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Drake Lost: The Ruthlessness of Pusha-T’s Ferocious Diss Track

“The Story of Adidon” is the third and, so far, most exhilarating and relentless entry in the most recent round of hostilities between Pusha-T and Drake

Getty Images/Ringer illustration

On Tuesday evening — after a tumultuous Memorial Day weekend defined, in part, by lively celebrity feuds revolving around Kanye West — Pusha-T released a song, “The Story of Adidon,” about his nemesis, Drake. “Drug dealing aside, ghostwriting aside — let’s have a heart-to-heart about your pride,” Pusha begins. From there, it gets ugly. And now, for once, Drake is losing.

“The Story of Adidon” is the third and, so far, most exhilarating entry in the most recent round of hostilities between Pusha-T and Drake. First, there’s “Infrared,” which Pusha-T released on Friday. Then, there’s “Duppy Freestyle,” which Drake released several hours after Pusha released “Infrared” and the rest of his most recent album, Daytona. “Infrared” and “Duppy Freestyle” were both exciting releases, but the rappers mostly rehashed old, familiar complaints about each other: Pusha-T accuses Drake of being a music industry hack who doesn’t write his own songs, and Drake retorts that Pusha-T is a broke nobody who routinely exaggerates his criminal past. Typical rapper shit.

But “The Story of Adidon” is atypical. “The Story of Adidon” is exceptional. The song is a truly surprising and spectacular escalation of the hostilities that once favored Drake — but no longer. With “The Story of Adidon,” the musical feud has suddenly become a celebrity scandal. For one, the SoundCloud cover art for “The Story of Adidon” is a photo of Drake, smiling, in blackface. The photo is real, Pusha insists, and dates back to a 2008 photo shoot for some forgotten art project that everyone involved now likely regrets. The blackface photo is jarring and scandalous enough in its own right. As a feat of investigative journalism, the song itself is somehow more damning than the photo.

Pusha dispenses with his familiar professional complaints against Drake to focus on various matters of paternity, physical fitness, and, most importantly, character. He accuses Drake of biracial self-loathing, which supposedly relates back to the photo of Drake in blackface, and which also explains why Pusha would choose to rap over “The Story of O.J.,” Jay-Z’s song about black stereotypes and racial disavowal. He reveals Drake’s relationship with Sophie Brussaux, a model who — having described Drake as a “Deadbeat ass dad” — seems to be raising Drake’s previously undisclosed child alone. Pusha disparages Drake’s own parents, especially his father, Dennis Graham, who left Drake’s mother, Sandi Graham, to raise the rapper in Canada while his father remained in the U.S. and saw his son only occasionally. Pusha suggests that Drake’s own paternity issues owe to a crippling pathology passed down to him from his parents. As if all of these critiques weren’t exceedingly personal enough, Pusha then mocks Drake’s longtime producer, Noah “40” Shebib, for suffering from multiple sclerosis — a morbid taunt that recalls 2Pac ridiculing the late Prodigy’s sickle cell anemia on “Hit ’em Up.”

“The Story of Adidon” is perhaps the most disrespectful song that a rapper will release in this decade. It is difficult to imagine Drake topping Pusha’s insults, or even responding to them at all, since Drake’s edge has never fully sharpened to the point of irrevocable, full-throated cruelty — not even during Drake’s feud with Meek Mill, when the cruelest moment was an onstage meme slideshow. Drake has never been on the defensive quite like this, the subject of so many bewildering questions about blackface, secret children, and his producer’s well being. Pusha said that man is hiding a child. Well? Where is he?!