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Nordic News

Hip-Hop Drama: Lamar v. Drake

Rap superstars Kendrick Lamar Duckworth and Aubrey Drake Graham have been engaging in an enormous rap rivalry. Nordic made a timeline to explain the beef.
Hip-Hop+Drama%3A+Lamar+v.+Drake

August 2013

Lamar’s feud with Drake started when he was featured on the song “Control” by Big Sean and said that despite his respect for his fellow rappers, he was “tryna murder” them by outperforming their works. In that verse, he mentioned several of the most popular rap artists by name, including Drake and J. Cole. Drake continued to make several years of subtle jabs at Lamar in his songs, which is known as a sneak diss.

 

October 2023

J. Cole was featured on Drake’s song “First Person Shooter,” in which he claimed that he, Lamar and Drake were on their own level, and that they were each a part of the “big three.”

 

March 2024

Lamar responded to J. Cole’s claim when featured on “Like That,” a song by rapper Future and producer Metro Boomin. Lamar’s line “motherf— the big three, n—, it’s just big me,” dismissed the claim of equal talent between the three rap stars, which prompted an immediate response. Cole’s response was a song titled “7 Minute Drill,” released as a part of a mixtape titled “Might Delete Later.” His title proved to be true, as issued an apology and removed the song from streaming services, displeasing many fans.

Junior Faraz Naqi (he/him) is an avid follower of the genre and said that J. Cole’s removal of the song could give the impression that he is afraid of the other rappers.

“On one hand, I think it was kind of weak, but I get it,” Naqi said. “The beef has gotten ugly, so it might not have been a bad choice on his part.” 

 

April 2024

Drake then released “Push Ups”, which criticized Lamar’s record deal with Top Dawg Entertainment and his musical talent while poking fun at Lamar’s physical size with the line “How the f— you big steppin’ with a size-seven men’s on?” referencing the title of Lamar’s most recent album, “Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers.” He also insulted the producer of “Like That” with the line, “Metro, shut your h— a— up and make some drums.” 

Metro Boomin, in response to this line, created a beat titled “BBL Drizzy” mocking Drake for a rumor that he received a Brazilian butt lift, offering a “free beat” and $10,000 for anyone who recorded the best diss against Drake. 

Drake released “Taylor Made Freestyle” as well, which included the AI-generated voice of Snoop Dogg and the late rapper Tupac Shakur. The song was removed after Shakur’s estate made threats to pursue legal action against Drake for his unauthorized use of Tupac’s voice against Lamar, who has cited Shakur as a source of inspiration throughout his career.

 

May 2024

Lamar responded with “euphoria” and “6:16 in LA,” two songs that expressed a deep hatred for everything about Drake. This included his opinion on Drake’s parenting of his son Adonis, who was kept as a secret from the public until rapper Pusha T exposed Drake in a diss track in 2018. 

“It has been a while since Kendrick has dropped, and you can really feel the genuine hate that he has for Drake,” senior Jason Zhang (he/him) said. “Some of those allegations are crazy, but it’s hard to know if they’re true with no real evidence.”

On May 3, the same day as the release of “6:16 in LA,” Drake dropped a song of his own titled “Family Matters.” The line “I heard one of ‘em little kids might be Dave Free’s” claims that one of Lamar’s two children’s biological father is a childhood friend and longtime collaborator of Lamar. Drake also claims that Lamar is a domestic abuser with the lines “when you put your hands on your girl, is it self defense ‘cause she’s bigger than you?” and that Lamar hired professionals to “clean up the fact that you beat on your queen.”

“On ‘Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers,’ Lamar addressed the issues of his past and why it was a mistake,” Naqi said. “I think that it was very childish of Drake to bring up such an issue that (Lamar) has already talked about so openly.”

Less than one hour later, Lamar retorted with a diss track titled “Meet the Grahams,” in which he rapped verses directed towards Drake’s family members. He alleged that Drake is also hiding a daughter from the public eye. Lamar also claimed that Drake’s label OVO employs sex offenders and encouraged others to “keep the family away” because there are “predators like him lurkin’.”

The next day, Lamar released another song titled “Not Like Us,” where he directly named a member of Drake’s security team who was arrested and charged with sex trafficking. The same song also implied that Drake’s use of Tupac’s AI-generated voice would be met with deadly consequences, rapping “you think the Bay gon’ let you disrespect Pac, n—? I think that Oakland show gon’ be your last stop, n—.” “Not Like Us” broke streaming records, becoming the first rap song to debut at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 with a shortened tracking week.

Drake responded with the release of “The Heart Part 6,” denying the allegations made against him. He specifically rejected the possibility of him grooming actress Millie Bobby Brown, who he has had a friendship with since she was 14 years old and he was 32. He rapped “Only f—in’ with Whitneys, not Millie Bobby Browns, I’d never look twice at no teenager” in reference to Lamar’s fiancée Whitney Alford. The song amassed over 1 million dislikes on YouTube. Naqi cites Lamar as the winner of the war due to the commercial success of his songs compared to Drake. However, regardless of the victor, Zhang believes that it is difficult to deny the significance of this feud on the genre as a whole.

“The beef has such a huge impact on rap because they are literally the two biggest artists right now,” Zhang said. “It has been really fun as a fan of both of them. To be able to wake up one day and see that there’s another diss track, to hear the lyrics and analyze it has been really cool.”

 

 

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About the Contributor
Charlie Haug (he/him)
Junior Charlie Haug is beginning his first year on the Nordic staff as a reporter. He is looking forward to putting together articles with a goal of keeping his fellow Inglemoor students in the loop. Outside of Nordic, he is usually watching basketball or staying active. He has also spent the last three years rowing for Inglemoor’s crew team.

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