Drake has frequented my top-10 favorite artists list since his 2008 groundbreaking debut mixtape, So Far Gone. His hybrid rap/singing style, unconventional vulnerability, Weezy F Baby co-sign, clever bars and catchy hooks distanced him from the competition and foreshadowed a fruitful career. His presence and authority grew with every single, feature and project, transforming him from Wheelchair Jimmy into an international pop star.
However, with increased fame comes increased jealousy from competitors, making Drake a consistent target of slander. I was always there to defend him. No matter what, no matter the remark, I was there. I always felt like we were kindred spirits—he’s Jewish, I’m Jewish; he’s black, I think I’m black. Even when Meek ostensibly proved Drake’s employment of ghostwriters, I stood up for him and wrote off Meek’s allegations as misguided hatred—even though deep down, I knew they were true. But when you call King Push a fraud and delegitimize Kid Cudi’s depression, then we have problems. I hate to say it, but Drake is kind of a dick.
I started questioning the 6 God when he dropped Views this past summer. I thought it was a protracted, unchallenging, lazy body of work; the hype and expectations infinitely outweighed the reality. Sure, it had dope hits, enjoyed Billboard’s number one album spot for nine-consecutive weeks—an incredible feat—and I must’ve listened to “Redemption,” “With You” and “Still Here” nonstop for those consecutive nine-weeks. However, relative to his previous work and 2016’s extensive list of amazing albums, Views paled in comparison. But, unlike Drake, I’m not a dick and gave him the benefit of the doubt because we have history—eight-years of patronage (10 if you include Degrassi…). So when he dropped four new songs on his 30th birthday, I was excited to see how he’d recover from Views’ disappointment. When I actually heard them, my frustration and angst grew exponentially.
One of the four releases, “Two Birds, One Stone,” has become the focal point of discussion in the Hip Hop community. But not for groundbreaking innovation or anything merit-worthy; instead, for the “two birds” he calls out: Pusha T and Kid Cudi. With Rap comes beefs and diss records—they’re inevitable and are actually beneficial, as they force the parties to elevate their lyricism. How one goes about crafting their diss is a completely different story, though.
October 12th, 2016 was just a normal Wednesday for most. For Pusha T, it was the day he supplemented his catalogue of ominous, chilling, lyrically inclined songs with the addition of “H.G.T.V.” With this hit came a bare, black and white music video, and shots at Drake. “It’s too far gone when the realest ain’t real…I walk amongst the clouds, so your ceilings ain’t real / These niggas ‘Call of Duty’ ’cause they killings ain’t real / With a questionable pen so the feeling ain’t real.” While this was the most recent iteration of the Push-Drake beef, it wasn’t the first strike. In 2012, Push released “Exodus 23:1” and put Drake on trial with the lines, “Contract all fucked up / I guess that means you all fucked up / You signed to one nigga that signed to another nigga / That’s signed to three niggas, now that's bad luck.” Like I said, I encourage Rap feuds.
Drake retaliated against the Cocaine Cowboy on “Two Birds, One Stone.” Good. I expected him to fight back and not perpetuate the thought that he’s a dickless pussy. Ironically, his diss bars proved that he is in fact a dickless pussy.
“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 / If you ask me though you ain’t lining the trunk with kilos / You bagging weed with all your niggas watching Pacino.”
With one eyebrow lifted and my head cocked to the side like a confused dog, I said to myself, “What the hell is he thinking?…Doesn’t he know Push is one of a handful of guys who actually lived the life they rap about?” Who the hell is Aubrey to cast aspersions of false trapping against anyone? King Push is as authentic as Drake is Canadian. And yet, that wasn’t the most offensive facet of his diss song.
Kid Cudi is revered for his innovative and progressive style. The inspirational musician is also the self-proclaimed “Mr. Solo Dolo” who’s been going 12-rounds with depression for his entire life. On October 4th, he released an apology letter to his fans explaining his mental fragility, forcing him to check into rehab. I’m not sure what I felt worse about: the fact that he’s been struggling with depression or the fact that he felt ashamed and the need to apologize. Cudi tugged on our heart strings with this letter, but I think we rejoiced knowing that he was seeking help. Only a huge dick would poke fun at someone battling depression. Drake is a huge dick.
“You were the man on the moon / Now you just go through your phases / Life of the angry and famous / Rap like I know I’m the greatest.”
Drake is a weak, insecure bully, using someone’s mental illness as ammunition against them; picking on the debilitated to heighten his self-esteem. He’s reminiscent of the bullied kid in high school who needs to prove himself through overcompensation. In just four bars, he personified society’s misunderstanding and mistreatment of mental health victims; this delegitimization of depression and suicide is simply ignorant. Teasing someone for suicidal urges is akin to teasing someone battling cancer. Yes, it’s that serious. Drake is a huge dick.
Drake is a charlatan. A two-faced guy who thinks he can say whatever he wants to whomever he wants because of his brand power, popularity and appeal. As far as we know, he never gang banged or trapped, yet he falsely accuses those who hustled to survive. As far as we know, he’s never been depressed or contemplated suicide, yet he teases those suffering from mental health issues. I’m not sure who Drake thinks he is, but he is far from that 2008 artist who frequented my top-10 list.