We're still waiting for Pusha T to answer to Drake's "Duppy," but should Kanye West be penning his own response?
The fallout of “Duppy” has Drake fans imagining Pusha T’s home base of Virginia as something out of Fallout 4. With incendiary bars targeting the veracity of his drug-dealing credentials and fading relevance, it’s easy to dub Drake’s response as an all-out assault on Pusha; admittedly, the ongoing narrative is basically centered around a Pusha vs. Drake beef, which reignited over the Daytonacloser “Infrared.” In any case, the game have been impatiently waiting for Pusha to respond on wax. Even Gangsta Gibbs has already called for the clock, and Freddie’s word carries an undeniable sense of gravitas.
To be fair, it can be argued that Pusha cast the first stone, picking at old, Quentin Miller shaped wounds with no foresight to any potential consequences; after all, Drake’s public perception is that of a docile creature, prone to wearing heart firmly fixed on sleeve. Yet as Meek Mill once learned, all men have a breaking point. In that regard, “Duppy” is simply self-defense, albeit employed with excessive force. Yet Pusha no doubt expected, at least to some extent, a degree of lyrical jousting. As a bonafide rapper’s rapper, he no doubt relished in the thought.
But what about Kanye West? While Drake kept no shortage of scathing bars for King Push, some might argue that Yeezy received the harshest blows. From “Duppy’s” opening stanzas, Drake sets his sights firmly on Daytona’s producer, painting a picture of Ye as a tried and true beneficiary of collaboration:
“So if you rebuke me for workin' with someone else on a couple of Vs
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”
References to Ye’s Life Of Pablo tracks “30 Hours” and “Father Stretch My Hands” put Kanye firmly in Drake’s sightline, with a “Pop Style” mention for good measure. Despite the fact that Ye previously thanked Drake for his involvement in the collaborative process, Drake wasted little time in using their shared history as a weapon. Perhaps Drake is simply attempting to hold a mirror up to Yeezy and his camp, but the fact remains - in hip-hop, accusations of this nature are fightin’ words through and through.
Kanye doesn’t get off that easy. References to Virgil Abloh are made, with Drake insinuating that Kanye has been holding the designer back over his own jealous energy. Without dwelling on the line itself, consider the fact that Ye occupied such an extensive block of “Duppy” real estate. As far as we know, Kanye has kept quiet about Drake; the two were even rumored to be collaborating during the Wyoming sessions. Don your tin foil hats accordingly. Yet Kanye’s involvement in “Infrared” may have been a sufficient catalyst for retaliation, guilty by association and all. Either way, he’s as much a victim of Drake’s assault as Pusha, yet all eyes have come to fall on the latter.
Should hip-hop expect a response from Kanye West? After all, it would appear the game has declared open season on the once universally respected producer. Artists like Snoop Dogg, Daz Dillinger, and now Drake have openly clowned on Yeezy, who has conveniently declared a movement toward pacifism; “love everyone” was declared, often and loudly. It’s certainly interesting that Pusha has already been pressured over his delayed response, while Ye has escaped feedback of that nature. Yet is he not a man scorned? Should be he expected to take the tongue lashing lying down?
For the most part, Kanye has avoided hip-hop beef. Fans will no doubt recall petty feuds with the likes of 50 Cent and Taylor Swift, which never made it to the booth. Perhaps one can argue that Graduation closer “Big Brother” served to put Jay-Z under the microscope, but it was far from hostile; still the relationship was indeed tumultuous and Ye kept it one hundred throughout. Yet that was a long time ago - more than a decade - and his relationship with Jay has since muddied. He did fire back at the South Park writers over the whole “fish dick” debacle, which shows he does have some limits. Yet as far as beef on wax, Ye has generally played the man behind the curtain.
Yet at the end of the day, he is still a rapper. Granted, his ubiquitous nature invites all manner of challengers, and to respond to all of them would be a fool’s errand. Yet this is the second time an A-List artist has publically put him on blast. First Jay, and now Drake. One has to wonder - does Kanye West have a breaking point? His upcoming album drops June 1st, and it wouldn’t be surprising to hear him address some of his recent feuds. Still, a full fledged diss track seems unlikely, even after being publicly shamed by the self-proclaimed “Duppy.”
Is Kanye West entering beast mode something the game might need? Depends who you’re asking. Yet there’s only so much one rapper can take. If Kanye really is the “God” he professes to be, does he possess the capabilities to truly go Thanos on the population? Only time will tell.
Do you think Kanye West needs to respond to Drake, or is this one Pusha’s cross to bear? Never has "What Would Meek Do?" felt more appropriate.
Photos in competition credited to Stefan Gosatti/Getty Images (for yes) & Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images (no)