These past few weeks have been particularly interesting and extremely entertaining for hip-hop.
Two weeks ago, hip-hop artist Pusha T released his album “DAYTONA.” The album has seven songs is exactly 21 minutes. Each track packed a punch, but none more than the final song, “Infrared.”
In the song, Pusha T takes shots at fellow hip-hop artists Lil Wayne and Drake. Although, personally, the lines toward Lil Wayne were way more vicious, Pusha T definitely hit a nerve with Drake when he brought up the fact that Drake doesn’t write his rhymes. Cue the drama.
The drama with Pusha T and Cash Money dates back as far as 2006, but Drake and Pusha T have been sending subliminal shots toward each other for a few years. Pusha T has continued to bait the Canadian emcee on several songs while Drake either threw slight subliminal or did not respond at all.
That all changed in a matter of 24 hours when Drake responded to the shots that Pusha T threw at him on “Infrared” with a song titled “Duppy Freestyle.”
The song shocked everyone because people were not expecting Drake to respond, especially that quickly. Over the smooth instrumental, Drake raps with confidence, slight frustration and confusion as he details ghostwriting allegations, dissecting the incompetence of GOOD Music as a label, stating that Pusha T exaggerates his past as a drug dealer as well as taking shots at Kanye West. The song was met with much critical acclaim and people began to think that Pusha T lost this battle.
Well, Pusha T let the cat out the bag a few days later when he released his response song, “The Story of Adidon.” The song is everything a diss track is supposed to be — disrespectful, yet factual. Pusha T raps over “The Story of OJ” instrumental, dissecting Drake’s character, integrity as well as revealing some truths that fans didn’t even know, such as exposing that Drake has a secret child, taking shots at Drake’s friend 40’s illness, making remarks toward Drake’s parents, as well as Drake’s confusion regarding his blackness.
Even the cover art is Drake in blackface — a picture that had never seen the light of day until the diss song was released.
The diss song took the hip-hop world by storm. Social media was in an absolute frenzy.
Drake responded but not in the way fans anticipated.
Instead of getting in the booth and responding with another song, he instead took the PR approach and put out a press release responding to the blackface photo. He didn’t even address his supposed child.
Rumors also circulated that Drake was going to use his son named Adonis for a campaign he has with Adidas that was going to be released in the future, hence why the song is entitled “The Story of Adidon,” and introduce him to the world. Pusha T not only had a better diss track, he completely ruined Drake’s Adidas campaign.
Watching interviews of Pusha T addressing how he approached the situation, you can tell he was ready for battle. He was not in fear of Drake or what could come about from the situation that might make you think things are way deeper than rap, but Pusha T hit Drake exactly where it hurt.
To this day, Drake still has not responded to the song. Rap-A-Lot Records CEO J Prince stepped in and told Drake not to respond. He also went on record to say that Drake actually made a song, but will not release it as it will ruin the careers of Kanye West and Pusha T.
In this situation, Drake loses. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. Personally, I think Drake was finally outsmarted by a better competitor. Pusha T is obviously a more skilled emcee than Drake, but he lacks the star power that Drake has.
For example, when Drake and Meek Mill were beefing back in 2015, Meek Mill went about it very sloppily — taking too long to respond with weak diss songs, as well as unnecessary social media shenanigans. Drake was more calculated. Drake came out with two songs, “Charged Up” and the popular “Back to Back” which had social media going crazy when it was released.
Drake even showcased some of the memes on his tour to further embarrass Meek Mill. Even though Meek Mill was the first to expose Drake’s ghostwriting allegations, Drake won the battle by being smarter than his competitor and making better moves.
However, now the shoe is on the other foot. Drake is exactly where Meek Mill was a few years ago. The thing with Drake is that he thought he could go about this in the same way he did with Meek Mill. He thought that because his star power was so huge, he could utilize social media in the same way to humiliate Pusha T since he is not as renowned as Drake is. Obviously, it did not work out that way and social media was used against him. He did not expect for Pusha T to show up with the ammo that he had and now he is doing damage control to absolve the situation.
That’s when I hear about J Prince stepping in, I have mixed reactions. It begs the questions, does Drake have a song that can ruin Pusha T and Kanye’s careers? If so, what are the secrets? Is this just a tactic used to help Drake save face?
There are a lot of questions that need to be answered, and I think this is all ending prematurely because Drake does not know how to react to all this pressure. He is used to being at the top and is finally getting a dose of what it feels liked to be knocked down a peg.
Regardless, Drake’s album “Scorpion” is going to do numbers in the next few weeks, but could this be the beginning of the end of Drake’s reign at the top? It is impossible not to think this because in this beef with Pusha T, Drake is going out like a sucker. This is not the same guy who, three years ago, that had the confidence to go toe to toe with Meek Mill. People are beginning to see Drake in a whole new light than before and this could possibly affect his brand.
Although there might be a response song on the new album, by then, it might be too late, and if so, what can Drake say? People don’t care about Pusha T’s personal life the way they do Drake’s so it will not have the same effect. At this point, the ball is in Drake’s court, but, he keeps fumbling it. All we can do is wait.