cash Money records for a variety of reasons ranging from financial skullduggery to inauthenticity. In other words, he doesn’t like those muthafuckas. He has his reasons and more than sufficient rap skills to make that clear. Drake seemingly doesn’t understand why someone he openly identified as an idol on more than one occasion can’t stand him, his music, his ghostwriters, and his label situation. Got it? Good.
Last Friday, Pusha-T dropped DAYTONA, his third and leanest solo album and he included a love letter to Drake and his friends at Cash Money Records in the form of the ominous and subtle “Infrared.” The shots on this song were in response to Drake’s last addition to the beef on “Two Birds, One Stone” off More Life from a little over a year ago. To Drake’s credit, he didn’t wait a year to get back at Pusha after hearing “Infrared” and he responded quite fiercely with “Duppy Freestyle” (I presume he meant ‘freestyle’ in the Canadian sense—focus group tested and collaborative, but I digress).
Most of the folks on my Twitter timeline seemed to think it took Drake 24 hours to respond to “Infrared” but anyone with any damn sense probably realized that Drake definitely heard that shit before the rest of us. After all, music critics got DAYTONA days before its official release, so industry insiders probably knew what was up. Neither “Infrared” nor “Duppy” were anything near knockout blows but I think it’s fair to say most fans gave Drake that round due to the speed of his response and hilarious nonchalance of his bars—it was almost as if he only recorded that shit outta bored annoyance with Pusha.
Let’s take a quick pit stop. For a brief second, even though Drake might have crossed a line or two by mentioning Pusha’s fiancée (his brother No Malice was always fair game as a rapper himself, methinks), I figured this dispute had devolved into a bit of a work or front. The timing of Drake’s response seemed a bit too convenient for Drake AND Pusha, and there was some light social media sparring to go along with “Duppy Freestyle’s” release. Shit was smelling funny to me.
I figured we were done with this beef for another year or two, give or take a Pusha subliminal or two on one of the upcoming series of GOOD Music album releases this summer, but I’ve never been wronger about some shit in my life. Pusha-T kindly allowed us to enjoy two game 7s, the Champions League Final, Westworld, Billions, BBQs, and an extra day off over Memorial Day weekend, then he eviscerated our favorite Canadian (sorry Bryan Adams). Daaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwg! This “The Story of Adidon” shit is so disrespectful that it immediately vaulted into the top 10 rap disses of all time (shouts to Sauce Walka’s conveniently ignored “Wack 2 Wack” as well).
The only efficient (I know I’ve rambled already but I’m not sorry) way to tackle this nuclear diss is to examine each of Pusha-T’s erm…statements and choices, one by one. If I skip some shit, it’s not because I didn’t catch it—there’s just so much to unpack in a single verse and life’s short.
- First, the choice of art is a photo of younger Drake in the always problematic blackface. I’ve read some defenses and rationalizations for the existence of the photograph but this is an analysis of a rap diss, not an African American Studies course at UNC Chapel Hill, so I’ll leave deeper thoughts to folks that take shit more seriously than I do. Just know it’s bad, meaning not good.
- Pusha chose to rap over Jay-Z’s “The Story of OJ” beat. That speaks for itself. Ouch.
- Push immediately tosses Drake’s ghostwriting charges aside in favor of a ‘heart-to-heart’ since we all know that a good rap diss is really more of trip to a therapist than anything else.
- “The Ms count different when Baby divides the pie”—well, Drake isn’t the first and won’t be the last to get fleeced by Birdman and Cash Money Records, but even rich folks don’t like getting cheated out of their money.
- Drake’s parents both catch strays and thankfully Pusha reserves most them for Drake’s dad. Me, myself, and I? I’d be counting bullets at this stage and Push has only rapped for 20 seconds. Don’t talk about my daddy!
- A smooth segue into some identity issues. Brutal stuff that I won’t touch because I don’t have the excuse of being a rapper and I can’t afford cancelation. I’m poor. I’m laughing though. Sue me.
- Oh? What’s this? I think Pusha is about to drop the big joker here. I knew Drake shouldn’t have mentioned that man’s fiancee on “Duppy Freestyle.” Push is a 41 year old ex-drug dealer with braids from Virginia. If you know anyone that has at least two of those characteristics, then you know Drake committed an error when he mentioned that man’s wife to be.
