The rap world and the collective internet was taken by storm last night as Pusha-T surgically dismantled Drake in a diss track titled “The Story of Adidon.” He poked at Drake’s label issues, his father leaving his family, his friend Noah “40” Shebib’s health, and the fact that he (allegedly) has an illegitimate son that he hasn’t publicly acknowledged. In the middle of all this, there was a line that has sneaker enthusiasts curious: “Adonis is your son, and he deserves more than an Adidas press run.” For those unfamiliar, Drake was signed to Jordan Brand and has been rumored to have left the company for Adidas. Pusha’s diss track didn’t just take Drake apart; it’s ruined the apparent Adidas/Drake reveal and catapulted the brand to the center of the ongoing controversy between the two rappers.
So, what does this mean for Adidas, Drake, and Pusha T going forward?
Pusha himself is signed to Adidas and has put out four drug-themed sneakers with the brand since 2014. During an interview with The Breakfast Club today, Pusha alluded to the possibility of Drake using the reveal of his son that he had with former adult film star Sophie Brussaux, who was allegedly born in October 2017, as a selling point for his upcoming Adidas collection. "The Adidas situation is this. Allegedly, [Drake's] new line on Adidas is called Adidon, which is named after Adonis, his son," Pusha said. "But we couldn't know about the child until you started selling sweatsuits and sneakers?"
Calling Drake’s authenticity into question is a damaging blow. Of course, footwear deals are about making money, but it seems that Pusha is claiming that Drake’s only using his son to help sell product. I wrote a story recently calling out the genuine nature of the relationship between Drake and Adidas. He’s never been a fan of the brand and had only been seen wearing the shoes once or twice—one of those times was for a cameo in the second Anchorman film—before suddenly wearing Adidas in public and leading people to believe that he was going to sign with the brand. Putting this back story behind the product would help alleviate the public perception of the strictly financial connection between him and the brand.
Adidas has been pushed to the center of this conversation, whether they wanted to be or not. The immediate discussion was about Pusha’s comments about Drake’s child, but as music journalist Touré revealed on Twitter late last night, “Adidon is the name of Drake’s upcoming Adidas line and now that name will be associated with this beef and Pusha’s monstrous diss track. Pusha has, in effect, screwed up Drake's brand before it came out.”
A source close to the situation told Complex that there was some tangential connection between Drake announcing he’s signed to Adidas and that he became a father. Sources said that there was some thought of homaging his son with the name of the offshoot Adidas line, hence “Adidon” for Adonis. That likely he would have announced his son first and then his Adidas deal.
Both Adidas and the brand’s director of entertainment marketing, Jon Wexler, were both reached out to for this story, but no response was given at time of publication.
Adidas can’t be happy about this current situation. Not only has it spoiled Drake’s big rumored announcement with the brand, which first came to surface during All-Star Weekend this year, but it’s also lead to an internal feud between some of its biggest endorsers. This might be the first-ever rap beef between two people who have been signed to the same sneaker brand.
It’s not an easy situation for the company. It’s fucked up a massive moment for the brand, took the wind out of their sails/sales, and may force the brand to change the strategy for its rollout plan for Drake.
Some have also speculated that Adidas may drop Pusha for leaking internal documents, but it’s just not that simple. Pusha’s relationship with Kanye West, where he currently serves as the president of G.O.O.D. Music, would likely guard him from Adidas taking action. There’s no way Adidas would risk pissing Kanye West off, as the brand is set to release millions of pairs of his “Cream” Yeezy Boost 350 v2s. He’s their biggest investment right now, at least through brand energy, as the details of Kanye’s long-term deal with Adidas have not been revealed, but he has claimed to be the “highest-paid” person in footwear right now.
Others have also said that Pusha naming his song after Drake’s upcoming line may outweigh the SEO of the actual sneakers and apparel. Meaning that when people search “Adidon,” they’re going to see the image of Drake in blackface, rather than his shoes.
So what’s to come from Adidas, Drake, and Adidon? He hasn’t officially signed to the brand yet, at least to our knowledge. While real Adidas heads will refuse to wear the stuff because Drake’s not a real Adidas guy, there will still be plenty of people who are into it. It’s not hard to move units when you pair one of the biggest rappers in the game with a popular sportswear company. How Drake goes about addressing the allegations against him—in his response track to Pusha, and beyond— are capable of changing his nearly squeaky-clean public perception. At the very least, let’s hope it prevents him from using his son as a marketing ploy to sell shoes.