Ice Cube versus N.W.A. in the 1980s, 2Pac and Notorious B.I.G.’s extended east-west dispute in the 1990s, 50 Cent and Ja Rule not getting on in the 2000s — the disagreements are famous in the lore of the world’s most popular genre.
Now, one between Drake — one of the biggest artists on the planet — and Pusha T is, in the era of social media, getting pretty colourful.
Here’s everything you need to know.
Where did this start?
Drake, the most-streamed artist on Spotify, and Pusha T, a Virginian rapper and the head of Kanye West’s GOOD Music imprint, have been dissing each other in songs as far back as 2012.
The basic gist has been this: Pusha has pushed long-standing claims that Canadian former actor turned rapper Drake has had verses ghost-written for him by other people. He thinks Drake’s not authentic.
Drake, in turn, has accused Pusha of overblowing his past as a drug dealer in order to up his cred.
On Two Birds One Stone, a song from last year’s More Life, Drake dismissed accusations he was “some privileged kid” and, in what was believed to be a subliminal knock to Pusha, rapped:
“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.”
So, things are heating up now?
In the past week, each rapper has come out swinging at the other through new songs and social media slights.
Infrared, the last track on Pusha’s new album, Daytona, included the line:
“How could you ever right these wrongs when you don’t even write your songs?”
Drake hit back the same day, with a track called Duppy Freestyle.
“I’m in shock,” he says at the start of the song. “The nerve, the audacity.”
Drake references Infrared by name, and again accuses Pusha of overstating his past.
“Man, you might’ve sold to college kids for Nike and Mercedes
“But you act like you sold drugs for Escobar in the 80s.”
Drake then claims that by referencing Pusha, he’s furthering the rapper’s brand, and therefore making money for him and Kanye (who produced Daytona).
“Tell ‘Ye we got a invoice comin’ to you.
“Considering that we just sold another 20 for you.”
Almost straight away, Pusha publicly dared Drake to follow through on the invoice.
Drake did. He asked for $100,000 for “promotional assistance and career reviving”.
Where did it go from there?
On Wednesday, Pusha hit back with another diss track, The Story of Adidon, which opened a whole other can of worms.
On it, Pusha — seemingly angered that Drake mentioned his partner Virginia Williams on Duppy Freestyle — explores an allegation that the Canadian rapper fathered a child with a former porn star, Sophie Brussaux, but has not acknowledged it.
“Adonis is your son, and he deserves more than an Adidas press run, that’s real
“Love that baby, respect that girl. Forget she’s a porn star, let her be your world.”
The cover art for the track on Soundcloud is a picture of Drake in blackface, taken by the photographer David Leyes. (It has since been removed from Leyes’ website.)
Please stop referring to this picture as “artwork”…I’m not an internet baby, I don’t edit images…this is a REAL picture…these are his truths, see for yourself https://t.co/gd6vRS3HM8 pic.twitter.com/2el58HEZ8F
— King Push (@PUSHA_T) May 30, 2018
Is that where things have been left?
But it’s unlikely that’s where they will stay for long.
Drake has had beefs with many people over the course of his career, including Diddy and Tyga.
Also, as he says on Duppy Freestyle, he’s “in album mode”, meaning he’s got new music on the way. (He is fairly prolific, after all.)
Add to that the fact the new Kanye West record is expected to drop as early as this week — and he is not afraid to speak his mind.