Drake is currently as big as it gets in music, enjoying as good a first half of the year as any modern artist in history without an album. He’s had two number one records already this year, with two other top 10 showings in “Diplomatic Immunity” and “Yes Indeed” with Lil Baby. His “God’s Plan” and “Nice For What” videos were universally lauded. “Nice for what to these n—-s” was ripe to be the phrase of summer ‘18, but now it may be “you are hiding a child,” the barb Pusha T made sure to deliberately enunciate while burning Drake’s soul on “The Story Of Adidon” diss he delivered earlier this week.
Drake is going to come back with another diss of his own, and Pusha promises to continue to “peel back the layers” on the self-proclaimed 6God, but as I write this, I can’t help but argue the antithesis of Aaron Williams’ take that Pusha T “can do better” than “Story of Adidon.” On the contrary, the song was perfectly executed, and represents the first time that Drake, the “Back To Back” chessmaster, was outmaneuvered and has his back against the wall. Pusha’s craftiness isn’t just in the bars laid within the diss, but how well Drake was set up for them.
Pusha laid the “Infrared” bait, dropping a couple-bar response to Drake’s “2 Birds One Stone” track from 2016, which called Pusha a “middleman” and not the bigtime drug dealer he proclaims to be throughout his music. It seemed like the two were going to trade errant subliminals forever, but Drake replied to “Infrared” with his “Duppy Freestyle,” where he went all the way in and laid out Pusha for being “older than the n—- he’s running behind” and acting like he “sold drugs for Escobar in the ’80s.”
With Drake dropping a full on diss track, Pusha then had the ammo to go full steam back at him. If Pusha would’ve dropped a full, unprovoked diss out of nowhere like Joe Budden in 2016, he would’ve came off looking desperate for publicity. Pusha played his cards right, knowing that he’s too well-respected to be ignored if he throws out enough bait.
Drake took the bait, went fishing and ended up fishing a shark. As the adage goes, you can’t start something and complain about how someone finishes it. Drake crossed a culturally accepted line when he mentioned Pusha T’s fiance Virginia Williams. Jay-Z said last August that when Kanye mentioned his daughter in an onstage tirade in Sacramento, he had “a problem” with it that they still haven’t publicly reconciled. Once the family line was breached, it was fair game for Pusha to go in on Drake’s mother, father, and his producer 40, who is dealing with MS.
Not only did Pusha go in on Drake’s known family members, he exposed Drake for allegedly having a secret child. Entertainers have long been accused of having kids by random people whom they’ve had casual dalliances with on the road. Rosee Divine could be falsely accusing Drake of having her kid like Celina Powell did Offset, but a recent TMZ report speculates that Drake indeed is the father of Adonis. Pusha noted on The Breakfast Club yesterday that he heard the boy would be making a veritable debut as a model for Drake’s upcoming Adidon Adidas line, which is the basis of his “you are hiding a child” line and the song’s title. The reference to Drake’s alleged son essentially torpedoes the surprise of his upcoming line and whatever disclosure he was or wasn’t planning for the child.
Pusha also messed up Drake’s upcoming album rollout with “Adidon’s” song art, which is a picture of Drake in blackface. Drake came out last night to note on his IG story that the photos were from a project he and a friend were working on “about young Black actors struggling to get roles, being stereotyped and type cast.” He says the photo represents “how African Americans were once wrongfully portrayed in entertainment.”
David Leyes, the photographer of the shoot, also contends that it was Drake’s idea, and he was intending to make “a strong statement” about the “f*cked up culture he is living in.” It seems like Drake had good intentions to “raise awareness,” but the mere optics will likely start another cultural conversation about his place as a biracial artist in a Black artform.
Drake rhymed on “Diplomatic Immunity” that what he’s been achieving is “Black excellence, but I guess when it comes to me it’s not the same though, all goodie,” which reflected an annoyance with not being being seen in the same light as Jay-Z, Beyonce and other Black musicians who are lauded for what their strides mean for Black people. Perhaps he’s not seen in that light because Drake has never delivered much social commentary in his music or risked alienating fans like Jay-Z or Beyonce to advocate for racial justice, only once lazily addressing police brutality on “5PM in New York” by opining, “maybe we should try and help somebody or be somebody / Instead of bein’ somebody that makes the news.”