Summer 2018 is already heating up with rap releases from the likes of A$AP Rocky and Pusha-T, while even more albums are on the way in the coming weeks from hip-hop heavyweights Drake and Kanye West. With the drop of Pusha-T’s DAYTONA last week came a diss track aimed specifically at Drake – “Infrared”. On the song, Pusha takes aim at Drake for using a ghostwriter. Less than 24 hours later, Drake unleashed “Duppy Freestyle”, firing shots back at Pusha-T as well as Kanye West.
You might be wondering where exactly this beef originated, and to satisfy your curiosity, we’ve compiled a complete timeline of the Drake vs. Pusha-T beef.
With some digging, we’ve determined that the origin of the Drake vs. Pusha-T beef dates back over a decade to a disagreement between Pusha-T and Lil Wayne. Drake is, of course, team Lil Wayne, since both rappers are Cash Money Records labelmates, with the latter kickstarting the former’s career.
Before he went solo, Pusha-T rapped alongside his brother No Malice as Clipse, working closely with production duo The Neptunes, comprised of Chad Hugo and Pharrell Williams. Pharrell was one of the first in American hip-hop to wear A Bathing Ape clothing, introducing it to Clipse, who wore it on the reg. After Lil Wayne donned BAPE on the cover of Vibe magazine and in his music video for “Hustler Musik” back in 2006, Clipse released a song called “Mr. Me Too”, calling out those who copied their sartorial choices in the lyrics, for example: “N*gga bite the style from the shoes to the watches”.
Lil Wayne responded to Clipse’s track and the whole BAPE controversy in a cover story with Complex that same year, saying in reference to Pharrell, “That n*gga wore BAPEs and y’all thought he was weird. I wore it and y’all thought it was hot.”
The back and forth continued in the years that followed, with Pusha-T and Lil Wayne dissing each other in both interviews and songs. In 2011, Pusha notably dropped “Don’t Fuck with Me”, which samples a Drake song called “Dreams Money Can Buy” (in which Drake allegedly disses Pusha subliminally). At the time, both Drake and Lil Wayne were firing shots at Kanye West and JAY-Z, which Pusha seemed to address on the track with lines like, “Rappers on they sophomores / Actin’ like they boss lords”.
Any ambiguity about Pusha-T firing shots at Drake on “Don’t Fuck With Me” dissolved with “Exodus 23:1”, released in 2012. He refers to Drake’s complicated contract with Cash Money Records with: “Contract all fucked / I guess that means you all fucked up”, along with “You signed to one n*gga that signed to another n**** / That’s signed to three n*gga, now that’s bad luck”.
For the next few years, there was ample back and forth between the G.O.O.D. Music affiliate and the head of OVO Sound. Pusha-T fired shots at Lil Wayne on “Your Favorite Rapper”, and Drake responded by threatening violence on “Tuscan Leather” from 2013’s Nothing Was the Same. Pusha then dropped a video for “Suicide” on the same weekend Drake was set to headline Saturday Night Live in 2014, spitting bars like “You caught steam off headlines and co-signs”, clearly referring to Drake’s 2011 hit song.
Then, in 2016, Pusha dropped “H.G.T.V” which featured his hardest bars against Drake to date:
“It’s too far gone when the realest ain’t real / I walk amongst the clouds, so your ceilings ain’t real / These n*ggas Call of Duty ’cause they killings ain’t real / With a questionable pen so the feeling ain’t real,” continuing on with, “The bar’s been lowered / The well’s run dry / They beefing over melodies, but no, not I / See, I’m so Top 5 / If they factor in the truth / I just might blow by.”
Drake then responded with “Two Birds, One Stone” from 2017’s More Life, clearly taking aim at Pusha-T’s drug dealer past with the lines:
“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 /If you ask me though, you ain’t lining the trunk with kilos / You bagging weed watching Pacino with all your n*gga / Like, ‘This what we need to be on,’ but you never went live / You middle-man in this shit, boy, you was never them guys / I can tell, ’cause I look most of you dead in your eyes / And you’ll be tryna sell that story for the rest of your lives.”
