Drake’s obtained quite a lot of enemies — particularly Kendrick Lamar

To borrow a phrase from our foremost cultural observer, Azealia Banks, the boys are preventing.

Because the explosive drop of producer Metro Boomin and rapper Future’s first joint album, We Don’t Belief You, on March 22, a chilly warfare has damaged out involving the duo and the remainder of hip-hop’s top-tier (male) millennial roster: Drake, J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, and A$AP Rocky. It’s been a wierd few weeks, with photographs being thrown in an especially public and more and more amusing approach. In an totally baffling transfer, Cole made a public apology for his personal diss monitor, bowing out of the meat early. In the meantime, like several argument you would possibly see amongst a bunch of wealthy ladies on Bravo, Drake is being placed on blast for his rumored cosmetic surgery. (Thanks, Megan Thee Stallion.)

This isn’t the primary time this specific group of A-listers — all of whom dominated the mainstream rap charts of the 2010s — have exchanged lyrical blows. Particularly, Drake and Lamar have sneak-dissed one another for some time now. Nevertheless, to the typical music listener, all these males have a extra well-known historical past of collaboration, together with options, a joint album, and tour stops. Lamar’s fiery verse, nevertheless, on the We Don’t Belief You monitor “Like That,” has shattered any remaining semblance of camaraderie.

Within the weeks since, Future and Metro have launched yet one more rage-fueled album, hilariously titled We Nonetheless Don’t Belief You. Drake clunkily launched his personal sprawling diss, “Push Ups,” name-dropping everybody from SZA to Maroon 5 to Swifties. (Did I point out Uma Thurman can also be concerned?) Lamar responded with two back-to-back disses: first, the scathing monitor “euphoria,” and, later, “6:16 in LA,” which had a stunning producer credit score from Taylor Swift’s righthand man, Jack Antonoff. Over the weekend, although, tensions between Lamar and Drake reached a fever pitch. The rappers exchanged a number of explosive diss tracks with some fairly darkish, felony allegations. It was Kendrick who in the end appeared extra ready.

After practically 15 tumultuous years within the sport, it’s no shock that Drake has as soon as once more discovered himself on the receiving finish of some hate. At first, it appeared like this newest feud was precisely what rap’s delicate king wanted in a moderately uninspired period in his profession, outlined by a moderately uninteresting musical output and gross jabs at ladies. Nevertheless, following Lamar’s verbal lashings, a PR cleanup could also be wanted.

Who’s beefing with who?

Kendrick Lamar wins the Greatest Rap Album award for Mr. Morale & the Massive Steppers in the course of the sixty fifth Grammy Awards at Crypto.com Enviornment on February 5, 2023, in Los Angeles, California.
Johnny Nunez/Getty Photos for the Recording Academy

Just a few weeks in the past, Future and Metro primarily launched a breakup album from their frequent collaborator and former comrade, Drake. (Drake and Future have practically 30 collaborations mixed, and Metro executive-produced their 2015 mixtape What A Time to Be Alive.) We Don’t Belief You is filled with subliminal messages seemingly directed at Drake, concerning his shady maneuvers. Nevertheless, it was Kendrick’s comparatively light prodding on the monitor “Like That” that was in the end probably the most incendiary.

On the monitor — which has sat at No. 1 on the Billboard Sizzling 100 for 3 weeks in a row now — he raps “Motherfuck the large three, it’s simply massive me,” renouncing his casual affiliation with rap friends Drake and Cole. On the latest Drake tune “First Particular person Shooter,” off his newest album For All of the Canine, Cole claimed on his visitor verse that he, Drake, and Lamar are the “Massive 3” of the present period of hip-hop. Nonetheless, Lamar’s ire on “Like That” is usually pointed at his famous frenemy Drake, disregarding his purportedly unstoppable industrial success. “Your greatest work is a lightweight pack,” he asserts. “N—, Prince outlived Mike Jack.”

