It’s no secret hip-hop loves a good feud. The famed rivalry between Drake and Pusha T will forever live on in hip-hop encyclopedia books.
Before their 2018 matchup, things were already rocky between the two rap juggernauts. Drake, who once revered The Clipse and even worked with Malice during the early beginnings of his career, would eventually endure a tireless battle with Pusha T dating back to 2011. Both parties continue to trade petty shots, with the most significant one landing in 2018, courtesy of Pusha T.
See where it all began between the competitive MCs below.
2006: Clipse vs. Lil Wayne
In 2006, Lil Wayne was the cover star of Vibe magazine’s April issue, clad in the popular streetwear brand BAPE, which at the time grew in popularity thanks to Pharrell Williams and was worn a lot by Clipse. The Virginia-bred duo wasn’t too fond of Wayne wearing the brand and released “Mr. Me Too” — produced by Pharrell — in which No Malice rapped, “Wanna know the time? Better clock us/ N—as bite the style from the shoes to the watches.”
That same year, Wayne sat down for an interview with Complex and addressed Clipse’s subliminal diss. “You talking to the best. Talk to me like you’re talking to the best. I don’t see no f–kin’ Clipse. Come on man,” Wayne said. “Weezy, man. They had to do a song with us to get hot, B. ‘What Happened to That Boy?’ C’mon, B.”
Wayne even called out Pharrell, saying, “Who the f–k is Pharrell? Do you really respect him? That n—a wore BAPEs and y’all thought he was weird. I wore it and y’all thought it was hot.”
2011: Pusha unleashes “Don’t F–k With Me”
Pusha didn’t directly call anybody out on “Don’t F–k With Me,” but Pusha freestyled over Drake’s “Dreams Money Can Buy” beat and dished out a few lines that hinted at Drake being his target. “Rappers on their sophomores, actin’ like they boss lords/ Fame such a funny thing for sure/ When n—as start believing all them encores,” Pusha rapped, possibly referring to Drake, whose sophomore album Take Care dropped in November 2011.
2012: Pusha returns with “Exodus 23:1”
Pusha made sure there was no room for confusion about who he was dissing on “Exodus 23:1,” as he rapped, “Contract all f–ked up/ I guess that means you all f–ked up/ You signed to one n—a that signed to another n—a/ That’s signed to three n—as, now that’s bad luck.” The shot was likely directed at Drake again, who was signed to Lil Wayne’s Young Money imprint, a subsidiary of Cash Money Records, which operates under Universal Music Group.
Wayne continued to make it clear he’s no fan of Pusha, tweeting, “Fuk pusha t and anybody that love em.”
Fuk pusha t and anybody that love em
— Lil Wayne WEEZY F (@LilTunechi) May 24, 2012
2013: Drake hits back with “Tuscan Leather”
Since signing to Young Money in 2009, Drake’s loyalty to Lil Wayne has never wavered. On “Tuscan Leather,” Drizzy dished out subliminal messages to anyone (ahem, Pusha) who spoke badly about his YMCMB boss. “I’m just as famous as my mentor/ But that’s still the boss, don’t get sent for/ Get hype on tracks and jump in front of a bullet you wasn’t meant for,” he rapped at one point, and followed up with the line, “Bench players talkin’ like starters, I hate it.”
2016: Pusha keeps the feud going with “H.G.T.V Freestyle”
Toward the end of Pusha’s hookless attack on “H.G.T.V Freestyle,” the rapper diverted his attention to his longtime rival, Drake, and questioned the Toronto artist’s pen game. “It’s too far gone when the realest ain’t real/ I walk amongst the clouds so your ceilings ain’t real/ These n—as Call of Duty ’cause their killings ain’t real/ With a questionable pen so the feelin’ ain’t real,” Pusha said, possibly referencing Drake’s 2009 mixtape So Far Gone and reigniting claims that Drake uses a ghostwriter for his raps.
2017: Drake questions Pusha’s street credibility on “Two Birds, One Stone”
In 2017, Drake and Pusha’s beef heated up some more. When Drizzy unleashed his “playlist” More Life, Drake called out Pusha on “Two Birds, One Stone” and claimed the rapper is living a false life. “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,” Drake said.
He continued: “You middle man in this s–t, boy, you was never them guys/ I can tell, ’cause I look most of you dead in your eyes/ And you’ll be tryna sell that story for the rest of your lives.”
