Unraveling The Tangled History: Drake, Pusha T & Pharrell's Legendary Beef - The Neptunes #1 fan site, all about Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo (2024)

Hip-hop feuds often seem like they come out of nowhere, but the truth is, they’re often rooted in a complex web of history, relationships, and industry politics. One of the most enduring beefs in recent memory is the one between Drake and Pusha T, with Pharrell Williams often caught in the middle. Let’s delve into the tangled backstory of this legendary feud.

Unraveling The Tangled History: Drake, Pusha T & Pharrell's Legendary Beef - The Neptunes #1 fan site, all about Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo (1)

The Origins – 2002

To understand the Drake/Pusha T beef, we need to rewind to the early 2000s when Drake was just starting his musical journey. Interestingly, Drake was a part of the Star Trak forum in 2002, a space where he interacted with Neptunes Fans and sought recognition for his talent. However, his presence on the forum was met with mockery and ridicule, particularly when he shared snippets of his early tracks. This environment laid the groundwork for what would later become a simmering animosity.

Drake’s admiration for The Neptunes and Star Trak was evident from his forum days. He aspired to be signed by them, highlighting his respect for Pharrell Williams and his crew especially Clipse. However, this admiration took a hit when Drake became the target of online taunts and edits to his photos, which escalated the tensions early on.

The Birdman/Pharrell Dispute – 2002

The roots of the Drake/Pusha T beef stretch back to a financial dispute between The Neptunes and Birdman. The Neptunes produced “What Happened To That Boy” for Birdman, but allegedly The Neptunes never received payment for it. This unresolved issue created a rift between The Neptunes and the Cash Money camp, setting the stage for future conflicts

Unraveling The Tangled History: Drake, Pusha T & Pharrell's Legendary Beef - The Neptunes #1 fan site, all about Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo (2)

Lil’ Wayne Enters The Fray – 2005

Lil’ Wayne’s involvement in the feud adds another layer of complexity. Initially not part of the Birdman/Pharrell dispute, Lil’ Wayne’s request for Billionaire Boys Club merchandise for a video shoot was turned down by Pharrell due to the outstanding payment issue. This rejection led Lil’ Wayne to wear his own BBC gear in the video, symbolizing a shift in allegiances and fueling the growing tension.

The BAPE Controversy – 2006

In 2006, Lil’ Wayne appeared on the cover of Vibe Magazine wearing BAPE, a brand closely associated with Pharrell Williams. This move irked Clipse, who also favored BAPE and felt that Lil’ Wayne was copying their style. The release of “Mr. Me Too,” produced by The Neptunes, further escalated the situation, with Clipse calling out Lil’ Wayne’s perceived imitation. in which No Malice rapped,

“Wanna know the time? Better clock us/ N—as bite the style from the shoes to the watches.”

During that same year, Lil’ Wayne addressed Clipse’s implicit criticism in an interview with Complex, affirming his dominance with the words:

“Talk to me like you’re talking to the best. I don’t see no f–kin’ Clipse. Weezy, man. They had to do a song with us to get hot, B. ‘What Happened to That Boy?’ C’mon, B.”

Lil’ Wayne went further, directly addressing Pharrell with pointed words:

“Who the f–k is Pharrell? Do you really respect him? That n—a wore BAPEs and y’all thought he was weird. I wore it and y’all thought it was hot.”

Pusha T releases ‘Don’t F–k With Me.’ – 2011

In 2011, Pusha T dropped “Don’t F–k With Me,” a track that didn’t mention names but hinted strongly at Drake. Utilizing the beat from Drake’s “Dreams Money Can Buy,” produced by 40, Pusha’s lyrics, including lines like

“Rappers on their sophom*ores, actin’ like they boss lords/ Fame such a funny thing for sure/ When n—as start believing all them encores,”

were widely interpreted as direct jabs at Drake, who had recently released his second album “Take Care” in November of that year.

