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He said what? Drake's ongoing feud with Pusha-T explained
Published Thursday, May 31, 2018 2:52PM EDT
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably seen a headline or two (or 10) about Drake’s ongoing beef with rapper Pusha-T.
A series of diss tracks released earlier this week saw the two stars trading barbs in lyrics that tackled everything from authenticity, ghostwriting, fiancées, to a secret child (gasp!)
Although the war of words reached a fever pitch this week, the story behind Drake and Pusha-T’s simmering resentment actually dates back to 2006 and involves a Japanese clothing label of all things.
Here’s a quick explainer for anyone unfamiliar with the years-long drama.
How did it start?
The saga began when rapper Lil Wayne, Drake’s mentor, was photographed wearing a hooded sweatshirt by the Japanese brand BAPE on the cover of a magazine during the height of his career. The former rap duo Clipse, which consisted of Pusha-T and his brother No Malice, took offense because they claimed they wore the clothing label first.
Although Lil Wayne appeared to brush off the apparent controversy in an interview soon after, the dispute didn’t end there.
In 2011, Pusha-T came out with the track “Exodus 23:1” in which he took aim at rappers who sign with multiple companies. Drake signed to the record label Young Money, which is under multiple other companies, including Cash Money Records. Lil Wayne reacted to the perceived slight with the blunt lyric “F--k Pusha-T” in one of his songs.
As Drake’s fame started to overshadow Lil Wayne’s in the ensuing years, Pusha-T, now the president of Kanye West’s label G.O.O.D Music, started to direct his ire at the rising rapper. The pair traded thinly veiled insults about each other’s success until Pusha-T came out with the track “H.G.T.V. Freestyle” in 2016, where he directly called out Drake’s lyrics and alluded to the use of ghostwriting. Drake responded by taking shots at the credibility of Pusha-T’s drug-dealing past in his own song “Two Birds, One Stone.”
Although the hostilities initially involved Lil Wayne and Clipse, the feud shifted to Drake and Pusha-T after the former stood up for his mentor and became a global superstar himself.
There have been a few peripheral players, such as Kanye West, mentioned in the lyrical face-offs, but the crux of the conflict has centred on Drake and Pusha-T for the most part.
What sparked the latest resurgence?
On Friday, Pusha-T released a new song called “Infrared” on his latest album Daytona in which he accused Drake of employing Quentin Miller as a ghostwriter. Before the day was done, Drake retaliated with his own track “Duppy Freestyle” where he raps about how he helped Kanye West with a couple of songs on his album The Life of Pablo, mentions Pusha-T’s fiancée Virginia Williams, and threatens to send G.O.O.D. Music an invoice for using his fame for publicity for Daytona.
What are the juiciest revelations to come out of it?
Perhaps the most intriguing details to emerge from the lengthy dispute have come from Pusha-T’s “The Story of Adidon,” which he released on Tuesday complete with a now-viral photo of a young Drake in blackface for the song’s artwork.
Pusha-T didn’t hold back in the track's fiery lyrics which insult Drake’s parents, his racial identity, and even, his producer and friend Noah “40” Shebib for having multiple sclerosis. Ironically, Pusha-T said he was unaware that he released the song on the eve of World MS Day.
In what may be the most salacious piece of gossip of all, Pusha-T accuses Drake of secretly fathering a child with a former porn star. Drake has yet to respond to that particular allegation, but he did post a note on his Instagram stories explaining why he was in blackface for that old photo.
The drama is assumedly far from over as Drake’s next album Scorpion is set for release in June.