Cole responded first on April 5 with the monitor “7-Minute Drill,” featured on his aptly titled mixtape Would possibly Delete Later. Cole throws photographs at Lamar’s Pulitzer Prize-winning discography, calling his newest album Mr. Morale and The Massive Steppers “tragic” and claiming his Grammy-winning sophomore album Good Child, Maad Metropolis “put [listeners] to sleep.” He additionally guarantees to “humble” Lamar if “push involves shove.”

Nevertheless, by April 10, Cole had rescinded his warning shot, together with eradicating “7-Minute Drill” from streaming platforms. At his annual Dreamville Competition, he issued a closely mocked quasi-apology to Lamar. “I attempted to jab [Lamar] again, and I attempt to hold it pleasant,” he informed the gang in North Carolina. “However on the finish of the day after I hearken to it, and when it comes out and I see the discuss, that don’t sit proper with my spirit.”

Earlier than Drake might unleash his personal diss, Future and Metro launched the follow-up, We Nonetheless Don’t Belief You, on April 12. This time, A$AP Rocky obtained some punches in. On the tune “Present of Fingers,” he rapped “N—s in they emotions over ladies. What, you harm or one thing? I smash earlier than you birthed, son. Flacko hit it first, son.” That is presumably a response to Drake apparently dissing A$AP and his companion Rihanna, whom Drake beforehand dated, on his tune “Worry of Heights.” (Followers have additionally speculated that A$AP means he beforehand slept with the mom of Drake’s son.)

One other one in all Drake’s most well-known trade mates, The Weeknd, seems on each Future and Metro albums. Nevertheless, on We Nonetheless Don’t Belief You’s eighth monitor, “All to Myself,” he sings, “I thank God that I by no means signed my life away.” Followers interpreted that as a jab about Drake’s label OVO Sound, which, regardless of his heavy affiliation with the label, The Weeknd in the end by no means signed to.

Who’s Drake dissing on “Push Ups”?

On Saturday, April 13, Drake’s long-awaited response titled “Push Ups (Drop & Give Me Fifty)” mysteriously made its approach to the web. The seemingly unmixed demo made many social media customers speculate whether or not the tune was AI-generated earlier than famous hip-hop commentator DJ Akademiks finally performed it — noticeably with some tweaks, just like the omission of a line about P. Diddy and a unique beat — on his livestream. Hip-hop radio station Energy 105 additionally streamed a high-quality model of the tune. Given Drake’s feedback on Instagram over the weekend, together with a picture of Uma Thurman single-handedly taking over a bunch of fighters within the 2003 movie Kill Invoice, all indicators level to the monitor being official.

That mentioned, “Push Ups” is a hefty (and expectedly humorous) diss file, taking goal at Drake’s aforementioned opps whereas pulling another events into the crossfire. One among them is the Weeknd’s supervisor, CashXO, who he accuses of “blowing Abel’s bread trickin.” He additionally takes photographs at Memphis Grizzlies participant Ja Morant, who followers are speculating he was beforehand in a love triangle with.

In in all probability the silliest improvement of this multi-pronged feud, he throws some digs at rapper Rick Ross, one other frequent collaborator of his. “This n— turning 50,” Drake raps. “Each tune that made it on the chart he obtained it from Drizzy.” Ross swiftly adopted up along with his personal diss known as “Champagne Moments,” which shortly went viral. Amongst different insults and accusations, he calls Drake, who’s combined, “white boy” and claims he obtained a nostril job.

Drake and Rick Ross at a party circa 2013.

Drake and Rick Ross at P. Diddy’s Ciroc The New Years Eve Get together at his dwelling on December 31, 2013, in Miami Seashore, Florida.
Johnny Nunez/WireImage

As for Lamar, Drake provides a reasonably complete rebuttal, poking enjoyable at Lamar for apparently sporting a “measurement 7 shoe” and his collaborations with pop acts like Maroon 5 and Taylor Swift’s “Dangerous Blood.” (Lest we overlook, Drake has additionally linked up with Swift for a examine.) He additionally names some artists who he feels have surpassed Lamar’s stardom, together with SZA, who’s signed to Lamar’s personal Prime Dawg Leisure label. (She apparently doesn’t wish to be concerned.) There’s additionally a bar that many listeners, together with DJ Akademiks, interpreted as an audacious point out of Lamar’s fiancé, Whitney Alford (“I be with some bodyguards like Whitney”). Nevertheless, this is also a misreading of a extra apparent reference to the Whitney Houston movie, The Bodyguard.

