Unless you're some kind of nincompoop who doesn't enjoy undeniably 🔥tracks, you've surely been tuned in to the lyrical content of Pusha-T's "The Story of Adidon" by now. Among other things, the "Duppy Freestyle" response alleges that Drake is hiding a child he had with an adult film star and mocks Noah "40" Shebib for looking "like he's 80."
A larger discussion, however, has erupted surrounding Pusha's choice of cover art. The photo in question depicts Drake, reportedly circa 2008, in blackface makeup and a Jim Crow-referencing hoodie/T-shirt combo. Pusha quickly clarified after dropping the diss that no Photoshopping took place, adding that he's "not an internet baby" with those capabilities. "These are his truths," Pusha said late Tuesday night.
Pusha himself linked the photo to a shoot by photographer David Leyes. Leyes, who has since removed the image from his official website and briefly made his Instagram account private, defended the shoot as an artistic statement envisioned by Drake. "For sure I took it!" he wrote in response to an Instagram comment. "I'm proud to be part of a strong statement made by a black man about the fucked up culture he is living in." In a since-deleted tweet, Leyes also asked Pusha's manager Steven Victor to have the photo removed "asap."
As for some context on the source material of the "Adidon" cover, the image is actually one of two photos believed to have been shot for Too Black Guys' 2008-era Jim Crow Couture project. The Toronto streetwear brand has previously described the collection as an artistic criticism taking aim at "the government-endorsed system of racial oppression" in 19th century U.S.
Lupe Fiasco also hopped into the debate Tuesday night, noting that he interpreted the two photos as showing the "powerful duality of representation and race and its expectations on art."
That being said, Pusha is seeking more clarity on the inspiration behind the shoot. "I need a few answers," Pusha, whose post of the "Adidon" cover was apparently reported and ultimately removed on Instagram, told the Breakfast Club team Wednesday morning. "I really do. Like, I really need to understand like what makes you take a picture like that. Like, what's the problem?"