On Facebook Wednesday, I got into a discussion about whether or not I thought Drake could come back (and maybe even win) from Pusha T’s blistering “The Story of Adidon” diss record, which took disrespect and hip-hop investigative journalism to new levels. I said that I thought he could, he’d just have to be creative. I was asked what I’d tell Drake to do in order to come back from it.
Obviously, my response was not to drop a quick statement on why he was in blackface. Real talk, that was obviously done in an attempt to make sure he doesn’t lose any of those corporate sponsorships that make his life so comfortable. And let me just say that the blackface pictures, from Drake, didn’t bother me at all.
For one, while Drake may be trying every type of musical blackness he can think of, he’s never seemed to be at odds with the fact that he is indeed black, so any black person doing something like that is doing it for a reason. For two, the T-shirt he’s wearing (it says “Jim Crow” and is from a defunct company) implies that there’s a narrative at play.
And most important, Drake is one of the biggest artists on the planet; there’s almost no way that something so incendiary would take 11 years to surface and at the hands of Pusha T. He’d have been out the paint years ago. The picture fits perfectly juxtaposed against the “The Story of O.J.” beat and story Pusha is painting, but there’s really no there there even if the whole shit is weird. Still, a pseudo-press release in a rap beef is some new age shit, no?
Back to the lecture at hand while we wait for a Drake response. There’s absolutely no way Drake can get as dirty as Pusha. He just can’t. Drake’s whole steez is being a nice guy (which is how he manages to be a fuckboy with relative impunity). If Drake joked on a person’s multiple sclerosis, it would be nationwide news as companies took to Twitter to drop him and Bill O’Reilly chimed in. It’s just not in his best interests to do so anyway. He’s going to have to get more creative than that, because while he may be down, he hasn’t lost yet.
Here are a few ways I think that Drake can reclaim some territory—maybe not win, but definitely not lose.
1. Do it like Ice Cube’s “Jackin’ for Beats” and use a diss-record medley.
Let’s face it—the only people who really care about this beef are hip-hop heads. Nobody whose favorite group is Migos cares. Drake is trying to maintain respect from lyricists and the “real” hip-hop crowd while selling out arenas. To that end, how awesome would it be if he did a medley over some of the greatest diss records of all time, like “No Vaseline,” “Hit ’Em Up,” “The Takeover,” “The Bridge Is Over,” “2nd Round KO,” “Ether,” etc.? Hip-hop folks would respect it as long as he went full aggression and took no prisoners.
2. Murder Pusha T on his own shit.
One thing Clipse have under their belt is a catalog of monster beats. Drake could spit over “Mr. Me Too” or “What Happened to That Boy” (a win for Cash Money vs. Clipse points) or “Grindin’,” etc. Drake could actually murder Pusha T on his own shit. It would get points for creativity, and as long as he wasn’t TRASH and WAS aggressive, he’d gain back some of that ground.
3. Remake Eminem’s “Stan” and call it “Push.”
Nigga. Imagine if Drake remade the song and the video of him reading letters from Pusha as a fan of his, giving him all of this energy over time, and then using that same last verse to talk about Pusha basically killing himself trying to get to him. I mean ... talk about epic. We’d never forget the shit. Drake can’t get as disrespectful as Push, but he can out-creative him if he really wants to.
4. Get Ray J to sing the hook on whatever diss record he comes up with.
I mean, Ray J is how we got to the point where folks are questioning the man who crafted Pusha T’s entire sound nowadays. Mr. I Hit It First could come and sing the hook to “One Wish” while Drake raps to Skeelo’s “I Wish” about how he wishes he could be as cool as Push, while ironically sitting on all of his money. He could even include that signed microphone he mentioned on “Duppy Freestyle.” This one is a work in progress. I’ll call Mona Scott-Young to see if Ray J is available.
5. Get No Malice on a verse talking about how his brother should be ashamed of himself.
No Malice is on record saying the beef is good for hip-hop, which is an odd response from a man whose brother is embroiled in a beef. Plus, he’s super religious now, and Push was just mean and talking about going to hell and having the devil flow on “The Story of Adidon.” It could happen!
I’ll send my invoice to OVO.