The other “bird” Drake addressed in the song was Kid Cudi, who accused rappers of having multiple writers and name-dropped Kanye West and Drake in his tweets. “Everyone thinks they’re soooo great. Talkin top 5 and be having 30 people write songs for them,” he wrote in one tweet. Later in his rant, Cudi wrote, “My tweets apply to who they apply. Ye, Drake, whoever. These n—as dont give a f–k about me. And they aint f–kin’ with me.”
May 2018: Pusha reignites the Drake feud with “Infrared”; Drake responds
Tensions began to rise between Pusha and Drake after Pusha unleashed his new album Daytona, which was produced entirely by Kanye West. On the album’s closing track, “Infrared,” Pusha continued to question Drake’s lyrical abilities, rapping, “It was written like Nas but it came from Quentin,” referring to Quentin Miller, a rapper who Pusha believes has been writing for Drake behind the scenes. Naturally, social media went up in flames after hearing Pusha’s diss, causing Drake to come out of “album mode” to address Push.
When it was Drake’s time to fire his own shots, Drake reminded Pusha that Kanye once called the “God’s Plan” rapper to help write “Father Stretch My Hands” and “30 Hours” from West’s The Life of Pablo album. Drizzy even hinted that he may have worked on Kanye’s upcoming album as well.
“What do you really think of the n—a that’s makin’ your beats?/ I’ve done things for him I thought that he never would need/ Father had to stretch his hands out and get it from me/ I pop style for 30 hours, then let him repeat,” Drake rapped, adding, “I just left from over by y’all puttin’ pen to the sheets/ Tired of sittin’ quiet and helpin’ my enemies eat.”
Drake continued to send shots at Pusha and likened a faded autograph from an old Pusha T-signed microphone to Pusha’s career. “I had a microphone of yours, but then the signature faded/ I think that pretty much resembles what’s been happenin’ lately,” Drizzy continued. Drake ended his attack by requesting to be paid from Pusha and Kanye for the publicity. Pusha retweeted Drake’s song and wrote, “Send the invoice for the extra 20…”
Without hesitation, Drake posted a draft of an invoice requesting $100,000 from the G.O.O.D. Music team for “promotional assistance and career reviving” and tagged Pusha in the post on Instagram.
Send the invoice for the extra 20… https://t.co/41rd4OJeMF
— King Push (@PUSHA_T) May 25, 2018
October 2018: Drake heads to The Shop and openly discusses feud with Kanye West and Pusha T for the first time
Drake paid a visit to LeBron James’ HBO show The Shop to discuss his tiff with Kanye West and Pusha T. During the open forum, Drizzy broke down the rules to battle rap and why certain things should be kept off-limits.
“I knew something was gonna come up about my kid. They had to add the deadbeat dad thing to make it more appealing,” Drake said when speaking on Pusha T’s scathing “The Story of Adidon” diss.
He further added how his time in Wyoming with West gave G.O.O.D. Music the necessary ammo needed to rattle the Toronto MC. “I’m in Wyoming. I play him ‘March 14.’ I send him a picture of my son. I tell him I’m having trouble with my son’s mother,” he said when explaining his initial thought process in revealing his son on Scorpion’s outro track.
Shortly after Drake’s appearance on The Shop, Pusha T paid a visit to The Joe Budden Podcast, where he refuted the claims made by the OVO captain. Though Drake blamed Kanye for leaking information out about his son, Pusha revealed that the true culprit behind the fiasco was Drake’s friend and producer, Noah “40” Shebib.
“The information came from 40. It didn’t come from Kanye, at all. 40 is sleeping with a woman, who he talks to her daily. Five, six hours a day and ultimately speaks about how he’s disgruntled about certain things, notoriety and things involving Drake and his career, and so on and so forth,” the G.O.O.D. Music president said. “With that also came the fact that Drake has a child. With that also came the trip that everybody took to go see the child, and bring him gifts, and all this information. She divulged this information. That’s where it came from.”
“I can’t be in the studio when Drake’s there. I’m not allowed,” he continued. “When we go to Wyoming, I’m there from the first to the seventh. Next thing I hear, Drake’s here and he’s there for this many days. Everybody else can be there. I can’t because I don’t play neutral. You don’t get to shoot my homeboys, it’s not happening. Everybody not built like me. This is the music industry, this ain’t the streets.”
