3 Biggest Takeaways Now That the Pusha / Drake Beef Is Over
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3 Takeaways From The Pusha / Drizzy Beef

What it says about the state of hip-hop.

Pictured: L-Dispenser
Flickr Creative Commons

"So this is dead now."

Before the surgical summer even began, it was over. This week, Kanye and J Prince squashed the Pusha T / Drake beef as it was reaching peak beefiness. Onlookers, news sources, and commentators have converged on three big takeaways in the wake of this:

1. "Drake took the L."

Pictured: A stack of pancakes eating Drake.


Despite an alleged "career-ending track" wandering around in Drake's backyard, the only thing he's dropped since Pusha's diss track is a PR-style paragraph explaining the context for his blackface photo. Accusations of hiding an illegitimate son—and of an angry and self-centered persona underneath his public image—have gone unanswered. Drake's silence doesn't flatter him. As Anthony Fantano put it, "This… is not very hip-hop."

It's widely agreed that Drake has forfeited the fight, but it remains unclear what this loss means for the future. Most sources think that it won't affect his popularity in the long run. For me, it's at least made it weird listening to his latest hits: "She said, 'Do you love me?' I tell her, 'Only partly'" sounds a lot less cutesy coming from a potential deadbeat dad.

2. "Lines were crossed."

Pictured: Abstraction of rap beef.


Drake crossed the first line by mentioning Pusha's fiancée Virginia Williams. An unspoken rule of battle is that once a girl has been mentioned, all bets are off. But Push didn't just go after Drake and his girl. In "The Story of Adidon," he also made a punchline of OVO 40's multiple sclerosis. His lyrics have the internet (and my brain) split between awe and disgust. Pusha's in a weird place for having said something really offensive really well.

The talk of crossed lines is interesting since diss tracks are meant to cross lines. "Hit 'Em Up" wouldn't be as legendary as it is if Tupac had pulled his punches. But the memory of the violence that ended the east coast-west coast feud has changed what rap is palatable. Most "diss tracks" nowadays are sterile, manufactured to sell t-shirts to twelve-year-olds (looking at you, Paul brothers). No one crosses lines anymore. If crossing lines means dunking on a man for his MS, maybe no one should.

One thing's for sure: Pusha's endgame isn't to sell "The Story of Adidon" t-shirts.

3. "J Prince has a new book."

Pictured: Not J Prince's book.


The man who convinced Drake to not release his definitely real reply track has a memoir out: "The Art & Science of Respect." J Prince has been in the hip-hop industry for decades and often uses his power to help underprivileged artists and communities. He's who turns up when you Google "the most feared man in hip-hop." To come as far as he has, he definitely had to know a thing or two about respect.

Even so, the timing here feels oddly promotional. Drake's silence, as bad as it is for himself, is really good for J Prince's image. He's the restraining father figure holding Drake back. But J Prince hasn't shied away from beef in the past: in 2015 he left a "Courtesy Call" for Diddy and Birdman on Drake's behalf. Why nothing now?

Maybe it's about respect. Maybe it's about money. Keeping the peace between these celebrities is key to protecting the label, as well as the image of hip-hop at large. It's a lot more sanitized than it used to be. Plenty of producers want it to stay that way. Pusha T has earned a lot of respect for pushing back on the ghostwritten, over-produced, self-serving state of modern hip-hop. I wonder how J Prince's book would weigh in on that.

But if Drake ever wants to hear the end of this L, he should do what Pusha T said and let Adonis come home.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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