Home News The Kendrick Lamar vs. Drake beef, explained

The Kendrick Lamar vs. Drake beef, explained


The saga continues between two of today’s biggest hip hop artists: Kendrick Lamar and Drake.

The fiery exchange between both rappers has had the internet in a frenzy this week, with many wondering what started the beef. In case you haven’t been plugged in, we’ve got you covered.

March 29: Kendrick lights the fire

It all started when Kendrick unleashed his gripe with the “God’s Plan” rapper on Metro Boomin and Future’s track “Like That.”

In the fiery verse, Lamar directly takes shots at Drake and J. Cole in response to their song “First Person Shooter.”

Cole refers to himself, Drake and Lamar as “the Big Three” in the song. “Love when they argue the hardest MC / Is it K. Dot? Is it Aubrey? Or me? / We the Big Three, like we started a league.”

Lamar wasn’t having any of that, responding to make it clear he doesn’t see either rapper as being on his level.

“Yeah get up with me, f— sneak dissing / ‘First Person Shooter,’ I hope they came with three switches,” he raps. “Motherf— the Big Three, n—a, it’s just big me.”

The BRIT Awards 2018, The O2, London, UK, Wednesday 21 Feb 2018

Kendrick Lamar

JMEnternational/Getty Images

Kendrick Lamar (JMEnternational/Getty Images)

Lamar then compared himself to Prince, saying he will have more longevity than Cole and Drake.

“Your best work is a light pack / N—a, Prince outlived Mike Jack / N—a, bum, ‘fore all your dogs get buried / That’s a K with all these nines, he gon’ see ‘Pet Cemetery.’”

Listeners were taken aback by Lamar’s grievances toward both rappers considering they’ve all collaborated and went on tour together. But this ignited a chain reaction of explosive diss tracks that’s been going on for weeks.

April 5: J Cole briefly enters the chat

Cole fired back with a song “7 Minute Drill,” where he says Lamar’s career “fell off like ‘The Simpsons.’”

“The rap beef ain’t realer than the shit I seen in Cumberland / He averagin’ one hard verse like every thirty months or somethin’,” he said, referring to the five-part “The Heart” series that Lamar has rolled out over the course of his career.

“If he wasn’t dissin’, then we wouldn’t be discussin’ him / Lord, don’t make me have to smoke this n—a ’cause I f— with him / But push come to shove, on this mic, I will humble him.”

US rapper J Cole performs on Day 2 of the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee, June 17, 2022. (Photo by VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)
US rapper J Cole performs on Day 2 of the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee, June 17, 2022. (Photo by VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)

April 19: Drake fires back

Shortly after Drake seemed to address Lamar’s insults during one of his shows.

“A lot of people asking me how I’m feeling. The way I’m feeling is the same way I want you to walk out of here feeling tonight about your f—ing self,” he said to the crowd. “Because you know how I’m feeling? I got my head up high, my back straight, I’m 10 f—ing toes down, and feeling like anywhere else I go, and I know no matter what, there’s not a n—a on this Earth that can ever f— with me in my life.”

Three weeks later, Drake hits back with a 4-minute song, “Push Ups,” firing shots, rebuttals and disses to any rapper who has mentioned him since “Like That” — including Rick Ross, Metro and NBA star Ja Morant.

But most of the track was clearly directed at Lamar. He makes fun of his height, calling him “pipsqueak.” He also says the more accurate Big Three would be himself twice and Cole — be he even takes a shot at the “She Knows” rapper: “I don’t care what Cole think, that Dot shit was weak as f—.”

 

Drake then ends the song daring Lamar to drop a diss record or “shut your mouth,” a move that left fans highly anticipating the response.

He applies even more pressure when he drops a second track using AI-generated versions of 2Pac and Snoop Dogg’s voice.

US-ENTERTAINMENT-HBO-TEVEVISION-EUPHORIA

Rapper Drake attends the Los Angeles premiere of the new HBO series

CHRIS DELMAS/AFP/Getty Images

Rapper Drake attends the Los Angeles premiere of the new HBO series “Euphoria” at the Cinerama Dome Theatre in Hollywood on June 4, 2019. (CHRIS DELMAS/AFP/Getty Images)

Online reactions to the track were divided. Some found his use of AI “corny” while others encouraged more of the AI shenanigans.

April 30: Kendrick responds to Drake with “Euphoria”

This week, Kendrick finally responded to Drake in a 6-minute diss track called “Euphoria.”

In the song, Lamar takes shots at Drake’s former “Degrassi” days, saying how the “famous actor we once knew is looking paranoid and now spiraling.”

“You make music that pacify ‘em/I can double down on that line, but spare you this time,” Lamar raps. “Know you a master manipulator and habitual liar, too/But don’t tell no lie ’bout me, and I won’t tell truths ’bout you.”

The “Humble” rapper also attacks Drakes blackness, addressing his insecurities about being biracial. The track has the internet debating who’s winning this rap beef, with opinions seemingly split.

After Kendrick’s response, is the Drake/Kendrick saga over? Only time will tell.



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