Pusha T releases ’23:1.’ – 2012

Pusha T left no room for ambiguity in his diss track “Exodus 23:1,” produced by Rico Beats. where he rapped,

“Contract all f–ked up/ I guess that means you all f–ked up/ You signed to one n—a that signed to another n—a/ That’s signed to three n—as, now that’s bad luck.”

This direct shot was widely believed to be aimed at Drake once again, who was signed to Lil’ Wayne’s Young Money label, a subsidiary of Cash Money Records under Universal Music Group. In response, Lil’ Wayne didn’t mince words, expressing his disdain for Pusha T and anyone who supported him with a blunt tweet that read, f*ck pusha t and anybody that love em.

Drake releases ‘Tuscan Leather.’ – 2013

Since joining Young Money in 2009, Drake has remained fiercely loyal to Lil’ Wayne. In his song “Tuscan Leather,” produced by 40 and Nathan Sessoms, delivered subtle yet pointed messages to anyone, particularly Pusha T, who had criticized his YMCMB mentor. Drake’s lyrics included lines like,

“I’m just as famous as my mentor/ But that’s still the boss, don’t get sent for/ Get hype on tracks and jump in front of a bullet you wasn’t meant for,”

highlighting his respect for Lil’ Wayne’s position. He also addressed those who try to elevate themselves beyond their role with the line, “Bench players talkin’ like starters, I hate it.”

Pusha T releases ‘H.G.T.V Freestyle.’ – 2016

In the latter part of Pusha T’s hookless assault on “H.G.T.V Freestyle,” produced by Mike WiLL Made-It, Pusha shifted his focus to his longstanding adversary, Drake, questioning the Toronto artist’s skills as a lyricist.

“It’s too far gone when the realest ain’t real/ I walk amongst the clouds so your ceilings ain’t real/ These n—as Call of Duty ’cause their killings ain’t real/ With a questionable pen so the feelin’ ain’t real,”

Pusha remarked, potentially alluding to Drake’s 2009 mixtape “So Far Gone” and sparking renewed debates about whether Drake employs a ghostwriter for his verses.

Drake releases ‘Two Birds, One Stone.’ – 2017

In 2017, the feud between Drake and Pusha T intensified as Drake released his “playlist” More Life. On the track “Two Birds, One Stone,” produced by Kanye West and 40, Drake directly called out Pusha T, accusing him of portraying a false image. He rapped,

“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,”

questioning the authenticity of Pusha’s narratives. Drake further challenged Pusha’s credibility by stating,

“You middle man in this s–t, boy, you was never them guys/ I can tell, ’cause I look most of you dead in your eyes/ And you’ll be tryna sell that story for the rest of your lives.

Pusha T releases ‘Infrared.’ – 2018

Tensions escalated between Pusha T and Drake following Pusha’s release of the album “Daytona,” entirely produced by Kanye West. On the album’s closing track, “Infrared,” Pusha questioned Drake’s lyrical prowess, suggesting that Drake’s lyrics might not all be his own. This sparked intense reactions on social media, prompting Drake to respond despite being in the midst of focusing on his own album.

Drake releases ‘Duppy Freestyle.’ – 2018

Produced by Jahaan Sweet and Boi-1da, ‘Duppy Freestyle‘ retaliated by reminding Pusha that Kanye had previously sought Drake’s assistance in writing songs like “Father Stretch My Hands” and “30 Hours” from Kanye West’s album “The Life Of Pablo.” Drake also hinted at potential future collaborations with Kanye.

“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,”

Drake rapped, adding,

“I just left from over by y’all puttin’ pen to the sheets/ Tired of sittin’ quiet and helpin’ my enemies eat.”

Drake kept firing shots at Pusha by comparing a faded autograph on an old microphone signed by Pusha T to Pusha’s career trajectory.

