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The Cub

The news site of Ludlow High School

The Cub

Kendrick and Drake: A Modern Rap Rumble

Kendrick+and+Drake%3A+A+Modern+Rap+Rumble

Throughout musical history, particularly in the genre of hip-hop, we have seen feuds spawn for various reasons. Some notable examples include the infamous West Side versus East Side feud of the 1990’s involving legendary rappers The Notorious BIG and 2Pac, the feud between Ice Cube and his former rap group N.W.A, and in my opinion, the absolute thrashing dealt by Eminem to Machine Gun Kelly. 

To add to this list of rap “beefs” is one that has caught both the attention of rap fans, and people like me, who aren’t as well versed in the hip-hop genre, but still are intrigued. Of course, I am talking about the feud between Aubrey Graham, better known as Drake, and Kendrick Lamar.

How did this feud start? Well, to understand that, we need to acknowledge that while the beef centers mainly around Kendrick Lamar and Drake, there are two other prominent figures in the hip hop genre that also contributed to this heated conflict, rapper J. Cole and producer Metro Boomin.

It began when J. Cole proclaimed on the track “First Person Shooter” that he, Drake, and Kendrick were the current “Big Three” of rap music. You could say however, that Kendrick’s response to this claim was what really sparked the feud, with him claiming that he was the only rapper at the top on Metro Boomin’s song “Like That.”

Clearly this didn’t sit well with both J. Cole or Drake, as J. Cole released a track called “7 Minute Drill.” However, J. Cole has since rescinded his attacks on Kendrick and has even publicly apologized, effectively taking himself out of the feud. Drake, too, released a track titled “Push Ups,” which not only aims at Kendrick, with one notable diss being towards Lamar’s shorter height, but also fires shots towards Metro Boomin, Rick Ross, The Weeknd, and other artists as well. 

After about two weeks of anticipation, Kendrick Lamar finally released his own diss track titled “Euphoria,” a track that aims at Drake’s credibility as a rapper, his fashion sense, as well as other matters. Not even 72 hours later,  Kendrick released a second track titled “6:16 in LA.” This double hit of tracks, carefully crafted to scrutinize aspects of Drake’s personal life and professional career, created a general feeling amongst the public, that Kendrick was the clear-cut dominator in this feud.

“I’m on Kendrick Lamar’s side because I believe his music sounds better. I feel Drake is repeating his arguments while Kendrick comes up with new arguments and rhythms for his songs,” said Junior Kyle Rodrigues.

This was not the end for Drake, however, as he released what is generally considered the best of the tracks he put forth to mock Kendrick, titled “Family Matters.” This track aims at Kendrick’s relationship status with his fiancee and touches on all of the arguments made in Kendrick’s previous songs.

“I’m on Kendrick’s side, but I think that ‘Family Matters’ was the best song of the feud,” said Junior Vincent Mole.

However, Kendrick was definitely prepared for this track, because minutes after the release of “Family Matters,” Lamar released another track titled “Meet the Grahams,” with the title being a reference to Drake’s family name. Not only that, but Kendrick also released another song in less than a day’s time after “Meet the Grahams,” which is called “Not Like Us.”

Many considered the matter to be settled once Lamar dropped both tracks, but Drake had one more left in the chamber. Drake released the most current and potentially final track of this feud, which is titled “The Heart Pt. 6.”

Now I know that I’ve listed many titles and tracks, but what exactly did these two lyricists say to each other through them? I went through some of the diss tracks from both artists and decided to analyze and pick out some lyrics in order to try and find what exactly the rappers are referencing while firing shots at one another.

Drake’s insults in this track begin before the song even starts, as the cover for this single features a shoe size label which is labeled to be a size 7, which is an insult to Kendrick Lamar’s small shoe size and short stature, which Drake insults in the line “How you big steppin’ with a size seven men’s on?” Another line that caught my eye was “Maroon 5 need a verse, you better make it witty. Then we need a verse for the Swifties,” which pokes at the fact that Kendrick has featured on songs by both Maroon 5 and Taylor Swift.

Kendrick Lamar begins this track by calling out Drake’s credibility, calling him a “pathetic master manipulator”, and a “scam artist.” Lamar goes on to continue his claim of Drake’s fakeness and lying tendencies for the next few verses. One major insult Lamar throws in this track is when he addresses a popular rumor that Drake has “ghostwriters” who write his songs for him in the lines “Ain’t twenty v one, it’s one v twenty” and “Am I battlin’ ghost or AI?”

Drake begins by claiming that Kendrick is attention seeking and fakes his activism towards the black community by saying “Always rappin’ like you ‘bout to get the slaves freed, you just actin’ like an activist, it’s make believe.” Drake also criticizes how Kendrick Lamar is overly praised by mainstream critics in the line “Kendrick just opened his mouth, someone go hand him a Grammy right now.” One final major point Drake makes is when he calls out how Kendrick Lamar has been engaged since 2015, claiming that Lamar isn’t faithful to his fiancee in the line “Proposed in 2015, but don’t wanna make her your actual wife.”

Kendrick Lamar shows off his skills on this track, as he structures it as if he is talking to different members of Drake’s family, including his son Adonis, mother Sandra, Drake himself, and an alleged “hidden” daughter that Drake has kept secret. He apologizes to Adonis for having a failure of a father in lines like “I’m sorry that that man is your father” and “I’m sorry that you gotta grow up and then stand behind him”. He tells Drake’s mother that she raised a horrible person, apologizes to this “hidden daughter” that Drake isn’t present in her life, and finally, calls out Drake for his gambling, lying, and body shaming.

This feud between Drake and Kendrick Lamar has quickly become one of the most popular events in pop culture this year, even garnering the attention of celebrities such as Tom Hanks, but was this conflict really needed? Fellow Junior Ariana Adrien stated that she “initially thought it was pointless, but after Drake retaliated, I thought it made sense for Kendrick to respond.” As for my thoughts on this beef, I have to agree with the masses in that Kendrick Lamar has dominated this feud, as my analysis of the lyrics has presented to me that Kendrick Lamar is able to come up with crafty, intricate verses that overshadow those of Drakes.

 

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  • L

    LuvellSyreceJun 4, 2024 at 3:15 pm

    Kendrick Had 1 Song Out That Beef That Won One Round ..Drake Put KDot In The Trunk..

    Reply
  • A

    AlexisJun 4, 2024 at 10:16 am

    a great deep dive essay, worth the read for sure!!

    Reply
  • R

    Ryan GomesJun 4, 2024 at 10:16 am

    good article

    Reply
  • K

    Kate Del NegroJun 4, 2024 at 10:09 am

    So good Lucas you slay everyday!!

    Reply
  • L

    leahJun 4, 2024 at 10:08 am

    great job!

    Reply