Drake’s newest spherical with Kendrick took a very darkish flip

Forward of Lamar dropping his response, “euphoria,” Drake launched one other diss monitor for Lamar on April 19 known as “Taylor Made Freestyle” utilizing AI-generated vocals from 2Pac and Snoop Dogg to “spit” on his behalf. Drake’s weaponization of synthetic intelligence, particularly concerning the deceased Tupac Shakur, generated combined responses on-line. Some followers had been amused by his “innovation,” whereas others, together with Snoop, appeared downright confused. Nevertheless, after his and Lamar’s most up-to-date spherical of disses, these criticisms could be the least of his issues.

On April 30, Lamar lastly dropped his rebuttal titled “euphoria” on streaming platforms. He spends a lot of the 6-minute monitor poking holes in Drake’s public persona. Amongst different digs, he questions the Canadian rapper’s proximity to Black American tradition and his relationships with ladies. Just a few days later, Lamar adopted up with “6:16 in LA,” claiming that Drake has a “leak” in his camp.

Presumably, Drake needed to get forward of any dust Lamar might probably expose by dropping the monitor “Household Issues” this previous Friday, together with a music video. Along with Lamar, Drake has some extra phrases for Ross, The Weeknd, and even Pharrell Williams. Nevertheless, it’s Lamar’s fiancée, Whitney Alford, who’s the first goal of Drake’s claims.

First, he means that one in all Lamar’s youngsters is definitely fathered by his normal supervisor, Dave Free, who’s additionally the previous president of Lamar’s former label, Prime Dawg Leisure. Then he makes the extra troubling allegation that Lamar “places his fingers on” Alford. “They employed a disaster administration crew to scrub up the truth that you beat in your queen,” he says on the finish of the monitor.

Seemingly tipped off by a mole, Lamar adopted up only a few minutes later with “meet the grahams,” with cowl artwork that includes a field of the weight-loss drug Ozempic supposedly prescribed to Drake. In that tune, Lamar addresses his verses to Drake’s son, Adonis, and Drake’s mother and father. “Expensive Adonis, I’m sorry that man is your father,” he bluntly opens the monitor. He additionally devoted a verse to Drake’s alleged 11-year-old daughter, who could be the second youngster the rapper has saved hidden from the general public. Drake, nevertheless, was fast to leap on Instagram and shut down the declare that he had a secret daughter.

Extra strikingly, although, Lamar refers to Drake as a “predator” and even likens him to Harvey Weinstein. Later that night, Lamar dropped yet one more monitor — this time, produced by DJ Mustard, who seemingly additionally has beef with Drake — “Not Like Us,” the place he outright calls Drake a “pedophile.” Particularly, social media misplaced it over the triple entendre, “tryna ring a bell, and it’s in all probability A-minor.”

On Might 5, it appeared like Drake was able to bow out after releasing the monitor “The Coronary heart Half 6.” Along with the curious declare that he purposely planted false info for Lamar to make use of, he spends a lot of the tune denying that he sleeps with underage ladies. He even addresses a controversial incident from 2018, when Stranger Issues actor Millie Bobby Brown, who was then 14 years previous, acknowledged in an interview that she texted the rapper about boys.

In a haphazard transfer, Drake makes an attempt to attach these claims to Lamar’s personal trauma, referencing the “one file the place [Lamar] mentioned [he] obtained molested” titled “Mom I Sober” — solely Lamar doesn’t state that he was sexually abused on the tune. In rapping about his cousin who was accused of sexual assault, he claims twice on the monitor that his cousin didn’t contact him, regardless of his household not believing him.

