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How Pusha T vs Drake shows us that hip-hop is better with beef

It wasn’t until this past memorial weekend that everyone realized they needed beef in hip-hop.

Even last year when it seemed we were fed up with Nicki vs. Remy, Yo Gotti vs. Young Dolph, Beans vs. Meek, Game vs. Meek, and even Big Sean vs. Kendrick, we still found ourselves salivating at the sight of blood when G.O.O.D. President Pusha T released his third solo album, DAYTONA. 

The May 25th album took aim at Drake on the song “Infrared,” which was a response to Toronto native’s single “Two Birds, One Stone,” featured on his 2016’s project More Life. 

As much as we made have complained about how unnecessary and frequent the tiffs were in 2017 and how “no one wins when the family feuds,” deep down we didn’t care. We live for the drama; the players just weren’t big enough.

2018 up until this point had been the same way. Tekashi 69‘s antics don’t quite get it done and Joyner Lucas and Logic aren’t even close to having the cache or catalog that warrants our interest.

This past memorial weekend, however, has shown us is that when the heavyweights come to play, not only are we all in, but we’re on pin and needles in excitement.

The Ye produced track brought up ghostwriting allegations yet again and talked down Drake’s chart success on claims of artistic compromise.

“The bigger question is how the Russians did it? It was written by Nas but it came from Quentin,” Pusha raps.

If the Daytona’s critical acclaim and spotlight didn’t invoke Drake, the conversation surrounding “Infrared” did, because it caused Tronto’s very own to respond with a quick 15-hour turnaround in a free singled titled “Duppy.”

Suddenly we found ourselves back in 2015 — with heavy punches from heavy hitters — and all that ‘let beef alone’ talk was gone.

Drake came with a lightning-quick retort (again) and cleverly employed social media (again), this time by drawing up an actual invoice and putting it on his Instagram.

These were the kind of tactics that got mainstream brands like Whataburger, Pornhub, Rosetta Stone and many others on his side during the Drake/Meek Mill beef.

You’re welcome. 🦉

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The fallout has been an intense, hard-to-keep-up-with past four days on the internet, where”beef” has been at the tips of tongues in riveting fashion.

Pusha was given response times, Drake was applauded for his bravery to step to anyone, and commentary from any and everyone seemed to be inescapable. It seemed to me that beef — the mere conflict of two emcees — is welcomed in abundance.

Pusha T and Drake dominated the trending topics all memorial weekend and just when you thought it had died down, three days after Drake’s scathing freestyle, Pusha T responded with “The Story of Adidon”, and brought the truth out of us all: we love this shit.

Drake’s mother, his father, the mother of his child, financial troubles with Cash Money, racist accusations and jabs at his dying best friend we’re all covered by Pusha, and… people seemingly ate it up.

It went so viral, CBS — a hard news program — even gave it coverage.

Depending on who you ask, all is fair in love and war, but this is not about the lines crossed and much as it’s about the fascination. A dying man with multiple sclerosis was told he was on the clock and our response is how fun it all is.

Maybe it’s an unspoken understanding. Maybe it’s a cultural thing that no one has denied. But the truth of the matter is that hip-hop needs beef. Along with Grafitti, Emceeing, B-Boying, DJing, and Knowledge, Beef should be the sixth pillar of hip-hop.

The anticipation between responses, picking of sides, back and forth debates on who got who, the blatant disrespect —  hip-hop fans everywhere love every second of the pettiness.

Tupac and Biggie have drawn lines in the sand — set the boundaries, if you will — and set precedent to the most braggadocious competitive genre out, and it’s tradition to partake.

Hip-hop is our license to petty.  In any other genre the high road is encouraged, but in hip-hop, the pettier, the better.

As much as positivity may be encouraged, we want to clashes — need the clashes. It’s on par with every single other aspect of what makes hip-hop, hip-hop.

Right now Pusha T is being applauded for his jabs. Let the people tell it, he’s up — he’s done what he’s supposed to and, as you read, this is “good for hip-hop.”

No matter where this goes or how many lines are crossed remember this is what the people want — this is what hip-hop is about. Until then, the ball is in Drake’s court.