John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: (center) Drake.
- “Yes” is the big favorite at -200 for Pusha T and -180 for Kanye. “No” is +160 for King Push and +140 for Mr. West.
- Recent actions (inaction), lyrics, tweets and statements by those involved send conflicting messages.
When Pusha T took aim at Drake on the Kanye-produced track “Infrared” in May, rehashing Drake’s ghostwritten-for past with bars like “It was written like Nas but it came from Quentin” and “How could you ever right these wrongs when you don’t even write your songs?” Drake responded almost immediately.
“Duppy Freestyle” wasn’t as fire as the Meek Mill-ethering “Back to Back,” but it was done within 24 hours and showed that Drake wasn’t going to back down from another battle with a dude way more hood than him — or the dude’s producer, for that matter (“So if you rebuke me for workin’ with someone else on a couple of V’s, what do you really think of the n —- that’s makin’ your beats?”).
Drake was so confident that he put yet another rapper in his place, he started running his victory lap on Instagram.
And then “The Story of Adidon” happened.
Promising a “surgical summer,” King Push used the revelation that Drake was allegedly hiding an illegitimate son as his primary scalpel.
Nearly a month later, Drake still hasn’t responded.
Was he gracefully taking the L? Was he busy? (This was all going on around Father’s Day, after all.) Or was he just waiting for the release of his album “Scorpion” to clap back?
Will Drake dis Pusha T on his new album “Scorpion”?
- Yes -200
- No +160
Will Drake dis Kanye West on his new album “Scorpion”?
- Yes -180
- No +140
Of Course He Is …
Three lyrics in particular from “Duppy Freestyle” seem to provide insight as to whether or not Drake will come at Pusha on “Scorpion.”
“Tired of sittin’ quiet and helpin’ my enemies eat” and “Tell ‘Ye we got a invoice comin’ to you, considerin’ that we just sold another 20 for you” both show that Drake is well aware beefing with him helps artists sell albums and he’s none too pleased about it.
“It’s gonna be a cruel summer for you” hints that there would be more to come, likely for Kanye (who also dropped an album, “Ye,” not too long after Pusha) as well, since he’s the one more closely associated with the “Cruel Summer” namesake after executive-producing an album called “Kanye West Presents Good Music Cruel Summer” in 2012.
… Or Is He?
But here’s where it gets complicated. While it makes logical sense to think Drake was holding off on a response to “The Story of Adidon” so that his own album, and not Pusha’s “Daytona,” would gain from the buzz it would create, Drake was reportedly persuaded by Rap-A-Lot Records founder James Prince to scrap a life-ruining response track directed at Pusha and Kanye.
Kanye went on to declare the beef “dead” on Twitter:
A few days later, Pusha seemed to confirm Kanye’s declaration, telling Vanity Fair, “It’s all over with.”
This is a tough one. You’d think there’d be no way Drake opens himself up to another barrage of slander by letting his album come and go without responding to Pusha — especially not when he has a son watching — but he already opened himself up to one by not responding immediately in the first place.
The wild card is that while Pusha and Kanye have said the beef is dead, we’ve yet to hear that from Drake.
The odds imply a 67% chance of Drake dissing Pusha and a 64% chance of him dissing Kanye. Despite Pusha and Kanye saying everything’s squashed, I still think it’s possible Drake slips in at least one shot at Pusha. (It’s less likely he goes at Kanye, who was more so caught in the crossfire.) It’s even possible that all three planned this out behind the scenes to increase buzz for all of their albums, and tricking us into thinking it’s dead was just another part of the ruse.
That said, given Drake’s uncharacteristic lack of an immediate response to “The Story of Adidon” and reports suggesting that something went on behind the scenes that’s much larger than rap, the value here is ultimately on betting “no” for both.