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May 31, 2018 at 08:16 AM EDT

The ball was back in Drake’s court after Pusha T’s “The Story of Adidon” hit the airwaves and escalated his ongoing beef with Drizzy. Since then, the Scorpion rapper issued a statement regarding one aspect of the diss track: its cover artwork, which uses an image of him in blackface.

“I know everyone is enjoying the circus but I want to clarify this image in question,” Drake began in a statement, written in what appears to be an Apple Notes document and screenshot for his Instagram Story.

Pusha T had used an old photo of a young Drake donning blackface to promote “The Story of Adidon,” which claimed Drake is “hiding a child,” among other scathing disses. The Daytona rapper also slammed any claims that the image was “artwork.” “I’m not an internet baby, I don’t edit images…this is a REAL picture…these are his truths, see for yourself,” he tweeted, along with a link to photographer David Leyes’ website.

“This was not from a clothing brand shoot or my music career,” Drake explained. “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.”

He continued: “Me and my best friend at the time 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. 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.”

Drake/Instagram

“The Story of Adidon” comes after Drake took jabs at Pusha T in “Duppy Freestyle,” which in turn was a response to Pusha T’s “Infrared.”

Clothing brand Too Black Guys, whose items were worn by Drake in the blackface photo, also released a statement after the track was released. According to New York Times reporter Joe Coscarelli, the company clarified the image was not from one of its photoshoots, though it did feature items from Too Black Guys’ Jim Crow Couture/House of Crow collection from 2008.

“Too Black Guys has a history of representing the black experience in an unapologetic way. 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 statement read. “The subtleties of Drake, a young black man, mimicking how white men used to mimic and dehumanize black people may be lost in a rap battle but we should not be distracted from the issues that are still affecting our communities.”

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