Drake ends the tune with a rambling spoken outro, just like Nicki Minaj’s Megan Thee Stallion diss “Massive Foot” earlier this 12 months. “I’m not going to lie,” he says. “This shit was some good train.” In a noticeably exhausted tone, he says “it’s what it’s,” seemingly waving a white flag.

Drake has beforehand thrived in beefs — however can he win when the entire trade is towards him?

For probably the most half, Drake has dealt with his public gang-up with an anticipated humorousness and irreverence. Nevertheless, with the newest releases, he appears to be preventing a battle he can’t win, utilizing wishy-washy bars to try to toss off some severe allegations. It’s price noting that Drake’s domestic-abuse claims towards Lamar are simply as severe. Nonetheless, rap followers on social media appear extra invested within the seedy gossip that’s surrounded Drake’s largely personal romantic life, together with these unsettling accusations about underage ladies. Plus, after years of dominating the rap scene and making enemies out of a number of rappers, it appears social media customers are able to see the rapper taken down just a few pegs.

As anybody who’s even barely adopted rap over the previous decade and a half can attest, this isn’t Drake’s first time partaking in warfare along with his friends. Most famously, his profession has seen headline-generating battles with Meek Mill, Pusha T, Joe Budden, and Kanye West. Arguably, his most notorious tiff was the fruits of a long-brewing beef with Pusha T in 2018, the place the Virginia rapper uncovered Drake’s previously hidden son, Adonis, to the world.

Regardless of the temporary second of humiliation, Drake in the end emerged the victor — that’s, in the event you’re utilizing chart numbers and normal reputation as a figuring out metric. After his reasonably obtained victory lap of an album, Views, he was given a extra gripping narrative to gasoline his blockbuster 2018 album Scorpion. On the similar time, he was as soon as once more proving his mass attraction outdoors of the rap audiences with social gathering bangers like “God’s Plan,” “Good For What,” and “In My Emotions,” all of which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Sizzling 100.

Extra lately, nevertheless, Drake has been concerned in a number of seemingly one-sided beefs with well-known ladies. On his 2023 tune with 21 Savage, “Circo Loco,” he threw out a not-so-subtle diss at rapper Megan Thee Stallion (“This bitch lie ’bout getting photographs however she nonetheless a stallion”), becoming a member of a refrain of well-known males disputing her now-proven claims that singer Tory Lanez shot her within the foot in 2020.

Through the rollout of For All of the Canine, he vexed actor Halle Berry, who claimed he used a photograph of her for the art work for his single “Slime You Out” with out her permission. Moreover, he’s tried to reignite drama along with his former fling Rihanna. Except for his digs on “Worry of Heights,” he performed their collaboration “Work” at one in all his live shows simply to say that he “doesn’t sing [the] tune anymore.”

Drake’s songwriting is commonly propelled by a sweeping sense of grievance and an obsession with the previous and his haters (he’s not that totally different from Taylor Swift in any case!). Nevertheless, his fixed emotions of victimhood inside his relationships with ladies — and the next, extra blatant misogyny that’s grown out of that — has begun to put on on critics and elements of his feminine fanbase. It’s an remark that Lamar has sharply utilized in his diss tracks over the weekend.

Whereas this newest beef initially appeared like an in the end invigorating expertise for Drake in a snoozy a part of his profession, Lamar’s accusations of pedophilia and different predatory habits will presumably depart a powerful stench on Drake’s public picture. It’ll be fascinating to see whether or not the seemingly invincible rapper can preserve followers’ respect after such darkish claims. Nevertheless, historical past has confirmed that male rappers can nonetheless thrive regardless of probably the most sordid allegations.

Replace, Might 6, 2 pm: This story was initially printed on April 17 and has been up to date a number of occasions, most lately to incorporate Kendrick Lamar’s new diss tracks, “meet the grahams” and “Not Like Us,” in addition to Drake’s rejoinder, “The Coronary heart Half 6.”

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