With “Infrared” on Pusha-T’s newly-released album DAYTONA, the rap legend has effectively reheated the beef between himself and Drizzy. On the track, he calls out Drake for using ghostwriters (a diss that we’ve seen before, and covered extensively here), with lines like: “The lyric pennin’ equal the Trumps winnin’ / The bigger question is how the Russians did it / It was written like Nas, but it came from Quentin.” Pusha-T specifically refers to Quentin Miller, who allegedly ghost wrote Drake’s verse on Meek Mill’s “R.I.C.O.” from 2015.
Less than 24 hours after DAYTONA dropped, Drake unveiled his “Duppy Freestyle” diss track on May 26, which fires shots at both Pusha-T and Kanye. Choice lyrics include the following, where Drake directly addresses the Quentin Miller ghostwriting controversy:
“And as for Q, man I changed his life a couple times / N*gga was at Kroger working double time / Ya’ll acting like he made the boy when I was trying to help the guy / Yeah, who gassed you to play with me? / Man, you made this shit easy as ABCs / Whoever supposedly making me hits, but then got no hits sound like they need me / My hooks did it, my lyrics did it, my spirit did it.”
Drake has that Amazon Prime one day shipping response time when it comes to diss tracks
— Ran Eskimo???? (@RanEskimo) May 25, 2018
Drake even admits he bought a Clipse-era microphone supposedly signed by Pusha-T on eBay for $200 (as you can see in the footage below), and on “Duppy Freestyle” likens its faded signature to Pusha-T’s music career:
“I had a microphone of yours, but then the signature faded / I think that pretty much resembles what’s been happenin’ lately.”
Drake talks about being a Pusha T fan and buy his autographed microphone pic.twitter.com/8BQzu0WRFW
— HipHopShoops (@HipHopShoops) December 18, 2015
Drake goes so far as to say that Pusha-T and Kanye owe him money considering his diss track will boost sales of Pusha’s album: “I told Weezy and Baby “I’ma done him for you” / Tell ‘Ye we got a invoice coming to you / Considering that we just sold another 20 for you.”
Pusha-T responded to the line on Twitter, urging Drake to “Send the invoice for the extra 20”
Send the invoice for the extra 20… https://t.co/41rd4OJeMF
— King Push (@PUSHA_T) May 25, 2018
Of course Drake, being the petty Scorpio that he is, allegedly sent an invoice for $100,000 USD to G.O.O.D. Music and Def Jam for “promotional assistance and career reviving,” or at the very least, definitely posted the invoice on Instagram.
On May 27, None other than Nicki Minaj decided to chime in on the beef, writing on Twitter, “N*ggaz gon run that Quentin shit in the fkn ground like Drake don’t write 4 himself & OTHERS! Ya enemies will remix, reinvent & TRY 2make u RELIVE some old shit for YEARS 2 come when they have NOTHING ON U!”
Niggaz gon run that Quentin shit in the fkn ground like Drake don’t write 4 himself & OTHERS! Ya enemies will remix, reinvent & TRY 2make u RELIVE some old shit for YEARS 2 come when they have NOTHING ON U! Knock it off. Challenging the chosen ones only awakens the sleeping giant
— Chun-Li (@NICKIMINAJ) May 27, 2018
There you have it, the complete history (so far) of the beef between Pusha-T and Drake. So far, Pusha-T has not responded with yet another Drake diss track, but stay tuned. Let’s also stay tuned to see if Kanye West comes for Drake on his next solo project dropping this week, and if Drake’s Scorpion will fire any more shots in G.O.O.D. Music’s direction.
What do you think about the beef? Let us know in the comments below.
For more moments in rap history, be sure to revisit our brief history of the Joe Budden vs. Migos beef right here.