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Entertainment

Who won the Kendrick Lamar vs. Drake beef?

  • By Yémi Abiadé
  • Music writer

Image source, Getty Images

Legend, Drake and Kendrick Lamar: fans of the two rappers proclaimed their favorite winner

“I’m trying to strike a chord and it’s probably A minor.”

With every second Kendrick Lamar clinging to the last letter of “minor” in Not Like Us, the incendiary song about fellow rapper Drake, his raspy voice reverberates through hip-hop and popular culture.

This is an explosive allegation, made without evidence, that calls into question Drake’s conduct with young women – an allegation now heard around the world. Drake, one of the biggest artists in the world, vehemently denies this.

Since its release on May 4, Not Like Us has been dissected on social media, played at NBA basketball games and blasted from DJ booths at parties from London to Los Angeles; From New York to Atlanta, piercing the public consciousness.

And it’s just one of nine songs that make up a bewildering and escalating conflict between two titans of modern rap, involving unproven accusations of domestic violence, secret children and pedophilia – all denied.

This is a Cold War that has been brewing for the past decade and has finally come to the surface.

“I think we all expected this to happen at some point,” says Minou Itseli, also known as Mimi The Music Blogger, journalist and content creator. “They sent each other indirect shots in their music a lot more than we initially thought. But no one could have seen the beef going that far.”

Both men were praised and criticized during the feud, and fans of both proclaimed their favorite the winner.

But who – if either – came out of it in great shape?

You’d be forgiven for blinking and missing some details, considering how quickly this confrontation evolved.

It started with Lamar’s verse on Like That, by rappers Future and Metro Boomin. Drake responded with Push Ups, belittling Lamar’s accomplishments and his status as a rap legend. This song currently has over 70 million streams on Spotify.

Doubling down, Drake’s controversial Taylor Made Freestyle used the AI-generated voices of two of Lamar’s heroes – Snoop Dogg and the late, great Tupac Shakur – to prompt him to respond.

Drake also claimed that Lamar didn’t respond to his taunts for fear of interrupting the release of Taylor Swift’s new album. Drake raps: “Taylor Swift is your new top” – that is, Lamar’s boss – “and if you have to let it go, she has to approvee.”

The message was clear. Drake doesn’t respect Lamar, who is considered one of the greatest rappers of his generation, and was ready to put him aside.

Joseph “JP” Patterson, editor-in-chief of Complex UK and founder of TRENCH magazine, told the BBC: “I might be the only person on this planet who has this view, but Taylor Made Freestyle was pretty awesome .I understand the rap purist around him using AI verses but even at the beat, I felt it.”

And then, fans waited impatiently for the next move. People on social media felt that Lamar was not ready to fight, given that he had not yet responded.

His rebuttal was Euphoria, a track questioning Drake’s parenting skills, rumors that he had plastic surgery, and his use of AI.

Lines as simple as: “I hate the way you walk, the way you talk, I hate the way you dress” resonated with fans because of Lamar’s passionate delivery, pointing out everything — and he means everything — he doesn’t like about Drake.

It was so impactful that Euphoria was used in an official TikTok video for US President Joe Biden’s election campaign against Donald Trump.

Itseli thinks this track sums up Lamar’s position perfectly: “It’s a summary of everything he wanted to say to Drake,” she shares. “If anyone wants a quick recap of Kendrick’s side, you’ll find it all in Euphoria.”

Image source, Getty Images

Legend, Music blogger Itseli says Lamar played perfectly in front of his audience throughout the back and forth

Lamar’s 6:16 In LA followed, where he reflected: “Did you ever think OVO (Drake’s label) worked for me? / Everyone on your team is whispering that you deserve it.” He threatens to shine a forensic light on Drake’s character to discredit his reputation, with the help of Drake’s own label.

Itseli says Lamar played perfectly in front of his audience throughout the back and forth. “Kendrick knew what to bring to the table and went in for the kill. He studied Drake’s behavior and tailored his songs to each audience. He gave us puns, a club hit, conceptual songs. Drake couldn’t really compete.”

