The Canadian Actor-turned-Rapper-turned-Crooner-turned-Mogul has pulled off a seemingly impossible trick: Become one of the world’s most commercially successful pop stars while still earning (sometimes grudging) respect from the rest of the hip hop world. Drake’s credibility in the latter regard was burnished by his widely acknowledged rout of Meek Mill during their 2015 beef, which was perhaps the first rap feud in history to be acknowledged by legions of 16-year-old white girls.
Unsurprisingly for someone of Drake’s commercial status, he’s been the target of scores of diss tracks and rants from peers, but has been widely viewed as victorious in most of those, oftentimes by not deigning to respond due to an attacker’s lack of profile. But the cracks have also been showing, as he’s generally gotten the worst of it in his four-year back-and-forth with Kendrick Lamar, and most recently in his still-ongoing battering at the hands of Pusha-T.
What do you get the man who already has his own music festival? A projector with enough lumens to display a powerpoint deck of memes about you burying another rapper while you perform the diss tracks in question. And, amazingly, it wasn’t corny *at all*. You can be annoyed by Drake’s relentless brand management, but you have to give credit where it’s due: He’s quite literally doing shit no other rapper has ever done.
Pusha-T has forged a career out of an almost monk-like devotion to noir coke raps and rap’s most distinctive, sneering flow. While his attention is usually focused on finding new and creative ways to augment his claim of being the rap game’s most prolific IRL drug dealer (“The only rapper sold more drugs than me was Eazy-E,” is a boast made amidst his ethering of Drake on “Infrared”), his bonafides as a proper scold of those he considers soft are beyond question. Push may be your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper, but he’s also one of the few guys that can credibly claim to have an undefeated record.
– Birdman (Baby)
– Lil Wayne
The Drake-leveling clusterbomb that is “The Story of Adidon” is one of raps most vicious, dense attacks, notable for both the breadth and depth of its attacks. But in what may end up being the most holistic slaughter of another rapper we’ve ever seen, Push managed to make the most impactful statement with the “cover art” for the internet-only track, which featured a photo of Drake in blackface from a long-ago photo shoot. That image turned out to be so incendiary that it led to another first in the history of rap beefs: Drake responded with a fucking press release, described by The Root thusly: Drake Dropping a Press Release During a Rap Battle Is the Whitest Thing That Ever Happened This Week.