Push also stated his support for West and deflected any shots aimed his way in the battle. “Only reason I’m here now, for real for real, is because [Drake] was so passionate about the MS thing. And they did the backlight and they put the spotlight on his face, ‘When you said my friend,’ but your friend is the reason why. That’s how it came about. That narrative’s gotta die. Listen, it needs to die. It’s done. That narrative is done,” he proclaimed.
August 2019: Pusha T aims at Drake on Rick Ross’ leaked track “Maybach VI”
Rick Ross nearly did the unthinkable when he snatched Pusha T and Lil Wayne and paired them for his coveted Maybach Music series.
The sixth installment featured the rivaling MCs until Pusha’s verse was deemed too controversial for the record. Sans the Virginia MC, “Maybach Music 6” would only include Ross, John Legend, and Lil Wayne. The leaked version with Pusha T’s verse found its way online and included several incendiary jabs aimed toward Drake, Lil Wayne’s mentee. “Crowns on these clowns it’s like you colored they nose,” Pusha kicks off the verse. “We talking skill set or popularity polls/ When you speak truth to power your popularity grows.”
Following the leak, Pusha called The Joe Budden Podcast and spoke on Ross’ decision to omit his verse. “We here to rap, bro. That’s what I’m here for,” he said. “We all have to do what we do best. I have to do what I do best. The next guy gotta do what he does best. It’s lanes for everybody. It’s part of the game. I can’t complain about it.”
In an interview with Hot 97, Ross explained his decision to remove Pusha’s verse. “Both verses were cleared from both parties, but like I said, it was more about the bigger picture,” Ross shared. “Is this gonna move them two getting together closer? I’mma take the charge for that. I didn’t feel like this was the time for that. I got the record done. I got Wayne verse first and I got Push verse. I wanted to bring them together, either way, or at least spark that conversation.”
December 2019: Drake admits to taking the loss in the battle with Pusha T
On Christmas Day, Drake sat down with Rap Radar for more than two hours to discuss his breakthrough as a music superstar and his pitfalls. He delved deeper this go-around when speaking on his feud with Pusha T, labeling it his “first loss in the competitive sport of rapping.” He also shrugged off the notion of reconciling, saying he had no desire to patch things up with Pusha.
When speaking on his catalog, Drake said the following: “Some people like his music, I personally don’t ’cause I don’t believe any of it. And I like to listen to guys I believe. You just get to peak behind the curtain too. When I was whatever, 16, thinking that he was the biggest dope dealer in the world serving bricks to all, every corner of America, yeah sure … I was … a fan obviously more so just a fan of Pharrell and the Neptunes. I always wanted to be signed to Star Trak and stuff like that, that was the wave. Now that I’m grown up, and I know him and the truth, it’s just not as appealing.”
July 2020: Pusha T takes more shots at Drake on new leaked Pop Smoke track
Pusha T refuses to let up. In a leaked track that was slated to appear on Pop Smoke’s posthumous debut album Shoot for the Moon, Aim for the Stars, Push seemingly references his on-stage skirmish in 2018 during a Daytona Tour show performance in Toronto.
“You know reality bites/ It’s chess not checkers/ Those empty threats only sound good on your records/ If the patois is not followed by blocka/ It’s like marked for death Screwface, without the choppa/ Let ’em rush the stage when you made like Sinatra,” he raps.
He also referenced moving to Drake’s hometown in hopes of vexing the OVO commander further: “Only to find the blade, flyin’ back through LaGuardia/I might even buy a home out in Mississauga.”
Young Thug, who appeared on the track with Gunna, wasn’t a fan of the verse and called out Pusha T for involving the duo. “I don’t respect Pusha T verse on the song with me and Gunna cause I don’t have nun to do with y’all beef nor does Gunna, and if I knew that was about him I would’ve made changes on our behalf.”
Pusha T fired back on Instagram and said that Drake allegedly was responsible for having his verses from “Maybach VI” and “Paranoia” from coming out. He also bashed Thug, saying: “I WOULD NEVER look or need YOUR respect for what is it I bring to this rap game!!”
Young Thug has addressed Pusha T’s verse on ‘Paranoia’ song with #PopSmoke & Gunna.
Says he would have made changes if he knew Pusha was taking shots at Drake. https://t.co/fwabtMvVGy pic.twitter.com/swr3md8Ydu
— HipHop-N-More (@HipHopNMore) July 7, 2020