As with so many places where entertainment and emotion intersect, rap beefs exist in a weird, semi-real space. On the one hand, they’re pure marketing moves—a way for two performers to raise each other’s profiles, show off their lyrical cleverness, and hopefully sell a few extra albums. But they’re also often the expression of actual anger and hurt feelings, something driven home earlier this year, when the shoving match between Pusha T and Drake got a whole lot shove-ier with the release of “The Story Of Adidon,” Pusha’s scorched earth attempt to shame Drake for things like having a son he didn’t talk about (at the time), or a set of pictures he posed for in blackface (which served as the song’s cover art).
Drake notably ignored “Adidon” on his massively promoted, massively successful Scorpion, blanking the whole debacle amid various statements suggesting that the battle had been successfully quashed. Now, five months later, he’s finally getting into it, talking about Pusha T’s brilliant “chess move,” and how he still thinks someone should punch him in “the fucking face.”
This is per HBO’s new interview series The Shop, in which LeBron James and Maverick Carter got into it with Drake on the show’s second episode, talking about his son, his beefs, and the ways this is all—obviously—Kanye West’s fault:
It’s remarkably candid stuff, as Drake lays out a scenario in which Kanye essentially conned him—and hey, we’ve been there, bro—by suggesting that he wanted to be his “Quincy Jones.” Then he lured him out to his Wyoming Cowboy Rapper Fantasy Camp, got him to help with some songs, and then turned around and shanked him, first by releasing the beat they’d been working on together as “Lift Yourself”—a.k.a. the infamous “Woopity scoop, woopity poop” “rap”—and then by producing Pusha T’s Drake-focused diss track on Daytona. Drake also suggests that West’s goal all along might have been to pump him for information about Scorpion’s release date—which West promptly surrounded with the release of several of the multiple albums he produced this summer—and said West was one of the few people he talked to about his relationship with his son. So, you know, no bad blood there.
The Toronto rapper was more ambivalent on the subject of Pusha T himself, offering up backhanded praise for the “chess move” the lesser-known artist pulled by taking their war in such a nasty direction, forcing Drake to either retaliate by getting even nastier, or just walk away. (A decision he apparently consulted LeBron about, which, cool Contacts list, guy.) But as someone “who studies rap battles for a living,” Drake made it clear that “Adidon” still went too far in his estimation. Not necessarily for the stuff about his kid, or his parents, which he seems to write off as part of the game, but for the track’s attack on his friend and long-time producer Noah “40" Shebib. (Pusha’s song mocks 40 for having multiple sclerosis, accompanying a reference to him being “sick, sick, sick” with the sound of a ticking clock.) “When you mention people that are defenseless, sick in the hospital,” Drake responded, “That really sent me to a place where, I believed then, and believe now, that there’s a price that you just have to pay for that. It’s over. Someone’s going to fucking punch you in the fucking face.”
So, yeah: Beef totally quashed! No beef to see here, folks. Move it along from this chill, beefless space.