And Finally Artist News Beef Of The Week

Beef Of The Week #408: Pusha T v A Fox

By | Published on Friday 15 June 2018

Pusha T

Pusha T’s renewed beef with Drake was billed as the rap showdown of the summer. After it all kicked off, Pusha T said he planned to “deal in truths all summer long”. Then it all fizzled out disappointingly, and before the clouds had even moved. And it turns out that is not the only confrontation the rapper has walked away from recently, although avoiding a punch up with a fox was possibly a wiser decision.

Discussing recording sessions for his latest album ‘Daytona’ with GQ, he says that the weirdest thing that happened during said sessions – which took place in Wyoming – was being “chased by a fox”.

He doesn’t give much detail on this encounter, despite further probing by GQ’s interviewer. All he will say is that the fox didn’t like him “being in their habitat, invading their habitat”. For someone so adept at painting pictures with words, it’s frustrating how little insight he provides here. Perhaps he’s saving it for a track on his next album.

He was frightened “for sure”, he says. “I ran. But it kept coming towards me”.

But what was he doing out there in the fox’s habitat in the first place?

Earlier in the interview he says that the sessions had “a very rehab type of feel”. They were, he goes on, “secluded, away, super laser focused on the music. Clean living. Disconnected from everybody except those who are about the art. I was just focused on health”.

Perhaps he was out hiking then, or camping one night, or engaging in some sunrise pilates, when he stumbled into the fox’s territory. All three seem unlikely, though, as he also notes that he’s “not an outdoors person”.

And that’s it, people. That’s the sum total of information he offers on his foxy encounter. I have so many questions. How far was he chased? What was the terrain like? What was the speed of said chase? How close was he to civilisation at the time?

You know, there’s a family of foxes that live in my neighbour’s garden. They dig up my lawn, shit in my flower beds and deposit mangled dog toys they’ve found in other gardens all over the place. I still quite like watching them play together first thing in the morning though, when they think no one’s around.

But I suppose the key thing here is that I watch the foxes from inside my house. I’ve never gone outside and tried to engage with them. Thinking about it, if I did do that, and if I sensed they were turning against me, and that some sort of chase was impending, I’d probably run away too. I’m not suggesting I have many things in common with Pusha T, but we seemingly both share a solid understanding that wild animals are not to be toyed with.

I originally imagined Pusha T’s fox confrontation occurring in the wilderness. Deep in a forest somewhere. But given how similar mine and Pusha T’s lives clearly are, maybe they hung out right outside his studio, digging up the lawn, shitting in the flower beds and depositing mangled dog toys they’d found in other gardens all over the place. And maybe the chase was just the final in a long line of fox-based encounters. Maybe he is hesitant to properly describe the incident because it has left him highly traumatised.

Now I come to think about it, far from him saving this fox encounter for future lyrics, who’s to say that this daily fox-based trauma didn’t subconsciously influence the entire writing process on ‘Daytona’ itself?

“I’ve been hidin where you can see me, the skybox is right next to RiRi’s”, he raps on opening track ‘If You Know, You Know’. Assumed to be a brag about his wealth and social standing, could it not be that this is a message aimed directly at the fox?

He runs from the fox, but the fox can still see him. Frozen with terror, he fantasises that he is actually in the shelter of a VIP box at a stadium in a more urban setting. In the next box is Rihanna, someone who was once criticised for wearing a fox fur lined dress, so presumably knows a thing or two about showing foxes who’s boss. But he’s not in that VIP box and Rihanna is nowhere to be seen. He’s in a hellhole in Wyoming, being tormented by a still very much living fox.

On ‘The Games We Play’ he longs to “Play amongst the stars like the roof in the Wraith” – recalling the star-covered ceiling of a Rolls Royce Wraith. This, I now suspect, is both a reference to looking at actual stars in the real night sky, prior to facing down an angry fox, and the expression of a desire to enjoy the comforts of a luxury vehicle. Roll Royces being specifically designed so that wild animals can’t open their doors.

Still need convincing? How about this? On ‘Come Back Baby’ he says “The good die young, all dogs go to heaven”. I think that speaks for itself. Foxes aren’t technically dogs, of course. But then, hip hop is notoriously inaccurate when it comes to specie allocation.

And what about this on ‘Santeria’? “The Lord is my shepherd, I am not sheep, I am just a short stone’s throw from the streets”. Clearly this refers to an all-round confusion as to why he is being targeted by the fox, when foxes are more commonly known for attacking farm animals like chickens and sheep. Wait, do foxes eat sheep? I guess the line wouldn’t work if it involved chickens. This isn’t a Eurovision entry.

Whatever, he thinks the fox may have mistaken him for a sheep – which he is not – and although this frightening situation has arisen, he knows that he is not far from a nearby street, where he can ask another non-sheep (aka human) for help. This not only proves a fear of foxes runs throughout this record, it also gives credence to my theory that the fox encounter happened near some kind of human habitation.

I reckon that confirms it. ‘Daytona’ is an album definitely influenced by a fear of imminent fox attack. Probably not an entire concept album just about an angry fox, but certainly one laced with fox anxiety throughout. I mean, there’s so much bravado and bragging in the lyrics, but knowing what we now know, that’s clearly all bluff, designed to keep any future foxes thinking of instigating a chase in their place.

Now I’m wondering if Pusha T’s entire catalogue is based around a fear of animals and birds of different varieties. Which would, after all, explain the beef with Drake.