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Kendrick Lamar, Drake feud brings rap resurgence

Since the beginning of April, Kendrick Lamar and Drake have engaged in a rap beef with an intensity many say they have not seen since the “East Coast-West Coast” beef of the mid-'90s. However, many are reeling to catch up with the rapid release of diss tracks and lyrical mastery.

The Timeline of Events

The lyrical battle between the two rappers started Oct. 6, 2023, when J. Cole and Drake released “First Person Shooter.” In the song,  J. Cole called Drake, Lamar and himself “the big three” of rappers. Lamar would respond to Cole’s statement on March 22 in Future and Metro Boomin’s song “Like That.” Lamar would call out the rappers for ‘sneak dissing’ while stating the most controversial line of the song, “F—k the big three, it’s just big me.”

J. Cole would be the first to respond to Lamar with the release of “7 Minute Drill” on April 5. Cole would warn Lamar about creating a rap beef, stating that Lamar was seeking attention and calling his last music release tragic. This seemed to start an intense battle many fans were hyped for. However, Cole would bow out of the fight two days after he released his clapback.

This left Drake as the only rapper named in Kendrick’s diss, making his response highly anticipated. A week after the release of “7 Minute Drill," Drake would rebuttal on April 13 with the release of “Push Ups.” Drake would mock Kendrick’s height and his collaborations with pop artists like Taylor Swift. He would also throw shots at Rick Ross and The Weeknd.

Rick Ross responded to Drake in a diss track called “Champagne Moments” on April 15, where he alleged Drake had multiple cosmetic procedures including a nose job and artificial abs. He would also state Drake uses ghostwriters to make his music.

Four days later, Drake dropped another diss track against Lamar named “Taylor Made Freestyle.” Drake used artificial intelligence to mimic the voices of Tupac Shakur and Snoop Dogg, baiting Lamar to respond.

Kanye West released his own song to enter the beef by remixing “Like That.” West criticized Drake’s music and his deal with the Universal Music Group while stating he is happy to witness the fall of Drake.

Lamar would respond to Drake’s diss tracks on April 30 with the release of “Euphoria.” The six-minute diss track questions Drake’s ethnic integrity, insults his parenting skills and interrogates his authenticity as a rapper by calling him a “scam artist.”

Drake would make his first response the day after by posting a meme on his Instagram story — a clip from the 1999 film “10 Things I Hate About You.” The scene features the female lead, Kat, listing things she hates about her love interest, Patrick, and the meme mocks a segment of Lamar’s diss.

On May 3, Drake would make his second response to “Euphoria” with his track “Family Matters.” Drake criticizes Lamar’s engagement with his fiance Whitney, alleging infidelity in their relationship, and states Kendrick’s youngest son may not be his biological child.

Lamar would respond 15 minutes later with “Meet The Grahams,” where he addresses each of Drake’s family members. He tells Drake’s mother her son is a “sick man” who Lamar believes should die for women to live safely. He would also speak to an alleged daughter of Drake, whom the rapper does not publicly claim, and states she is one of many other children.

Lamar also released a second diss track on May 3, called “6:16 in LA.” He alleges that Drake’s entire team is against him and states someone in his team is leaking information. Drake later responded in an Instagram story post to the hidden daughter allegations stating, “nahhhh hold on can someone find me hidden daughter pls and send her to me…these guys are in shambles.”

Lamar again responded to Drake on May 4, his third diss track in 36 hours, with the song “Not Like Us.” Lamar questioned Drake and his team’s alleged inappropriate conduct with underage girls.

Producer Metro Boomin inserted the fight with “BBL Drizzy,” which may be the first diss beat in hip-hop history. Its release started a rap diss trend online after Metro invited fans to rap over the beat, offering a free beat to the best song. Metro would clap back after being insulted by Drake on “Push Ups,” where Drake told the rapper to “shut up and make some drums.”

On May 5, Drake released what is considered the last track of this battle titled “The Heart Part 6.” Drake alleges he fed Lamar’s team fake information, including his alleged daughter, in hopes Lamar would use it in his music. Drake would also concede stating that it would be his last response.

It would be quiet for both artists until May 24, when Drake was featured on Sexyy Red’s “U My Everything.” In the song, Drake raps over the highly-played “BBL Drizzy” beat.

The Seriousness and its Consequences

While many have debated which of their favorite rappers is the winner, it seems the troubling allegations against multiple parties in this war are forgotten.

With the recent exposure of Sean “P Diddy” Combs as an abuser and trafficker, many are starting to take the alleged weird behaviors of stars seriously. Along with Lamar’s allegations of Drake’s conduct with underage girls, a 2010 video of Drake kissing and groping a 17-year-old girl went viral. In 2019, Drake paid a $350k settlement for an alleged sexual assault where the plaintiff explicitly details the alleged assault.

Drake also accused Lamar of abusing his fiance, which caused a past domestic violence allegation against Lamar to resurface. In 2014, Lamar allegedly hit a woman in the face at the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas. According to an unlisted YouTube video from a witness and response team personnel, Lamar had his team cover up the incident. The video can be found on Okliar, a site where it is claimed Kendrick is the real liar, not Drake.

Metro Boomin would also get exposed for past tweets involving disturbing content, including mentions of grooming young girls.

On top of the allegations, there was a shooting at Drake’s home in Toronto that left a security guard injured. While the perpetrator of the shooting was veiled through heavy rumors, there is no doubt a real danger in “rap beefs.” People should stay vigilant about the allegations thrown in this battle.

Drake and Lamar have broken records with their tracks creating new classics in their wake. “Not Like Us” is even being played at weddings and becoming a West Coast hit.

The hip-hop world has been well-fed in the past few months, maybe even causing a resurgence in rap that hasn’t been seen in decades. If this is the new bar for diss tracks for future rappers, rap may see a renaissance yet again.


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