The music industry has always been fertile ground for conspiracies. From fake deaths to satanism and almost too scripted artist drama. The story of the hour features none other than Drake aka Champagne Papi himself. The international superstar is in the midst of a bona fide rap ‘beef’ with Virginia rapper Pusha-T. The feud ignited so many passionate conversations that people are starting to question if it wasn’t all a ploy to benefit both artists and their music labels. Was the Drake and Pusha-T beef fake? As the fog starts to dissipate, let’s have a better look at this conspiracy.
Fake beef ? The backstory linking Drake to Pusha-T
It’s not crazy to think that record labels could manufacture feuds between artists to increase sales since it’s already well-known that they create fake relationships for that same purpose.
Before we look into how each party gains from this potentially fake feud, it’s important to note the shared history between Drake and Pusha-T.
Drake is signed to a label called ‘Cash Money’ whose CEO is the inadequately named Birdman. Lil Wayne, fellow co-signee and mentor to Drake is also signed to Birdman’s Cash Money. Pusha-T was victorious in his beef with Birdman and Lil Wayne in previous years and has since been vocal about Birdman’s scammy business ways.
The history of animosity between Pusha-T and Cash Money gives a legitimate backdrop to the narrative being sold to us. Drake, the protagonist tries to get revenge for Cash Money with Pusha-T as his antagonist. An additional connection between those artists is that Pusha-T is the president of G.O.O.D Music, a rap label created by Kanye West.
West gave the initial push to Drake’s career by providing him with the hit song “Find Your Love”. The two have remained friends and collaborators up until recently(they were rumored to have a joint album last year).
With all the pieces set, here’s how everybody benefits from this fake beef. They all have albums releasing within the same six-week period and will get a sales increase from the controversies and buzz created.
Although it’s hard to believe that the best-selling artist of this generation needs help pushing records, the benefit for Drake might not be exclusively monetary.
Rebranding using Sophie Brussaux, Pusha-T and “The Story of Adidon”
We all love a good underdog story and Drake hasn’t been one in forever. When pop artists become too popular, the pendulum swings and love becomes hate. Drake knows this and to avoid Taylor Swift’s fate, he places himself in an unwinnable rap battle. The result ? Drake loses and becomes endearing again.
After dominating the charts for almost a decade, a rebrand is in order to keep Drake’s image and persona fresh. What has Drake not done yet ? Get political like his peers Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole.
The blackface picture of Drake used as the cover of Pusha-T’s scathing ‘The Story of Adidon’ diss track is pivotal in Drake’s rebrand. Many would think that such pictures could end careers, but not in 2018 where any attention is beneficial. By coming forward and giving context to the picture as an artistic statement of the struggle black actors face in the movie industry, Drake makes his entry in the political sphere of rap.
The ‘Story of Adidon’ diss track also exposed a love affair between Drake and porn star Sophie Brussaux that allegedly resulted in the artist having a child named Adonis. This revelation coming right after Drake’s ‘Duppy Freestyle’ kills his vulnerable lover image that took so long to create and instead makes him more ‘edgy’. Drake might be despised for not taking care of his son, however, I strongly believe it’ll be revealed that the child is not Drake’s. Pusha-T and Drake are simply using rumours that surfaced last year which Champagne Papi himself already debunked in his song ‘Sacrifices’ by stating ‘I got no baby on the way’ to add fuel to the fire.
Drake’s upcoming album Scorpion will be the final piece in his rebrand. By addressing all the controversy, Drake will emerge as a new artist that lost a battle, became humiliated in public and took it all in stride. He will assume the role of a humbled man, more mature in his newer more political content, and a sympathetic figure to the public since what he endured (false child rumours, and a lyrical mean spirited beatdown) was almost persecution.
The success of Pusha-T’s “Daytona”
Pusha-T’s most recent album Daytona (contains the Drake diss track ‘infrared’) was his best-selling yet, the financial gamble has already succeeded. As a record label president, this feud allows him to boost not only his album sales, but the other June releases from G.O.O.D music as well. Including Kanye west’s album “ye”, Kanye west and Kid cudi’s “Kids See Ghost”, Nas’ album “Nasir”, and Teyana Taylor’s upcoming project.
As a rapper’s rapper, Pusha-T will also see his MC status boosted by virtue of having defeated the goliath that is Drake.
Contrary to other music industry conspiracies, this one shows a clear narrative being sold to us by the record labels and the ways in which each party benefits. Verdict ? Probably true.