“I had a microphone of yours, but then the signature faded,”

Drake rapped, implying a decline in Pusha’s relevance. He concluded by cheekily requesting payment from Pusha and Kanye for the attention generated. Pusha responded by retweeting Drake’s song and sarcastically wrote,

Send the invoice for the extra 20…”

In a swift move, Drake posted a draft invoice on Instagram, humorously requesting $100,000 from the G.O.O.D. Music team for

“promotional assistance and career reviving,”

directly tagging Pusha in the post.

“One day I was looking for autographed stuff from Clipse because I was like a really, really big Clipse fan,”

he recalled. Drake added that he

“used to pretend I was doing interviews on the red carpet and perform all the Clipse songs in my basem*nt with the mic.”

After performing with the mic several times, the alleged Pusha T autographed rubbed off but Drake admitted that

“at the time, it meant the world to me.”

Drake’s perspective on the rapper has evolved over time, as reflected in his diss track aimed at Pusha. He rapped,

“Must’ve had your ‘Infrared’ wrong, now your head’s in the beam,”

implying a shift in perception. Drake also criticized Pusha’s standing within his own label, asserting,

“You’re not even top 5 as far as your label talent goes.”

Pusha T releases ‘The Story Of Adidon.’ – 2018

Pusha T’s The Story Of Adidon” is a response to Drake’s “Duppy Freestyle.” Produced by No I.D. and Jay-Z, it delves into personal attacks, claiming Drake fathered a child with a p*rnstar named “Adonis,” among other jabs at his inner circle like his parents, Birdman, and Noah “40” Shebib. The controversial artwork features Drake in blackface, taken by photographer David Leyes. Drake later clarified the photo’s context on Instagram. Pusha revealed on The Joe Budden Podcast that the information about Drake’s child came indirectly from Noah “40” Shebib, not Kanye West as previously suggested by Drake.

In October 2018, Drake made an appearance on LeBron James’ HBO show, The Shop, where he openly discussed his ongoing feud with Pusha T for the first time. During the discussion, Drake delved into the unwritten rules of battle rap and why certain topics should be off-limits.

“I knew they would bring up my kid. They had to throw in the deadbeat dad angle to make it more sensational,”

Drake remarked, referring to Pusha T’s aggressive diss track “The Story Of Adidon.”

‘Maybach Music VI’ leaks with the Pusha T verse. – 2019

Rick Ross caused quite a stir when he united Pusha T and Lil’ Wayne for his highly anticipated Maybach Music series. However, the sixth installment, produced by J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, faced controversy as Pusha T’s verse was deemed too contentious for the track. The final version of “Maybach Music VI” included only Rick Ross, John Legend, and Lil’ Wayne, omitting Pusha T’s contribution. Nevertheless, the leaked version with Pusha T’s verse surfaced online, featuring pointed jabs aimed at Drake, Lil’ Wayne’s protege.

Pusha T’s verse on the leaked track included lines like,

“Crowns on these clowns it’s like you colored they nose,”

and questioned the value of skill versus popularity in the rap industry. Following the leak, Pusha T addressed the situation on The Joe Budden Podcast, stating,

“We here to rap, bro. That’s what I’m here for. We all have to do what we do best.”

Rick Ross later explained his decision to remove Pusha T’s verse in an interview with Hot 97, mentioning that both verses were initially cleared by all parties. However, Ross felt it wasn’t the right time to bring Pusha T and Lil’ Wayne together on the same track, aiming to avoid any potential conflicts and instead foster a positive conversation between the two artists.

Unraveling The Tangled History: Drake, Pusha T & Pharrell's Legendary Beef - The Neptunes #1 fan site, all about Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo (3)

In December 2019, Drake openly admitted to taking the loss in his feud with Pusha T during an interview with Rap Radar on Christmas Day. He described the feud as his

“first loss in the competitive sport of rapping”

and expressed no interest in reconciling or patching things up with Pusha T.

Regarding Pusha T’s music, Drake shared his personal perspective, stating,

“Some people like his music, I personally don’t ’cause I don’t believe any of it. And I like to listen to guys I believe.”

