Friday, May 25th 2018 was slated to be a great day for Hip Hop as two highly anticipated albums were scheduled to drop, ASAP Rocky‘s “Testing” as well as Pusha T‘s “DAYTONA“.
As the day arrived and both of these albums were released into the world, Pusha T‘s album gained far more traction and quickly drowned out any noise made by ASAP’s album. This could be as a result of a number of things other than ASAP’s album simply being bad. For starters, Pusha’s album is entirely produced by Kanye West.
I won’t get into the controversy that has marred Kanye recently but that in itself created a lot of anticipation for anything he is be involved in, so there’s that. Truthfully though, Pusha dropped a short and sweet album that really, really bangs! It houses some of the best beats Kanye has ever produced in a long time so the fan-fare is truly warranted. As can be expected, Twitter was abuzz with praise not only for the million dope dealer references Pusha is known for but also the return to form Kanye seems to be on. The only blip on the radar was that the album was short (with only 7 songs). Other than that, many were already calling it a very strong contender for album of the year. So all in all, Pusha won release day and had a very good Friday, or so it seemed.
On the album closer, a song called “Infrared”, Pusha raps:
That’s clearly a shot at our homeboy Aubrey. Just like many who have tried it before him, Pusha alleges that Drake doesn’t write his lyrics but instead has Quentin Miller ghostwriting for him.
He goes on to say:
Pretty much reiterating the ghostwriter accusation.
Now initially, when I heard this song I saw it more as a Birdman diss than it was a Drake diss. Clearly I took the not so subtle jabs for granted. You wanna know who didn’t? Aubrey Drake Graham.
When I woke up on Saturday, Twitter was flooded with tweets about a Drake diss to Pusha T. I was like, wait what? How? When? I mean, I went to sleep and people were still lauding “DAYTONA” and now there’s a diss record? I got on my Googles and lo and behold, it was right there… “Duppy Feestyle“. Long story short, I bumped the record and man, it was flaming. I’ve always been a Drake fan so I’m never surprised when he gets on his real rap shit. And as fate would have it, all of Twitter had already declared Drake the victor in the war of words because clearly this was Drake’s response. Memes and jokes were already going around on how Drake just sonned the homie Push.
Now, the big question is: Will Pusha T respond? More importantly, how long will it take him to respond? And will it be any good?
The truth of the matter is, according to the masses (read Twitter) Drake has already won.
Here’s what I think people need to understand, in 2018, rap beef is won on clout. Who has the most following, the most influence and who’s hive is the loudest. Given those variables, there is no way Drake will ever lose a battle against any one he squabbles with in rap. It also doesn’t help that Drake is VERY strategic and calculating. He knows who he should go against swinging. He also knows who he shouldn’t be bothered with. Therefore he already knows how this will all pan out, regardless of what Pusha T chooses to do.
In this day and age, rap beef is not like it was back in the day. Before the Internet, you actually had to out rap and out perform your opponent convincingly when it came to diss tracks and all it took was 1 diss track a piece. A very deliberate one at that, none of these subliminal jabs.
When Ice Cube and the West Side Connection felt that Common was talking shady at them on “I Used To Love H.E.R” they went at his neck with “West Side Slaughterhouse”.Common then retaliated and bodied all them niggas, said their names on the record and deaded that shit on “The Bitch In Yoo“. This is why when Common had his thing with Drake, he kept saying “Say my name”. And while “Stay Scheming” was a monumental record, Common’s remix of it was a worthy response but Drake had already won, simply because he did one verse, became evasive and the masses all rallied behind him. The same thing happened with Joe Budden. Who really engaged him and threw an onslaught of diss tracks at him but once again, Drake sent him half a bar and ignored him. The result? Drake won, once again.
This speaks to how calculating and menacing Drake really is. He knows who to respond to. Case in point, Meek Mill. He went at him HARD! He engaged him because he knew he could take him out. It’s all Drake’s game ladies and gentlemen. He has rigged the game. He has the code.
So whether Pusha responds or not, he’s already lost because even if drops a fire record, the masses are going to clown at how long he took, considering Drake released his record a few hours after “Infrared” was out. The masses won’t judge Pusha’s response based on merit. It will be some circumstantial reasoning that renders Drake the winner.