Like many fans of hip/hop out there, you are probably indulged in this revitalizing time of rap glorified by all the “beef” out here in these streets. Of the many floating around out there, none is perhaps as exciting or as anticipated as the Drake and Pusha T clash. Some will say this is a battle that has stemmed from way earlier in Drakes career as he “unprokingly” stepping on toes towards paving his way to make the revered name in rap he currently bears.
However, I think most hip/hop heads would agree that history is overstated more for the sake of theatrics than it is about the scenario that is actually being played out. Although I do agree that there has always been bad blood between the two extremely talented battle rap artists, I think we should take a closer look at where things got real, who’s taking the real L in all this, and is giving up while you’re ahead actually giving up? lets deep closer to the FACTS!
Pusha has feuded with Lil Wayne since 2002, but the first public diss came on the track “Mr. Me Too.” At the time, Pusha was still performing with Clipse, a group composed of himself and his brother No Malice.
The two were wearing lots of BAPE clothing at the time, as well know Wayne was very successful at making a great name for the brand and when Wayne dressed in BAPE attire on the front cover of Vibe magazine they claimed the rapper copied their style. On “Mr. Me Too,” featuring Pharell, they rapped: ”Wanna know the time? Better clock us / N****s bite the style from the shoes to the watches.”
So if you really jump into the dialogue you can clearly see this beef was never truly legitimate until Drake had become more advanced. This was only guilt by association and depending on who you side with you can claim it came from either side. So let’s pay a little closer attention to 2011.
How does Lil Wayne and Pusha T fighting over who wore BAPE first relate to Drake? That Wayne beef was, ultimately, a little deeper than a fight over a clothing brand, the pair sparring with each other over the years on various tracks. So, when Drake joined Wayne’s label Young Money Entertainment the rapper became fair game for Pusha, who first went after Drake on the track “Don’t Fuck with Me,” a song that samples Drake’s own “Dreams Money Can Buy”
Looking at it through a hip/hop lens it seemed to me as though Pusha was looking for a weak link within Wayne’s organization to humiliate, not knowing Drake would prove to be a more than worthy opponent. Personally, I found the record to be soft served and should have either came harder or stayed home. DMCB was not light single and is one of my favorites, as a connoisseur for such music you just have to come with that same energy. Real nigha move but sorry Push “Rappers on their sophomores / Actin’ like they boss lords / Fame such a funny thing for sure / When n****s start believing all them encores,“ Pusha rapped, alluding to Drake who dropped his second album, Take Care that year.
Your not doing much or saying much with a rapper of that caliber so early in his career. And why is it that some of you may just now be hearing this, I’ll tell you why. It’s because it did no damage and was unnecessary fro Drake to even glorify, So let’s go to 2012.
“Contract all fucked up / I guess that means you all fucked up / You signed to one n***a that signed to another n***a / That’s signed to three n***as / Now that’s bad luck,” Pusha released the track “Exodus 23:1,” taking aim at Drake’s contract. Seems petty and almost sorry for a seasoned rapper to be constantly taking shots at an extremely young successful artist who hasn’t even mentioned your name or even responded to your first pathetic attempt at a diss. The following year after Pusha took another punk shot at Lil Wayne on the track “Your Favourite Rapper”. Drake decided to come up off his throne for himself and his mentor, and so effortlessly but yet so famously rapping “Bench players talkin’ like starters I hate it” on the track “Tuscan Leather” from the album Nothing Was The Same. Drake also said, “I’m just as famous as my mentor but that’s still the boss, don’t get sent for get hype on tracks and jump in front of a bullet you wasn’t meant for.”
It almost is unbelievable how much Drake reminds me Jay Z in the way he is able to take so little time damaging people in battle rap. And if we go to 2016 and take a closer look at how Pusha just seems to want to cling to this one-way beef you’ll see just how one-sided things actually are up until a certain point and then he came with “H.G.T.V” featuring the hardest hitting verses from Pusha at that time. Referencing Drake’s first album, So Far Gone, and questioning his reported use of ghostwriters as most people do claim when losing to Drake in a beef, for most recent example Meek Mill and Tory Lanez have used this topic Pusha rapped “It’s too far gone when the realest ain’t real I walk amongst the clouds so your ceilings ain’t real These nights Call of Duty ‘cause their killings ain’t real with a questionable pen so the feelin’ ain’t real.”
Drake, however, wastes no time humoring this. It seemed as though he slept on it before he again so subtly put Push on hold in 2017.
Drake responded on the More Life track ”Two Birds, One Stone” calling out Pusha for talking about drug dealing in songs. “But really it’s you with all the drug dealer stories that’s gotta stop, though you made a couple chops and now you think you Chapo… You middleman in this shit, boy you was never them guys I can tell, ’cause I look most of you dead in your eyes and you’ll be tryna sell that story for the rest of your lives.”
Wow. I really at that point believed there was no way this could be further escalated. I was wrong, in 2018 rap was revitalized and Adidon and Duppy were at the helm.
Pusha released Daytona to critical acclaim and, although just seven tracks long, the rapper manages another dig at his long-standing rival. On the track “Infrared”, Pusha compares the way Drake became popular to the way Donald Trump became president, pointing out how both allegedly used external measures: Drake uses a ghostwriter named Quentin Miller while Trump has alleged ties to Russia under investigation. Pusha raps: “The lyric pennin’ equal the Trumps winnin’ the bigger question is how the Russians did it it was written like Nas but it came from Quentin”. Drake also took aim at Kanye West, the producer of “Infrared,” making references to two songs from Kanye’s album The Life of Pablo, “Father Stretch My Hands” and “30 Hours” and the work Drake has apparently done on Ye’s new album.
And though most found Pusha’s response gangster, I felt it crossed the line and shouldn’t even be mentioned. While some fans were understanding, Pusha went on the offensive once more. “That does not change my view at all,” he told Los Angeles’ Real 92.3 . “You are silent on all black issues, Drake…. You don’t stand for nothing, you don’t say nothing about nothing. You have all the platform in the world. You were so passionate back then? No, you weren’t. That’s number one. That’s what I know.”
Once again, we’re left wondering how Drake will respond to this very personal salvo. Whatever happens next, the world waits on bated breath for a response from one of the most successful, loved and loathed artists of our time.
However as for the real loser in all this? Well, I think the answer is not easy to come across but is actually very simple and quite accurate. Amidst of all this beef, we forget to consider the non-registered contender A$SAP Rocky. His album was among the drop of Pusha, Kanye and a few other albums which can’t really make this conversation. Which leaves Rocky to take the L of them all.
Poor Rocky get no mention in all of this while the big dawg in some way or another are going at each other’s necks.