And with this one-two punch from Lamar, fans feared the walls would close in on Drake. But the Canadian rapper went nuclear in response.

Family Matters attacks Lamar’s family unit, claiming that his son is the biological child of Lamar’s creative partner, Dave Free, and that he was physically violent toward his wife, Whitney Alford.

Drake sings: “When you put your hands on your girlfriend, is it self-defense because she’s bigger than you?” referring to the height difference between Lamar and his wife.

Lamar denied the claims, but the beef had now entered a new realm – uncomfortable for many observers.

In a culture that prides itself on the open-ended nature of lyrical combat, where anything can be said about one’s opponent, some barbs seemed to go too far to spectators.

Music journalist Alphonse Pierre, writing in Pitchfork, said: “We have to think about the women who are the ones who really suffered, who don’t have the ability to speak for themselves.

“Drake and Kendrick don’t think about it at all. To them, it’s all just a joke and trolling.”

And the allegations only intensified from there.

Meet The Grahams, Lamar’s line, speaks directly to Drake’s son Adonis, his mother Sandra, his father Dennis, and an alleged secret daughter (denied by Drake). Lamar says to Drake in a soothing, almost therapeutic rhythm: “You have problems with gambling, drinking, pills and spending.”

It also highlights Drake’s alleged use of the diabetes drug Ozempic for weight loss. According to Lamar, Drake is not who he says he is and is a broken man beyond repair.

Image source, Getty Images

Legend, Although The Heart Part 6 would serve as Drake’s next and – for now – final rebuttal.

Not Like Us, released later the same day, is full of accusations against Drake with lines such as “Certified Lover Boy, certified pedophiles” And “Say, Drake, I heard you like them young, you better never go to block 1”(the suggestion being that Drake would be physically abused if he went to prison).

It was an incendiary record, but the world was listening, and by May 11, Not Like Us was the number one song on the Spotify global chart, with over 57 million streams since its release.

“Not Like Us is my favorite Kendrick diss track in this jam; just as brutal as a bop!” Patterson said.

Although The Heart Part 6 would serve as Drake’s next and – for now – final rebuttal. The rappers seem to be done with the battle, ready to move on.

Naturally, fans of both came together to proclaim each as the winner. Many praised the lyrics as giving the genre a boost.

Some said Lamar forced Drake to up his lyrical game, while others praised the duo for delivering a historic moment in rap history.

“Overall, Kendrick won that battle,” Patterson says. “Both have trained hell with their lyrical strokes, but there’s no denying who came out on top. Drake will remain the superstar rapper that he is – it certainly won’t stop his movement – but he’ll have to be safe enough to accept all the jokes and jokes for losing for the rest of his career. Rap ​​music wins, again.

Itseli agrees on the winner. “It will be remembered as one of the biggest rap issues of the last few decades. It was a cultural issue: Kendrick caring about and preserving the essence of hip-hop against someone he believed does not represent it.

“For rap fans, this confirmed much of what they thought about Drake: that he’s playing a role; he’s just a character who adapts to popular music trends at any given time. Kendrick proved that he cares about the art of rap music and can do it in his sleep. He is so nuanced in the way he creates that he has earned the respect of many.

Elsewhere, rap commentators such as DJ Akademiks and Gillie The Kid sided with Drake, calling him the winner. “The rules of the fight were changed for Kendrick,” DJ Akademiks told the Flagrant Podcast.

“Drake was called scared because it took him two weeks to respond to Like That, but when Kendrick takes two weeks to respond to Drake, everyone says he needs time.

“The majority of this battle was Kendrick Lamar saying, ‘I’m going to take you apart as a man.’ But if what he says is a complete lie, that takes away from what he says.”

Whoever you think came out on top, one thing is for sure. The beef entertained the world, furthering the legacies of two generational rap artists.

Gn entert
News Source : www.bbc.com

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