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Rap Diss Tracks


Diss tracks have been used by rappers to disrespect each other since the dawn of rap. I do understand that they are mere words, but exchanges of words over instrumentals have caused deadly outcomes, as many artists have passed away due to gang affiliation and diss tracks. Plenty of artists maintain the diss track practice today, whether over social media or in their music. In this post, I will be discussing and rating the most significant diss between rappers Drake and Pusha T.

According to billboard, this animosity began in 2011, when Pusha T utilized the instrumental for Dreams Money Can Buy by Drake to subliminally send messages to Drake. Then, in 2012, Push released Exodus 23:1, which blatantly addressed Drake, stating “…You signed to one n—a that signed to another n—a/ That’s signed to three n—as, now that’s bad luck.” At the time, Drake was signed to Cash Money under Young Money Records under Universal. The following year, Drake released Tuscan Leather, in which he addressed Push by stating “I’m just as famous as my mentor/ But that’s still the boss, don’t get sent for/ Get hype on tracks and jump in front of a bullet you wasn’t meant for….” The beef remained a stalemate until Push released H.G.T.V Freestyle in 2016. In his verse, he discusses the current state of Toronto on a lyrical front, but Drake clapped back in 2017 with Two Birds, One Stone. In the song, he quotes “…But really it’s you with all the drug dealer stories/ That’s gotta stop, though/ You made a couple chops and now you think you Chapo,”. Pusha- T then released his album Daytona and addressed Drake again on the track Infrared. This led to Drake’s Duppy Freestyle and Push releasing The Story of Adidon, which we will be discussing. But who had the better diss track?



Knowing Drake as the international powerhouse, I thought this was the end of the road for Pusha T. Essentially, this track told Push to kick rocks. Lyrically, Drake was very keen on what he wanted to say, even mentioning Kanye West and other people who have been known to be under Pusha T. Drake did his research to lyrically abuse Pusha T, and his wordplay was a plus as well. Throughout the track, he utilized many similes and metaphors to describe his relationship with Pusha T and his team. According to Genius, the word Duppy is a Jamaican word for an evil spirit. I also really liked the production of this track. According to Who Sampled, Duppy Freestyle was produced by Boi- 1da and Jahaan Sweet and samples Ever So Lovingly by Tata Vega. Every once in a while, I find myself coming back to this track. Some detrimental lyrics include:

I could never have a Virgil in my circle and hold him back ’cause he makes me nervous
I wanna see my brothers flourish to their higher purpose
You n***as leeches and serpents
I think it’s good that now the teachers are learnin’, yeah

Keep gettin’ temperature checks
They know that my head overheats
Don’t know why the fuck you n***as listen to Denim or Steve
Must’ve had your Infrared wrong, now your head in the beam
Y’all are the spittin’ image of whatever jealousy breeds
Don’t push me when I’m in album mode
You’re not even top 5 as far as your label talent goes

Look, holla at me when you multi-million
I told you keep playin’ with my name and I’ma let it ring on you
Like Virginia Williams
I’m too resilient, get out your feelin’s

That Virgil Abloh bar was very detrimental, especially because Kanye West was known for “feeling nervous” because Virgil was collaborating with some of the most significant designer brands in the industry. Virgil and Kanye have been significant innovators in design for years with Off White and Yeezy respectively. This can be explored in the Youtube video by Soulr titled “Virgil Abloh: How Kanye’s Apprentice Stole His Dream Job“.

Virginia Williams is Pusha T’s wife, so not only did he shoot shots at Push, he brought his wife into the beef. I was surprised that people outside the beef, like significant others and children, were being dragged in. I truly thought this was the end for Pusha T.

This is what Pusha T had to say about Drake


Listening to this Drake diss track really made me feel pity for Drake. While I thought Drake was winning, Push showed why rapping is his profession. On this track, Push rapped over the instrumental from The Story of OJ by Jay-Z. He discussed many situations, but really hit home when he discussed Drakes child with adult film star Sophie Brussaux. Push revealed that Drake wanted to introduce his child to the world through an Adidas release. This diss track blew Drake out of the water. Again, I thought that family members and significant others were off-limits in diss tracks. Neither cared. Even the cover art for this diss is insane. Genius states that this photo of Drake in Blackface was taken by David Leyes. Some of the most significant lyrics include:

Drug dealin’ aside, ghostwritin’ aside
Let’s have a heart-to-heart about your pride
Even though you’re multi, I see that your soul don’t look alive
The M’s count different when Baby divides the pie, wait

Your father walked away at five, hell of a dad thing
Marriage is somethin’ that Sandi never had, Drake
How you a winner, but she keep comin’ in last place?

Since you name-dropped my fiancée
Let ’em know who you chose as your Beyoncé
Sophie knows better, ask your baby mother
Cleaned her up for IG, but the stench is on her
A baby’s involved, it’s deeper than rap
We talkin’ character, let me keep with the facts
You are hiding a child, let that boy come home
Deadbeat mothafucka, playin’ border patrol, ooh
Adonis is your son
And he deserves more than an Adidas press run, that’s real
Love that baby, respect that girl
Forget she’s a pornstar, let her be your world, yuugh!

To begin, these were the main three topics of discussion within the diss. He begins by discussing Drake’s relationship within his label, but he also talked about child support. (Baby divides the pie). Push almost created this elephant in the room scenario about family until he talked about fiancees. It also appeared as though he hinted at Drake’s song Look Alive.

Push then discuss the family dynamic between Drake and his mother and father. Essentially, Pusha T is calling Drake’s father a deadbeat while also addressing the loneliness of his mother Sandi. This has been a significant topic within Drake’s personal life.

Finally, he addressed the fact that Drake wanted to hide Adonis from the world until he made the Adidas press run. (I wonder who he received this information from…). He also mentioned how quiet Drake was about Sophie Brussaux because she was in the adult film industry. Afterward, no response from Drake…


So who won? Personally, I think Pusha T won, but I liked Drake’s diss better. Pusha T really disrespected Drake and his immediate family. Drake disrespected Push and everyone around him. I think Pusha’s diss was more personal. I am not as big of a fan of Pusha T as I am for Drake. This is not to say that Push makes bad music, but I enjoyed listening to Drake’s diss more. In the present day, there have also been some interesting lyrics on Pop Smoke’s album, (see review here) which could possibly be directed at Drake, Tyler the Creator, or Takashi 6ix9ine. On the track Tell the Vision, he says “The crown is only for one king, they tryna place it on a clown.” Will Drake respond to this on Certified Lover Boy? We will just have to see!


Overall, I can respect that this beef never leads to any deaths and that it continued to stay within music over the span of time. Hopefully, in the near future, they will be able to resolve their animosity toward each other, but for now, the rap animosity should strictly stay over instrumentals.


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