Real Hip Hop is alive and well in the form of the quickly escalating lyrical beef between the old school of self-made lyricism and the new school, not-so-authentic rap performer. The former being defending by G.O.O.D Music’s kingpin Pusha T and the latter by OVO Sound’s leader, Drake.
If you haven’t been in the know recently, Pusha T recently dropped his Daytona album, one of a handful of albums set to be produced exclusively by Kanye West. The seven-track project is laced with heavy lyrics and masterful production, but it was his closing track, “Infrared,” that was quick to raise eyebrows throughout the hip hop community. The single opens up with a pretty direct shot at Drake.
This being a blatant reference to 2016, when it was revealed that many of Drake’s lyrics had been penned by Quentin Miller, a ghostwriter of moderate fame at the time. The rest of the track addresses the laundry list of grievances Pusha has with OVO, and by connection Birdman and Cash Money Records, while reiterating his career in the drug trade, ultimately to close the song with a question to the OVO leader, “how could you ever right these wrongs, when you don't even write your songs?” This, being a reference to the closing line of Drake’s verse on Kendrick Lamar’s 2013 hit “Poetic Justice,” where he says “But I could never right my wrongs, unless I write it down for real, P.S.”
It seems however that someone gave Drake a heads-up about the track prior to the official release, as he dropped his own rebuttal, “Duppy Freestyle,” on the OVO Soundcloud the same day of Pusha T’s album. The entire track is a direct onslaught to Pusha T, Kanye West and G.O.O.D Music.
Drake comes out the gate swinging for the fences, asking “So if you rebuke me for workin' with someone else on a couple of Vs, what do you really think of the nigga that's makin' your beats?” The entire track is direct shots across the board, and left jaws on the floor wondering if this was the end for King Push — until Tuesday, when Pusha T came back with a response.
Pusha T has taken a page from the greats on “The Story Of Adidon,” in which he sidesteps the easy targets putting drug dealing and ghostwriting aside and addressing the hidden stress of Drake’s personal life. Taking aim at money matters Pusha T opens addressing the difference in financial standings between the two, alluding to the financial misdeeds on Birdman — the head of Cash Money Records, who’s been known for “misappropriating” funds earned by label artists. Pusha T continues the attack by moving to Drake’s parents and family life, but things quickly escalate when he alleges that last year’s pregnancy allegations from former porn actress Sophie Brussaux did, in fact, produce a child with the OVO frontman.
There hasn’t been much word of the alleged love child since May of last year, but there may be some truth to Pusha T’s claims, as Drake’s latest single, “I’m Upset,” reveals some of the rapper’s frustrations with the possibility of facing child support, exclaiming that he “can’t go fifty-fifty with no ho,” and doesn’t agree with the notion that “Every month, [he’s] supposed to pay her bills and get her what she want.”
Now that the cat may be out of the bag for Drake as Pusha T gears up for a “Surgical Summer,” we may be in for a rap war, the likes of which we haven’t seen in decades.
Nick Bailey is a forward thinking journalist with a well-rounded skill set including writing, design, and photography. Nick now resides in Austin, TX after earning a degree in Mass Communication with an emphasis on journalism from Texas A&M University—Commerce.