I am of a particular time when it comes to music the 90’s hip-hop, rap, R&B era when the talent was real and the music was significant. Music stopped being about talent in the early 00’s or some such time when Justin Timberlake became a solo artist and everyone thought him the next coming of R&B, even worse, was the arrival of Taylor Swift and her ilk on the scene; weak guitar playing and sappy lyrics. I am skeptical of new music, all kinds of new music; the only song of Drake’s I listened too before now was Nice For What. His voice is not appealing, his sound is repetitive, he is nothing new and reminds me of someone from back in the day. And I thought Nice for what was a version of what of the type of music that Diddy n’em popularized in the early 00’s. Basically, he’s aight. Just alright.
I love hip hop, the hard and realness of it, the grime, the curses, and the passion. Tupac, KRS-One, Biz Markie, the late great Craig Mark, Naughty by Nature, Queen Latifah, MC Lyte, Rage, Onyx, Wu-Tang, Clipse even, NWA… these are artists I grew up with, from an era when talent was all about rhymes, and battles were fought through the lyrics of their songs. Now, not so much. All that said, I live for a good hip-hop beef, when contemporaries battled for the title of the greatest and respect, because it meant something. In the world of hip-hop, no beef was harder fought than that between Tupac and Biggie. There is beef and then there is Tupac and Biggie type beef. These two went hard at each other. They went from being the best of friends to the worst of enemies, they fought their battles in lyrics of their songs and, if you believe the rumours, gunshots. The greatest, and in my opinion, most legendary rap beef songs is still “Hit Em Off”, Tupac’s full body at Biggie Smalls and everyone associated with him. Even the fans. Listen, I’m a Tupac fan for life, but I can also acknowledge Biggie was a better lyricist- at least now I can J, and Tupac a better rapper/MC; he controlled the stage and the crowd in a way Biggie couldn’t, but Big’s songs were more lyrical in flow whilst Tupac’s were more poetic… we could do this all day, but let’s move on to the issue at hand; Rap, Hip-Hop and beef. In Hit Em Off, ’Pac was angry and bothered and hurt and pissed and he put all that in the lyrics of the song which led some critics to say this was childish but that’s a matter of opinion. In beefs of this type, it’s all or nothing and Tupac went for everything even Biggie’s future brethren. It is still hard not to listen to it without my jaw hitting the floor; every time.
This beef between Pusha T and Drake reminds me of those days when respect was at stake, MCs were great and the battles were greater. It goes right back to the days of Clipse fronted by duo Pusha T and Malice (Now No Malice) his brother, and Lil Wayne; and started off with fashion… if you can believe it. I’m not interested in going back that far but if you follow hip-hop you’ll know and if not go Google. Drake an artist of young money, cash money, whatever money was or is between Birdman and Lil Wayne, got dragged into it and the shots started being fired from Mr Me Too (Clipse and Pharrell), to interviews in magazines, to Don’t Fuck With me (Drake), Exodus 23:1 (Clipse)… several other songs in between to Infrared, Duppy freestyle, culminating in the story of Adidon. Hello Drake? Are you there? We are still waiting for you to holla back. Because regardless of what’s been said you NEED to holla back.
Now whilst Pusha’s body of Drake is not Hit Em Off level, he bodies Drake good and hard; a full body that takes aim at Drake from all angles; his father, his parent’s union or lack thereof, to him, Drake, being a deadbeat father like his father, his baby momma rumoured to be a pornstar, his friend and producer, 40 and his illness (Tupac took these shots at Mobb Deep) to Drake’s struggle with his blackness…he even took aim at his fro and its lack of nappiness… whew! Lord! But really Pusha how are you going to come for Drake’s hair with your struggle twists? Savage. When I heard Duppy freestyle from Drake in response to Infrared from Pusha T, I thought nice… nice shots by Drake at Pusha and sideways at Kanye, but not deep enough. We didn’t have to wait long for Pusha to respond. And he came guns blazing, firing on all cylinders, left Drake in the dust.
The thing about Drake is that he desperately wants to be the greatest artist or named among the greats and for a long time those who saw something in his music have lauded him. For much of his music career he has managed to hold himself above reproach so the best way to come at him is to chop the legs off the high horse he rode in on, which Pusha did and that is why the story of Adidon makes more of an impact than Duppy Freestyle. I don’t much care for Drake’s music to be honest, I don’t think he is doing anything new or different, he is a version of someone from back in the day as most of these new artists are, but his fans are ride or die for him kudos to him. I see him as the music industry fuck boy, forever in the friend zone, which has more to do with his antics away from the mic because that is often how I hear about Drake before his music. And I find his bars lukewarm.
Pusha has left him exposed and we are what; twelve days deep without a response from Drake? J Prince has told him not to respond, but with all due respect Mr Prince, we need a response! I get where he is coming from, he was a part of the era of the Biggie and Tupac beef, but I don’t know that things will get as crazy as they got back then. This is about lyrics and lyricists trying to stake their claim on the crown and this is worthy of a response. We need a few more rounds musically or for Drake to release a response addressing both the assault from Pusha and some solid body shots without a hope in hell of a rebound and then he can tap out. If this doesn’t happen Drake will lose all ground and all face without a pot to piss in musically. He will forever be known as a choke artist.
Did Pusha T go too far? For sure. But that is what you get when you fuck about throwing a man’s fiancée in a situation she has no business with. These rappers are emotional. Dude! Pusha is not about to consider Drake’s feelings in his response, this is a score that needs to be settled and it went further than lyrics, for Pusha T this is personal, but Drake made it personal. He took some cheap shots, dropping in 40 and his illness and Drake’s mother, but as I said, you cannot be liable for reacting to something in any way when you have been pushed. Pusha came hard and hit harder. It was a work of surgery indeed and if we are to believe the lyrics, there is more where that came from, he is ready for whatever Drake has to hit him with. And Drake should have seen this coming and he should have been ready. If Drake heeds the advice of J-Prince, then we are being denied a rap battle at its finest in recent history so no disrespect to any OG’s, but please sit this one out and let the youngsters step up. If for nothing for integrity sake, Drake has to address the issues raised in the Story of Adidon and answer the questions from his fans; that press release was weak; you don’t bring knife to a gun fight.
In the words of Pusha T in Exodus 23:1- don’t be scared get everything you came for.