Oil tycoon, corporate raider, and philanthropist T. Boone Pickens passed away this morning from natural causes, he was 91.
Pickens was most well-known for founding Mesa Petroleum in 1956 and leading a series of hostile corporate takeover bids of much larger petroleum companies in the 1980s. As he got older, he became a philanthropist and donated more than $1 billion to charity.
He gave $500 million to Oklahoma State University with $165 million going to their athletics department. His name is currently on the football stadium and school of geology.
In addition to his business success, he was known, at least for a brief moment, for absolutely dunking on the famous rapper Drake on Twitter.
The year was 2012, Drake had just dropped Take Care the album that made his career and would eventually sell over 4,000,000 copies in the United States alone. At the time, he was the hottest music artist in the world.
T. Boone Pickens was in the midst of managing his new venture, BP Capital Management, a hedge fund focusing on the energy industry and managing billions of dollars for investors. He was also trying to get the Pickens Plan off the ground, his initiative to build the World’s largest wind farm in the Texas Panhandle with the goal of declaring U.S. energy independence.
So how and why would these two cross paths? The way most unrelated celebrities do, on Twitter.
Drake was trying to flex with his newfound wealth and tweeted “The first million is the hardest.” T. Boone Pickens disagreed “The first billion is a helluva lot harder”.
Drake quickly realized that there was no reply witty enough to top what had just happened and instead responded with humility on the situation saying “[T. Boone Pickens] just stunted on me heavy.”
Nowadays it would be called “dunking” on Twitter but it was 2012 and the term had not been invented yet.
It was one of the weirder exchanges on Twitter of 2012. The platform wasn’t nearly as popular as it has become today and didn’t have nearly the amount of cultural influence so this exchange mostly flew under the radar.
Drake’s Twitter Beefs got More Serious
In 2012, Twitter was much less serious and lighthearted than it is today. The new political climate and willingness of celebrities to take their beef public has turned Twitter into a much more popular platform with larger consequences.
In December of last year, Kanye and Drake were involved in a heated beef stemming from Pusha-T’s new record Daytona. Kanye produced the album which included a song “infrared” that took direct shots at Drake and his alleged ghostwriting tendencies.
Drake wasn’t happy and responded with a diss track of his own “Duppy Freestyle” where he went at both Kanye and Pusha-T. Pusha then responded with an atomic bomb of a diss track “the story of Adidon” where he revealed Drake had a child with former pornstar Sophie Brussaux and called him a dead beat dad.
In the months that followed, Drake took several subliminal shots at Kanye and bought all the front row tickets for a Pusha-T concert in Toronto so the seats would be empty.
Kanye responded on Twitter calling Drake a “bully” and saying he is “You are disrespectful to all people with mental health conditions so this is an opportunity for growth”
This exchange was one-sided as Drake did not respond and wasn’t nearly as lighthearted and enjoyable as his old exchange with T. Boone Pickens.
As his fame has grown in the past few years, Drake has been mostly silent on Twitter. With his stature as large as it is, he can’t afford any Twitter gaffes or feuds that would jeopardize his career.
2019 Twitter is a far cry from 2012 Twitter. Instead of a few thousand people seeing tweets, now it’s millions. That’s not to say the platform isn’t fun anymore, but celebrities are much more careful with what they say and who they say it to.