He also reflected on his earlier admiration for Pusha T during his teenage years, fueled by a fascination with the image of Pusha T as a prominent figure in the drug trade. However, as he grew older and learned the truth about Pusha T, his perception changed, and the allure of Pusha T’s music diminished.

‘Paranoia’ by Pop Smoke and Pusha T leaks – 2020

Pusha T has shown no signs of letting up in his ongoing feud with Drake. In a leaked track produced by ​The Elements and 808 Melo, originally planned for Pop Smoke’s posthumous debut album, Pusha appears to reference a past incident during a performance in Toronto. He raps,

“You know reality bites/ It’s chess not checkers/ Those empty threats only sound good on your records/ If the patois is not followed by blocka/ It’s like marked for death Screwface, without the choppa/ Let ’em rush the stage when you made like Sinatra.”

Pusha T also mentions moving to Drake’s hometown, Mississauga, in an apparent attempt to provoke Drake further:

“Only to find the blade, flyin’ back through LaGuardia/I might even buy a home out in Mississauga.”

Young Thug, who was also featured on the track with Gunna, criticized Pusha T for involving them in the feud, expressing that he and Gunna have no connection to the beef. Pusha T responded on Instagram, alleging that Drake was behind the suppression of his verses on other tracks and dismissing Young Thug’s opinion, stating,

“I WOULD NEVER look or need YOUR respect for what is it I bring to this rap game!!”

Travis Scott releases ‘Meltdown.’ – 2023

Drake has brought Pharrell into his ongoing feud with Pusha T in the latest Utopia track. Drake stirred up conversations as he teamed up with frequent collaborator Travis Scott on La Flame’s fourth studio album, Utopia. Social media buzzed when Drake took shots at Pusha T and Pharrell on the track produced by BNYX®, Coleman, Boi-1da, Vinylz, Tay Keith, Travis Scott and Skeleton Cartier.

In his verse, Drake aimed scathing bars at Pharrell’s recent role as men’s creative director for Louis Vuitton, a position previously held by the late Virgil Abloh — a close friend of Drake.

“Man, f–k all that spinning the narrative s–t/ I melt down the chains that I bought from your boss,” Drake spat, subtly referencing Pusha T’s association with Pharrell. “Give a f–k about all of that heritage s–t/ Since V not around the members done hung up the Louis/ They not even wearing that s–t.”

While promoting his joint album “Her Loss” with 21 Savage, Drake showcased accessories that once belonged to Pharrell in the “Jumbotron sh*t Poppin” video. From the iconic N.E.R.D. brain pendant to the famed skateboard pendant chain, Drake sported most of P’s auctioned pieces from Joopiter auction. In 2022, Joopiter, Pharrell’s inaugural global auction house and content platform, showcased a variety of items previously worn by Pharrell.

N.E.R.D Characters Pendant Chain [$2,184,000]: This iconic piece, synonymous with Pharrell, represents a pivotal era in hip-hop culture. The medallion features 3D caricatures of the entire N.E.R.D. crew.

Skateboard 22K Yellow Gold Pendant Chain [$103,750]: Pharrell’s innovative take on the Jesus Piece, comprising two 18K gold fingerboard-sized skateboards adorned with nearly 2000 round, brilliant diamonds.

N.E.R.D. Yellow Gold Brain Pendant Chain [$150,000]: Commissioned in 2005 to celebrate the collaboration between Pharrell, Shay Haley, and Chad Hugo as the N.E.R.D. supergroup.

BBC Astronaut 14K White Gold Pendant Chain [$150,000]: A nod to the Billionaire Boys Club (BBC) logo, a collaborative apparel brand launched by Pharrell and Nigo in 2003.

These items, among others, were part of Pharrell’s iconic collection, most of which were auctioned via Joopiter in November 2022. This collection included the Sony PSP Encased in Solid Gold [$19,375]

Kendrick Lamar releases ‘Euphoria.’ – 2024

In Kendrick Lamar’s response diss track to Drake titled “Euphoria,” Kendrick Lamar collaborates with producers Cardo, Kyuro, Sounwave, Johnny Juliano, Yung Exclusive, and Matthew Bernard. In the song, Kendrick supports Pharrell and Pusha T while advising Drake to exclude Pharrell from their conflict but to engage with Pusha T.

