Drake and Pusha T: The Jay Z and Nas of this generation
June 1, 2018
The pre-summer stretch arguably the most important in the music industry out of the entire year. The songs and projects that have been or will be released will be benchmarks of the summer music landscape
But all of this has been overshadowed by the gargantuan conflict brewing between pop rap’s golden boy Drake and lyricist extraordinaire Pusha T.
Drake is no stranger to clashing with members of hip hop’s elite, however. Some of these include very public beefs with rappers such as Meek Mill, where Drizzy turned Meek into the laughing stock of the industry with the diss track “Back to Back.” He has also been involved in a rap Cold War of sorts with one Kendrick Lamar, which seems to be a more hostile version of the Kanye West-50 Cent sales battle of 2007.
With Drake’s past out of the way, Pusha T just released an album, Daytona, this past weekend, and it received high marks from fans and critics alike. But while the stellar tracklisting and Kanye West’s solid return to production were some takeaways from Daytona, one track had the internet ablaze for its controversy, with that track being the closer “Infrared.”
“Infrared” is a no-holds barred track that takes fire at not only Drake, but the rest of the Young Money-Cash Money family such as Birdman and Lil Wayne. The line “It was written like Nas but it came from Quentin,” could be the thesis to all of Drake’s critics since 2015 who have accused Drake of making use of ghost writers.
Drake came prepared with a lyrical counter less than 24 hours after the release of Daytona. “Duppy Freestyle” threw metaphorical haymakers at both Pusha T and his G.O.O.D. Music cohort Kanye West, coming after Pusha’s alleged past in dealing drugs and his place within his label’s talent hierarchy.
This moment was deemed as being one of Drake’s most vicious moments this side of “Back to Back.” But the bar was upped to unprecedented heights once Pusha T fired back on a diss track of his own.
“The Story of Adidon” was a piece of trash-talking perfection. Pusha hit the OVO head honcho where it hurt him the most, talking about his dad abandoning him then Drake leaving his own kid in a similar fashion as well as the 6 God feeling uncomfortable in his biracial skin.
With these barbs being thrown back and forth and the scathing lyrical topics outlined in these three tracks, one question must be brought up: Will this beef become the biggest rap beef since the turn of the decade? The only other competitor that even comes close to this is Jay Z and Nas.
Spanned across three albums, these two New York legends pulled out all of the stops and absolutely nothing was off limits. Two of the greatest diss tracks ever came from this feud, “Takeover” and “Ether.” The latter of these tracks was so brutal, the term “ether” now stands as a term that is code for annihilating your opposition on a track.
This fight even led to Jay’s mother stepping in and saying that Hov had gone too far going after Nas’ baby mama. After overhearing what was actually going on by listening to Hot 97, Jay’s mom Gloria Carter made her son apologize to Nas and his family.
Will Pusha T and Drake rise to these levels of infamy? Only time will tell on that one. But if the “surgical summer” or “cruel summer” that each rapper has predicted turns into reality, it has the possibility to.