Rap Titans Clash: Inside Kendrick Lamar and Drake's Epic Feud

Discover the journey that led to the explosive showdown between Kendrick Lamar and Drake, reshaping the landscape of hip-hop.

It’s safe to say that most of the music world has been focused on the ongoing rap beef between Kendrick Lamar and Drake. The rapid release of the battle songs of arguably the two biggest rappers worldwide has left social media (particularly Black Twitter) in shambles. 

The back and forth between Kendrick and Drake has been incredible, with everyone chiming in as the two Titans face off. After all of the mudslinging and troubling accusations that Kendrick and Drake have levied at each other, it’s almost hard to believe now that they were once colleagues more than a decade ago.

In 2011, Drake was well on his way to pop superstardom with the release of his sophomore album Take Care. He enlisted Kendrick, who was building his reputation as a future legend from California with the project “Buried Alive Interlude” produced by 40 and Supa Dups. The following year, Drake invited Kendrick and another soon-to-be nemesis A$AP Rocky to accompany him on his Club Paradise Tour.

Kendrick’s classic debut, good kid, m.A.A.d city, featured a Drake collaboration, "Poetic Justice," produced by Scoop DeVille and Sounwave, which was proof positive that the duo were fans of each other's music.

In January 2013, everything seemed to be going smoothly when Kendrick, Drake, and 2 Chainz appeared on A$AP Rocky’s "F*ckin' Problems,” one of the era's coldest cuts. No beef found here.

Things began to change in August 2013 when Kendrick fired the first shot, a major one, to say the least, on Big Sean’s “Control.” Undoubtedly, Kendrick put everyone on notice that he intended to separate himself from Drake and every other competitor in the rap game. 

Kendrick rapped, “I'm usually homeboys with the same ni**as I'm rhyming with/But this is hip-hop And them ni**as should know what time it is/And that goes for Jermaine Cole, Big K.R.I.T., Wale/Pusha T, Meek Millz, ASAP Rocky, Drake/Big Sean, Jay Electron', Tyler, Mac Miller/I got love for you all, but I'm tryna murder you ni**as, Tryna make sure your core fans never heard of you ni**as/They don't wanna hear not one more noun or verb from you ni**as.”

Anybody could get it, and it was clear that a nuclear bomb was set off in hip-hop.

In an interview with Billboard about Kendrick’s verse, Drake said he "didn't really have anything to say about it." 

"It just sounded like an ambitious thought to me. That's all it was. I know good and well that Kendrick's not murdering me, at all, on any platform,” Drake explained. “So when that day presents itself, I guess we can revisit the topic."

In September 2013, Drake dropped "The Language" from Nothing Was the Same. Many fans believed that some of Drake’s lyrics targeted Kendrick.

Drake rapped, “I don't know why they been lyin'/But your shit is not that inspirin.”

Responding at the BET Awards during the TDE cypher, Kendrick returned Drake’s subliminal shot with a more direct shot of his own.

Kendrick rapped, “Yeah, and nothing's been the same since they dropped ‘Control’/And tucked a sensitive rapper back in his pajama clothes.”

In the following years, Kendrick and Drake would trade subliminal shots at each other--their days as collaborators were long gone. On “King Kunta,” Kendrick addressed the ghostwriting allegations levied at Drake. 

Kendrick raps, “I can dig rapping/ But a rapper with a ghostwriter? What the f–k happened?” Appearing on The Game’s “100” the same year, Drake responded. “I would have all of your fans/ If I didn’t go pop and I stayed on some conscious s–t.” 

Drake & J. Cole Collaborate On "First Person Shooter," Oct. 2023

Following years of tension and subliminal jabs, the feud between Kendrick and Drake finally began to get serious on Drake and J. Cole’s “First Person Shooter.” 

What seemed to be an innocent line in which Cole acknowledged the three most acclaimed rappers over the past decade or so would eventually be the touchstone moment that sparked one of rap music’s best beefs.

Cole rapped,  “Love when they argue the hardest MC/ Is it K-Dot? Is it Aubrey? Or me?/ We the big three like we started a league/ but right now, I feel like Muhammad Ali.”

Kendrick Drops "Like That" Metro Boomin and Future, March 2024

To say that Kendrick wasn’t feeling “First Person Shooter” would be an understatement. K Dot launched an epic reply with an unexpected guest spot on Metro Boomin’ and Future’s cut “Like That.”

