(April 20, 2024).  Drake officially released his infamous “Push Ups,” the single formerly subtitled “Drop and Give Me 50,” on Friday (April 19).

It comes about a week after an unofficial version of the now-famous diss track was leaked on YouTube.  The ominous sounding song takes direct aim, rather effectively I might add, at arch rap nemesis Kendrick Lamar and several other MCs — but mainly Lamar — after K-Dot fired unexpected shots at Drizzy Drake on Future and Metro Boomin’s recent No. 1 single “Like That.”

Drake, who, based on Billboard chart statistics, is clearly at the top of the Hip-Hop heap right now (and knows it), has been at the center of one of the most publicized and most involved rap beefs in the genre’s recent history.  Several hip-hop A-listers, including Lamar, Future & Metro Boomin (albeit tacitly), Rick Ross, Kanye West, and even The Weeknd, have either taken shots at the 6-God or have been on the receiving end of his jabs in the past couple of months.

So it was no surprise that Drizzy, who’s never known a verbal sparring match he could pass up, no matter how petty, would be responding to “Like That” with his own shots fired.

What is a surprise is the timing of it, specifically the song’s official release to digital streaming platforms on April 19th.

The issuance of “Push Ups” (whose cover art depicts the label for Kendrick’s purported size 7 shoe, in keeping with one of Drake’s most stinging lines on the track) to DSPs came only hours after the release of Taylor Swift’s The Tortured Poet’s Department, the blockbuster album whose songs are on pace to dominate the first Hot 100 chart for which they will be eligible (dated May 4).

“Push Ups” is first eligible to debut that same week, meaning it will likely take a back seat to a bunch of Taylor Swift tunes and possibly even miss the top 10 because of her predicted dominance of the chart’s upper decile.

This is notable for Drake who has famously acknowledged that, while he believes no rapper can hold a candle to him, Swift is the only artist he ever “rated.”  Specifically, on his last album For All the Dogs, he gave Swift huge props when he rapped on the track “Red Buttons” that she was “the only n**ga that I ever rated/ only one could make me drop the album just a little later/ rest of y’all, I treat like you never made it.”

It was an admission of sorts to the reason behind the decision to delay the release of his prior album Her Loss by a week in 2022, which this blogger speculated then was due to the fervor over Swift’s Midnights a couple weeks earlier.

It was a huge compliment, well, except for the N-word part, coming from Canada’s biggest export to the world’s biggest pop star — one who has, ironically, collaborated with Lamar on her past hits.

Yet, Drake is presenting himself on “Push Ups” as the fearless reigning king of hip-hop, and perhaps all of music.  So he couldn’t allow the concurrent release of a pop queen’s latest album to deter him from getting his most hard-hitting diss track since “Back to Back” slayed Meek Mill in 2015 onto DSPs.

Plus spicy beef can only cook for so long, and Drake needed to strike while the skillet was still hot, or at least on medium-high.

By Friday, April 19, the war of words between Drake and the others was still being waged, but all the talk in the music industry was now about The Tortured Poets Department, an album that suddenly rendered Drake’s ongoing beefs as secondary in the music industry’s news cycle to all things Taylor.

Still, the simultaneous release of “Push Ups” with Tay-Tay’s Tortured Poets is a bold move — if not a savvy one — for Drake, a notorious chart watcher who is currently in a tie with the late Michael Jackson for the most No. 1 Hot 100 singles among male solo artists, with 13.

Had “Push Ups” been released officially last week, while the beef was top of mind to everyone in the hip-hop community and beyond, it would have had a much better shot at No. 1 this week while dethroning Future/Metro’s “Like That,” the Kendrick-featured song that triggered it.

As it stands now, Drake will only have to cede victory to Taylor, an already acknowledged superior chart foe with no dog in the hip-hop fight. (Perhaps therein lies his dubious victory, or at least a pretty good alibi for why his hard-hitting single couldn’t top the chart.)

Still, it was mighty courageous of the Canadian superstar to think he even had a shot.

You can listen to “Push Ups” and “Like That” below.

Drake’s “Push Ups,” officially released 4/19/24
Future & Metro Boomin’s “Like That” featuring Kendrick Lamar (released March 2024)


DJRob (he/him) is a freelance music blogger from the East Coast who covers R&B, hip-hop, disco, pop, rock and country genres – plus lots of music news and current stuff!  You can follow him on X (formerly Twitter) at @djrobblog and on Meta’s Threads.

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By DJ Rob

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