Once Pusha T released his Drake-aimed diss track, “The Story Of Adidon,” spectators wondered if the song’s target would respond and to what exactly would he address; Pusha revealed that Drake allegedly has a son, and stingingly referenced the Toronto native’s parents and producer/friend Noah “40” Shebib.
While the lyrics sparked a sense of excitement and anticipation within listeners, it was the artwork Pusha decided to use to accompany his response to Drake’s “Duppy Freestyle” that gained most of the traction. Taken by photographer David Leyes in 2007, Drake is seen smiling in one picture, then frowning in the next wearing blackface.
The OVO leader received a wave of backlash, leading to a newly published statement found on his Instagram Story (May 30). Drake shared that the image was taken during the acting stage of his career and was meant to shed light on the struggle black entertainers face when looking for substantial roles.
“The photos represented how African Americans were once wrongfully portrayed in entertainment,” Drake wrote. The 31-year-old went on to share that the idea was also supported by his “best friend at the time” Mazin Elsadig, a fellow actor born in Sudan. The two sought “to use our voice to bring awareness to the issues we dealt with all the time as black actors at auditions.”
— Word On Road (@WordOnRd) May 31, 2018
During a phone interview with “The Breakfast Club,” Pusha T continued to reference the photo, asking, “What makes you take a picture like that? What’s the problem?” He then continued, “…Now, you get to the mimicking of the black culture, the blackface. I’m not ready to excuse that.”
Please stop referring to this picture as “artwork”…I’m not an internet baby, I don’t edit images…this is a REAL picture…these are his truths, see for yourself https://t.co/gd6vRS3HM8 pic.twitter.com/2el58HEZ8F
— King Push (@PUSHA_T) May 30, 2018
According to The Root, Instagram removed the photo from Pusha T’s account after it was reported by an unnamed user. Push captioned the notice: “First time this has happened to me…”
A few hours after Drake explained the premise behind his blackface photo, Pusha T said he doesn’t believe Drizzy’s stance and expanded upon that opinion on “Big Boy’s Neighborhood.”
“…You don’t stand for nothing, you don’t say nothing about nothing,” Pusha said, per Pitchfork. “…You have all the platform in the world. You were so passionate back then? No you weren’t. That’s number one. That’s what I know.”