- It’s a shame that women keep becoming the collateral damage in rap beefs but Drake opened the door here. There’s a reason why criminal lawyers generally don’t put their clients on the stand during trials; doing that opens the door to cross-examination and exposes your client to unnecessary risks. Similar logic applies here.
- That said, I’m sure Sophie’s a nice lady.
- If you’re looking for her work at your preferred porn distributor, try searching ‘Rosee Divine.’ I’m sure she’ll be trending.
- OK, I’m back.
- My bad. Now I’m back. Mind your business.
- Where were we? Yes, Sophie…
- *record scratch*
- Drake is HIDING A WHAT? AN ENTIRE CHILD? You mean one of these rumors is finally true? I guess it was sorta inevitable. You can only roll the dice so many times before you crap out. Or nut out. I don’t know the proper terminology anymore. Use condoms, kids. The economy isn’t what it used to be.
- When Drake heard ‘Deadbeat Muthafucka’ he immediately regretted everything. OVO Studios quieter than Roc-a-fella Records after “Ether.” Any man with any sort of pride never wants to hear that accusation—true or false—especially not in public. Meanwhile, the Twitter mob found Sophie’s account and her only tweet essentially confirms this charge was likely true at one point.
- “Adonis is your son and he deserves more than an Adidas press run?” Jesu Kristi!
- Is Mr. Thornton telling me that Drake has been hiding a baby until he could use the child as PR for his upcoming Adidas collaboration? Looooooool.
- There are a lotta angry Germans in Herzogenaurach that just hit stop on this track because Pusha-T is fucking the money up.
- Might be even more angry Germans in Portland.
- I really miss working at Adidas. Lovely company. I’m sure Pusha agrees. They’ve made some nice shoes together.
- Wait. Push just circled back to the fact that you can find Drake’s baby momma on PornHub 🙁
- OK. The customary “the only rappers I consider superior to me are dead” point. Always necessary and definitely useful when you can rap THIS well. Yup, DAYTONA is probably earning classic status in short order. Brilliant album.
- OH MY DAYS. What did OVO 40 do to anyone? All he does is take other people’s beats and put cool filters on ’em. C’mon Pusha! We all have clocks, you know?
- *stifles laughter anyway*
- All’s fair in rap and war. Don’t beef if you don’t want drama and stand clear lest you catch shrapnel.
- Some good ol’ fashioned shit talking to close things out. Not bad at all. Almost 50 Cent or Cam’ron levels on the stage patter here.
Phew! That was rough. I almost feel bad for Drake but I can’t really feel bad for anyone without student loans or any man with a pullout game worse than mine. Pusha hit that beige boy with a pantheon level soul clap. This shit was Jay-Z crying on the radio after “Ether” levels of brutal. Vulgar. I don’t really know what to say beyond that.
Sorry, I lied. I got hella shit to say.
Ultimately, Drake will be fine. He’s DRAKE after all. However, it’s safe to say he’s probably catching an L this time. I can’t think of any conceivable responses to “The Story of Adidon” that don’t involve playing the victim by claiming that Pusha went too far. But I have to reiterate: there’s no “too far” in rap beef, especially after you drag a man’s family into the drama. I know I’m being a messy bitch right now but there are only two reasonable responses to this shit: (1) Drake can just take the L and release that big pop single we know he has waiting for the final leg of his album promo; or (2) To quote one of the greatest rap and street beef niggas we’ll ever know, 50 Cent, “GET THE STRAP!”
What else can that man do? Where do you go after a man says that you use ICE as a babysitter on wax? What can you do when a man with braids says your momma ain’t got no hoes and your daddy wears Steve Harvey suits? Who do you call when a man finally stops rapping about coke just long enough to tell niggas that they can go wank to your baby moms on xvideos? Ghostbusters? OVO Hush can’t fix this. Anthony Palman can’t fix this. Drake called Pusha ‘approachable’ on “Duppy Freestyle” and Pusha essentially responded by saying ‘Not really, Aubrey.’ World so cold.
Anyway folks, call your loved ones today and let them know that you love ’em because you never know when you might get roasted by a mean darkskin nigga from the South. And I guess I should try to find a positive in all this that doesn’t involve me laughing at Drake. We all like “Grindin” and Virginia is for lovers?