If you know you know
What do you call a cookie being roasted over a burning hot fire? A Graham cracker!
Aubrey Graham, the rapper formerly known as Drake, took an L this week at the hands of your favourite rapper’s favourite rapper, Pusha T. "The Story of Adidon," which is the culmination of a decade-long beef between Pusha T and Drake, is a near-perfect diss record and a very personal attack on the 6 God released in culmination with Pusha's third studio album, Daytona. It's the first major L Drake has taken in his storied music career, and if he can't recover fully from it, it might also be his last.
Forget Pusha claiming that Baby takes a cut of Drake’s money, forget him bringing up Drake’s dad leaving his mom when Drake was five, and forget him going at Drake’s producer and best friend OVO 40 for having multiple sclerosis (OVO 40, hunched over like he 80, tick, tick, tick / How much time he got? That man is sick, sick, sick). Wait, also try to forget the (very real) photo of Drake dressed in blackface and the fact that Pusha is rapping over HOV's "The Story of OJ" beat, questioning Drake's mimicking of black culture.
Let’s try to forget all of that for a second and focus on the most crucial aspect of this diss track: DRAKE (allegedly) HAS A CHILD! The child's name is Adonis and he is living in France with his mother, a former porn star named Sophie Brussaux.
Why is this so shocking, considering we know Drake's been around town? Well, Drake built his brand and maintained his image through a series of calculated moves that took him from a teenager rapping in Toronto to quite possibly the most popular rapper of all time. He was the guy that was always one step ahead of everyone else. He capitalized off the mistakes of others (ie. Meek Mill) while never committing any himself. He was loved not just by hip-hop heads but by everyone who appreciated good music, because it seemed like he was genuine and there was no doubting the sonically pleasing sound behind his hits. He seemed too big, too smart, and too calculated to ever be taken down.
And then Pusha T did some investigative reporting.
Rap, like sports, is a game that can change quickly. One can lose all credibility if the brand they built no longer holds up, and a rapper without credibility is nothing. That’s why “The Story of Adidon” is such a big deal. It pokes major holes in Drake’s formerly untouchable brand.
Drake's image has always been more important than his music or his clothing line. Maintaining his image has always been at the forefront of every decision he has ever made. It's why he gave out scorpion jackets to his famous friends before releasing any singles off the highly anticipated album. Drake's the guy that gives L’s; he doesn’t take them.
Pusha, on the other hand, is taking the biggest W of his two decade-long music career. The former drug dealer turned rapper has always cared more about the legacy than the fame. But in order to build a legacy, you need to have a legacy-defining moment. As Donnie Kwak writes, "In roughly 120 hours, Pusha-T released the album of his life, absorbed a body shot from the no. 1 rapper in the game, and then fired back with a knockout blow that is already being discussed among the best battle records in rap history." At age 41, Pusha-T borrowed from Drake's playbook and through his own calculated approach released a near-perfect diss track at the perfect time.
Your favourite rapper’s favourite rapper might have just taken down your favourite rapper.