Hip Hop loves a good rap feud. Its ingrained in our culture. Be it Ice Cube vs NWA, 2Pac vs Biggie, Ja Rul vs 50 Cent or Nas vs Jay Z. But there is one that stands above the rest. Pusha T’s ‘Story of Adidon is the greatest diss track of all time.
It all started in 2006 with Lil Wayne and Pusha T's rap group: The Clipse, beefing over fashion. The Clipse and Pharrell wore Bape first and then Lil Wayne started wearing it too. Pushas brother No Malice sent subliminal shots at Lil Wayne on the Pharrell produced track “Mr Me Too”. Since then subliminal shots were fired from both The Clipse and YMCMB camps for years.
In 2012 Push released ‘Exodus 23:1’ which was a diss track at both Drake and Lil Wayne. It seemed like the feud was gaining traction and was getting more serious. He talked about Lil Wayne's label woes that we learned more about later on and much more. Drake responded by sending subliminal shots on his track ‘Tuscan Leather’ on his album ‘Nothing Was The Same’ with bars like ‘Bench players talkin’ like starters, I hate it.’ but it was never direct.
In 2017 Drake released ‘2 birds one stone’ which was a diss towards both Kid Cudi and Pusha T. He claimed that Push had never actually sold drugs like he always talks about, and that he was a fraud. In 2018 Pusha T released ‘Infrared’ on his album ‘Daytona’. It seemed like another in a long history of jabs. He said what rappers usually say about Drake. He talked about his ghostwriters and how he’s a mainstream puppet. Drake drops his diss track ‘Duppy Freestyle’ on May 25th. On Tuesday May 29th 2018 Pusha T responded to ‘Duppy Freestyle’.
Pushas response diss track ‘The Story of Adidon’ is the greatest diss track of all time. Everything from presentation, to song cover, to timing to beat choice to lyrics. Everything in it and around it were perfect. Pusha T had just released his album ‘Daytona’ to the adoration of critics and all hip hop heads. It was already a tense time because to hip hop heads, Drake had become the enemy. After being exposed as having a ghostwriter and making pop music for the last few years of his life, Drake symbolized everything so-called “real hip hop” would hate. Pusha T represented that crowd. He released a lyrically dense album with production from one of the greatest producers of all time in Kanye West. There was a sense of nationalism with hip hop heads.
The song cover for ‘The Story of Adidon’ was Drake in black face wearing a sweater that had the ‘Jim Crowe’ symbol on it while Drake did Jazz hands as if he were tap dancing. In his bait to Drake on Infrared Pusha T said the lines “So I don't tap dance for the crackers and sing Mammy, 'Cause I'm ’posed to juggle these flows and nose candy”. This felt like a strange jab but it turned out it was a subliminal shot and foreshadowing what was next to come. The history of blackface is well documented and filled with emotional trauma for black people so Drake being half Jewish didn’t really help him in this situation. Push then used the instrumental from Jay Z’s instant classic song ‘Story of OJ’ that talks about the struggles black people go through whether rich or poor. He talked about Drake being raised by a white mother and having identity issues where he was afraid to grow his afro because it wouldn’t “nap enough”. It was a vicious assault on his character.
The title of the song ‘Story of Adidon’ was a flip of Drake's secret baby's name Adonis, mixed with adidas. Turns out Drake had a deal with Adidas where he was going to reveal the birth of his child as well as new OVO merch through Adidas. All of that went down the drain when Pusha T verbally performed surgery on Drake's psyche. He went on to expose the fact that Drizzy had gotten a pornstar pregnant and continued the cycle of single fatherhood that his father started. It was a verbal assault.
Pusha called his mother a loser that's unable to hold down a husband and his dad a deadbeat clown, then he went on to discuss his best friends ailment. 40 which is Drake's long time best friend and producer is suffering from musculoskeletal disease, Pusha T talked about his illness and asked how much longer he had before he died.
Drake had to put out a press release explaining the blackface picture and says that it was from an old photo shoot. He never released a diss track but his team said he had a song that Jay Prince, the man who discovered Drake, told him not to put out. Jay Prince proceeded to go on a whole press tour addressing the fact that he had to tell Drake to put away his diss track that would “destroy Kanye West”. This had never happened in the history of rap before. Never has the number one rapper in the world had to wave the white flag and put out press releases about not being able to drop a diss track. Drake went on Lebrons show the shop and said that Pusha T went too far. This was monumental.
Push came to perform in Toronto and Drake had paid some guys to be in the audience to throw beer at Pusha T. Push’s team took some of the guys on stage, beat them up and sent them to the emergency room and then Push proceeded to perform ‘The Story Of Adidon’ in Toronto.
We have to look at this historically to able able to completely grasp how big this was in the annals of hip hop feuds. ‘No Vaseline’ Ice Cubes diss to the NWA had them respond. Drakes diss to Meek Mill ‘Back to Back’ got multiple responses. ‘Hit em up’ didn’t get a response but there’s an argument to be made that ‘Story of Adidon’ was more impactful. Biggie didn’t lose any money because Pac dissed him. Puff didn’t have to go on a press run to explain why Big couldn’t respond. Big didn’t spend the next year venting about the situation on every song he made like Drake has been doing. Ether was a great song but so was Takeover, nobody was swept in that beef. Jay Z had to apologize but that was only because his mother told him to when she felt he went too far with the line talking about condoms in Nas’s baby seat, he didn’t go on a press tour saying Ether was too harsh and that he felt Nas went too far. Pushas diss swept the biggest rapper in the world in the first round like he was the New York Knicks.
It's also important because up to that point, Drake was impenetrable. He was like superman of rap beefs. People could throw anything at him and he would bounce back. Meek said that Drake has ghostwriters and got pissed on by by a man inside a movie theatre. That would’ve ended any rappers career but not Drizzy. Drake bounced back from that and nobody gave a fuck. Meek Mill was labeled a walking L on the internet until he went to jail and came back out. Joe Budden released a million dope diss tracks, and yet Drake still won that beef. It seemed like there was nothing you could do to him, Drake was Teflon. His popularity always outshines his opponents and made it seem like they were hating on his success. Now here comes Pusha T. Push is one of the best lyricists of all time but Joe Budden was a great lyricist too and we saw how that turned out.
It felt like nobody could defeat Drake until Pusha took the battle somewhere different. He knew he couldn’t talk about money or fame so he talked about Drake's character as a man. He took personal shots about his parents and how that lead him to the life he’s living now. He made Drake seem like a self hating biracial kid, he painted this picture of this sell out deadbeat father hiding behind the mirage of rap notoriety. It was genius and malicious. It did something nobody thought was possible, it changed the fans perception of Drake, even if it was only for a brief moment. Drake came back with ‘Emotionless’ and got everyone back on his side but for that moment in 2018, we saw a dent in the armour. And we also saw the greatest diss track of all time.