Drake's Mob Ties
At this point, Drake and Pusha T's beef is as old as time. Well okay, it's actually only about 7 years old but that's still a long time to hold a grudge against someone. They've exchanged a good amount of diss tracks throughout the years, each time dropping crazier tea on the other. First, Pusha T dissed Drake in tracks back in 2011 and 2012 to which the Canadian rapper responded to in 2013. Fast forward to 2016 when Pusha T accused Drake of using ghostwriters and Drake fought back by claiming that Pusha lied about how big a drug dealer he was. The two continued to shade each other this year, Pusha firing shots in his Daytona album and Drake hitting back with "Duppy Freestyle" where he namedropped Pusha's fiance. Pusha didn't take kindly to having his fiance involved and hit hard by dropping "The Story of Adidon" in which he revealed to the world that Drake had a son that no one knew about.
It seems that's where Drake drew the line because he hasn't released a response since then. While talking to Mavrick Carter and LeBron on thier show, The Shop, in October, he talked about wanting to move on from the beef altogether. Of course, he's not entirely over the song, commenting that Pusha should get punched in the face for coming after his producer who battles with multiple sclerosis. And that almost came true when some guys threw drinks and tried to jump Pusha during his performance in Drake's hometown of Toronto. He claims that those guys were sent by Drake himself. It does seem coincidental that the whole thing went down in the Canadian rapper's hometown but there's no proof that those claims are true and Drake has stayed silent about the incident.
It wouldn't be the first time a rap beef has had physical consequences. Just this year, Cardi and Nicki's beef resulted in a physical brawl during an event at September's New York Fashion Week. And more recently, Bhad Bhabie threw water at Iggy Azalea during Cardi's Fashion Nova launch party. While these incidents stirred up a lot of media and riled up fans on both sides, particularly Cardi and Nicki's, how intense are these beefs really?
Compare those to the old-school feuds, like that between Tupac and Biggie when social media wasn't even a thing. Their beef was fueled further by the bigger East Coast vs. West Coast rivalry and ended up with both of them losing their lives (RIP). The feud between Jay-Z and Nas reshaped the whole rap genre. Even 50 Cent and Kanye West's beef came at a time when hip hop was entering a new age and their careers both took major turns because of it.
Hip hop has long distinguished itself from other genres partly thanks to its raw messages and the real-life rivalries between artists. As a hip hop artist it's almost a right of passage to develop tensions with other rappers, and fans and the media eat these feuds up, no matter how petty and inconsequential they might actually be. Especially nowadays, artists are well aware of this fact and it wouldn't be surprising that some beefs might just be ploys to drum up attention and climb up the fame ladder. The Eminem and Machine Gun Kelly beef went down right around the same time that Eminem released his latest album and although the two exchanged some heated diss tracks, nothing else ever came of it. Azealia Banks and Iggy Azalea have beefed for years…mainly through Twitter rants. 50 Cent and Ja Rule's feud started more intensely with a couple physical fights going down, one of which resulted in 50 getting stabbed, but has dwindled down in the years since to occasional diss tracks and mostly social media jabs.
Some feel that this shift is representative of how watered down hip hop has become nowadays. "Mumble" rappers are looked down upon by traditionalists who feel that they've ruined rap. Eminem is certainly not a fan of them. But at the end of the day, it's the direction that rap has taken. And not all recent rap beefs go down solely through social media. It's speculated that XXXTentacion's murder was ordered by his rivals. Gucci Mane and Young Jeezy's beef resulted in Gucci Mane killing rapper Pookie Loc who was signed to Jeezy's label in self defense (Gucci Mane was acquitted).
At the end of the day, it doesn't seem to matter what direction rap goes into. Rivalries will always be a part of the genre. So if that's the case, isn't it better if they have turned more harmless? Better that a beef results in spilled drinks instead of spilled blood.