“I don’t like you poppin’ sh*t at Pharrell, for him, I inherit the beef Yeah, f*ck all that pushin’ P, let me see you push a T. You better off spinnin’ again on him, you think about pushin’ me. He’s Terrence Thornton, I’m Terence Crawford, yeah, I’m whoopin’ feet”

Drake releases ‘Family Matters.’ – 2024

In “Family Matters,” Drake responds directly to Kendrick Lamar’s lines from “Euphoria” where Kendrick criticizes Drake for targeting Pharrell: Drake references the jewelry he flaunted in the “Jumbotron sh*t Poppin‘” music video, noting that fans noticed it was designed and previously owned by Pharrell. He also showcases Pharrell’s jewelry collection in the “Family Matters” video, aligning with Kendrick’s lyrics.

“I don’t like you poppin’ sh*t at Pharrell, for him, I inherit the beef”

The owner of the “New Ho King” restaurant, mentioned by Kendrick, flaunts the collection. Drake emphasizes the jewelry as Pharrell’s legacy and challenges Kendrick to confront him at Drake’s residence to reclaim Pharrell’s collection if Kendrick truly wants to take on Drake’s issues with Pharrell.

Unraveling The Tangled History: Drake, Pusha T & Pharrell's Legendary Beef - The Neptunes #1 fan site, all about Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo (4)

Despite the beef between Pusha T and Drake, the professionalism between The Neptunes and Drake, as well as Clipse, remained excellent. They collaborated on various tracks, showcasing their ability to set aside personal differences and focus on their craft. This level of professionalism allowed them to work together seamlessly on multiple occasions, demonstrating their commitment to the music and their respective careers.

Dirty Money
Last Train To Paris (2010)

  • Dirty Looks feat. Pharrell & Drake (Unreleased)
    It didn’t make the final cut on the album, the track was previously produced for Drake for his album ‘Thank Me Later’.

Drake
Thank Me Later (2010)

  • Dirty Looks feat. Pharrell (Unreleased)
    It didn’t make the final cut on the album.

Lil’ Wayne
Startrax (Promo) (2017)

  • Startrax feat. Drake (Unreleased)
    Produced by Pharrell Williams. Later went to Teriyaki Boyz as ‘Morë Tonight.’

    Anthem (Promo) (2017)

  • Anthem feat. Drake & Tyga
    Produced by Pharrell Williams, this is an alternate version of ‘Startrax’ featuring Drake and Tyga.

N.E.R.D.
Lemon (Promo) (2018)

  • Lemon feat. Drake & Rihanna (Remix)
    A Remix of N.E.R.D. single ‘Lemon’ produced by The Neptunes featuring Drake and Rihanna.

Brent Faiyaz
Wasteland (2021)

  • Wasting Time feat. Drake
    A Collaboration between Brent Faiyaz and Drake on the single ‘Wasting Time’ produced by The Neptunes.

Conclusion

The history of the Drake/Pusha T feud is a testament to the intricate connections and conflicts that can arise within the music industry. From financial disputes between producers and artists to personal rivalries and shifting allegiances, this feud has been fueled by a series of events that span over a decade. What started as subtle jabs and indirect references in music tracks escalated into direct confrontations and public statements, with both sides defending their reputations and challenging each other’s authenticity.

At its core, this feud represents more than just a clash between two prominent figures in hip-hop. It reflects the complexities of creative expression, business dynamics, and personal relationships within the music community. As fans and observers, we’re left to dissect the lyrics, decode the messages, and witness the ongoing saga unfold, knowing that each chapter adds another layer to the legacy of this legendary beef.

Unraveling The Tangled History: Drake, Pusha T & Pharrell's Legendary Beef - The Neptunes #1 fan site, all about Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo (2024)

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