Kendrick Lamar Fires Back At Drake: Rap Battles Remain a Part of the Industry

Drake, Kendrick Lamar, and J. Cole./: Ethan Miller for Getty Images, Kevin Winter for Getty Images, Paras Griffin for Getty Images

By Manuel Polanco 


   From Biggie Smalls feuding with Tupac, to Jay-Z and Nas’s iconic beef that continued for years, rap feeds off of two rap powerhouses in the industry fighting. Rap as a genre is defined by artists feuding (beefing) with one another. There is now another iconic feud, and Kendrick Lamar comes out on top.

    Metro Boomin and Future’s collaborative album “WE DON’T TRUST YOU” finally dropped, and it included subtle jabs to Toronto native Drake. When the album was released, many of the features were hidden, and to many people’s shock, one of the tracks included a Kendrick Lamar feature where he dissed both Drake and J. Cole.

    Kendrick Lamar is one of the great pillars of the rap genre. You could say the same for Drake, but the storytelling Kendrick Lamar invokes in his music is bar none to other rappers. “To Pimp A Butterfly” is one the greatest rap albums ever made, and solidified Kendrick Lamar as one of the best rappers in the game. Hearing him diss Drake and Cole was shocking, but also brought back this feeling of old-school rap beef, and it is another example of how the rap genre creates spaces for rivalries and rap disses.

   Kendrick Lamar absolutely flamed both Drake and Cole in this track with his wordplay and flow. J. Cole once made good and engaging music that rivaled Kendrick in their storytelling, but his latest projects just puts you to sleep simply because they lack good substance and a good story.

  Rap beef isn’t new to Drake, who has had some great beefs over time going back to his legendary feud with Meek Mill which resulted in Drake dropping his legendary diss track, “0-100.” The most iconic however is Drake’s beef with Pusha T, which still has ripples in music to this day since he and Drake are enemies and have bad blood. I guess it makes for good music!

   The first song, titled “We Don’t Trust You,” included a diss by Future towards Drake, in which he called him fake and accused him of sneak dissing first. Sneak dissing is a part of rap beef, and rappers usually do it when they want to diss someone without mentioning their name. This holds since Drake did throw jabs at the future in his last album “For All The Dogs” in his song titled “What Would Pluto Do?” This has been a long time since both rappers have thrown subtle shots at each other throughout the years, and it finally culminated in a great diss by Kendrick Lamar where he hails himself the “Big Man.” 

   Kendrick Lamar asserts himself as the best and stands alone at the top without Drake and Cole near him. A lot of people were shocked he dissed Cole since many would think the two are good friends, but Cole’s verse in “First Person Shooter” must have rubbed Kendrick Lamar the wrong way. 

   Cole equated both Drake, Kendrick Lamar, and himself as the modern-day Greatest Of All Time (GOAT), and Kendrick Lamar wasn’t having that. On top of that, Cole was praising Drake a bit too much in ‘First Person Shooter.’ For example, Cole said “The Spider-Man meme is me lookin’ at Drake.” I mean this is just an insane lyric to say. When I first heard this song I knew it was gonna be a banger, because Future started off whistling in the track (and everyone knows when Future starts whistling it’s an instant classic).

   Drake is currently on tour and has made some remarks here and there about the disses, and as I’m writing this, J. Cole dropped an album in which he responded to the diss and it was the most lackluster response ever. In his song ‘7 Minute Drill,’ Cole went on to say that Kendrick Lamar’s ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’ was boring, and criticized the fact that Kendrick has released four albums in 10 years (which I don’t get why it would be a big deal). You can’t have good rap beef if the other side drops boring disses and falls flat on their face! Drake may make better music than Kendrick Lamar, but he is not a better rapper than him. I personally don’t see him out rapping in a diss.

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