Drake has finally responded to Pusha T's scathing dis record "The Story of Adidon," but not in the way most were predicting. Wednesday night (May 30), the Toronto rapper posted a statement on Instagram explaining the photo featuring him in blackface that Push used for the cover of his track.
"I know everyone is enjoying the circus but I want to clarify this image in question," Drake wrote in an Instagram story. "This was not from a clothing brand shoot or my music career. This picture is from 2007, a time in my life where I was an actor and I was working on a project that was about young black actors struggling to get roles, being stereotyped and type cast. The photos represented how African Americans were once wrongfully portrayed in entertainment."
Drizzy went onto explain that the photo, taken by photographer David Leyes, was part of a project aimed at showing the frustrations that he and his best friend felt as black actors.
"Me and my best friend Mazin Elsadig who is also an actor from Sudan were attempting to use our voice to bring awareness to the issues we dealt with all the time as black actors at auditions," Graham continues. "This was to highlight and raise our frustrations with not always getting a fair chance in the industry and to make a point that the struggle for black actors had not changed much."
Since the photo was revealed, many people traced Drake's clothing in it to the streetwear brand Too Black Guys, which released a "Jim Crow Couture/House of Crow" collection in 2008. However, the brand's founder, Adrian Aitcheson, issued a statement sharing that the company was not involved in the photo.
"Too Black Guys has a history of representing the black experience in an unapologetic way," Aitcheson wrote. Although this was not an image from any of our photoshoots, we feel that Drake, who is a long-time friend of the brand, was brilliantly illustrating the hypocrisy of the Jim Crow Era."
The current spat between Drake and Pusha T is one of the most ruthless in recent memory. Push's "Infrared" reignited a seven-year beef, which Graham was happy to respond to on "Duppy Freestyle." Unfortunately for Drake, a decade-old photo has quickly taken over the narrative. It isn't every day that a rapper responds to beef with a written statement, but at this point, it was unavoidable.
On Thursday (May 31), Pusha T responded to Drake's explanation in a radio interview with Real 92.3 in Los Angeles. "That doesn't change my view at all," Pusha said. "You are silent on all black issues, Drake. ... You don't stand for nothing, you don't say nothing about nothing."
"You have all the platform in the world," he said. "You were so passionate back then? No you weren't. That's number one. That's what I know.”