“F**k sneak dissin’, first-person shooter/ I hope they came with three switches,” Kendrick rapped squarely, aiming at Cole and Drake. He went on to destroy any idea of a “Big 3” rapping, “Motherf**k” the big three, n**ga, it’s just big me.” He called out Drake’s For All the Dogs album, rapping, “For all your dogs gettin’ buried/ That’s a K with all these nines, he gon’ see Pet Sematary.”

Drake Drops ‘Push Ups,’ A Scathing Diss Track, April 19, 2024

Although Cole released “7 Minute Drill”, he later asked Lamar to forgive him for making the record. Drake, however, was unapologetic with his response, “Push Ups.”  Premiered by DJ Akademiks on April 19,  The 6 God called Kendrick out for his deal with Top Dawg Entertainment and took shots at Kendrick's height. He also threw direct shots at Rick Ross, The Weeknd, Metro Boomin, and Future. After ten years, the battle was finally on.

J. Cole Regrets Dissing Kendrick Lamar

Drake Fires Second Diss Track ‘Taylor Made Freestyle’ April 24, 2024

Never one to let up, Drake returned to the booth and dropped “Taylor Made Freestyle” just several days later. This time, he used AI technology to mimic the voices of Tupac Shakur and ghostwriter expressing his disappointment in Kendrick’s lack of response. However, Drake hit a snag when Tupac’s Estate threatened to file a lawsuit against him if he didn’t take the song down. Drake removed the song from all DSPs and his artist pages.

Tupac Shakur's Estate Issues Drake Cease-and-Desist Letter For Using an AI-generated Tupac Voice in a Diss Track

Kendrick Takes The Gloves Off on 'Euphoria’ April 30, 2024

If anyone thought Kendrick wouldn’t respond, they were sadly mistaken. K Dot came to the battle well prepared and unleashed “Euphoria,” a fiery, six-minute retort to Drake's recent provocations in "Push Ups" and "Taylor Made Freestyle." Kendrick said that Drake was not a “rap artist but a scam artist.”

Lamar raps, “Know you a master manipulator and a b*tch/ You a liar, too/ But don’t tell no lie ’bout me, and I won’t tell truths ’bout you.”

Kendrick Lamar Drops Fiery Diss Track 'Euphoria' Targeting Drake

Kendrick went on to borrow from the sentiments of DMX as he expressed his disdain for the Toronto rapper.

Kendrick Lamar Drops Fiery Diss Track 'Euphoria' Targeting Drake

K Dot rapped, “It’s always been about love and hate, now let me say I’m the biggest hater / I hate the way that you walk, the way that you talk / I hate the way you sneak diss, if I catch flight, it’s gon’ be direct.”

Kendrick Fires Back Again On ‘6:16 in LA’ May 3, 2024

Kendrick doubled down just a few days later with “6:16 in LA,” another brutal diss track that sought to discredit Drake’s entire career.

On the track, Kendrick alleges that someone in Drake’s OVO camp is giving him the goods on “The Boy.”

“Have you ever thought that OVO was working for me?/ Fake bully, I hate bullies/ You must be a terrible person/ Everyone inside your team is whispering that you deserve it/ Can’t Toosie Slide up out of this one, it’s just gon’ resurface.”

The culture put Drake on the clock.

Drake Releases ‘Family Matters,’ The Third Diss, May 3, 2024

Drake threw a haymaker with “Family Matters” that also came with a visual. On the track, Drizzy sought to end Kendrick with the most vicious bars by Drake in the battle so far.  He alleged that Kendrick abused his fiancee Whitney Alford and that Dave Free, K Dot’s friend, is the real father of his child. Also, A$AP Rocky, The Weeknd, Metro Boomin, Future, and Rick Ross again felt Drake’s wrath.

Kendrick Responds with Third Diss "Meet the Grahams" May 4. 2024

In what is the quickest response in rap beef history, Kendrick returned fire with the shocking “Meet the Grahams” just minutes after Drake’s “Family Matters.”

Taking it up a notch, Kendrick pens letters to Drake’s son Adonis, his mother, and his alleged daughter. 

He also accuses Drake of rolling with pedophiles in his OVO camp. Kendrick also mentions Drake's alleged gambling, drug, and alcohol addictions--depicting Drake as a pathological liar.

Black Twitter Is Undefeated With Dances To Kendrick’s ‘Not Like Us’

“You lied about your son, you lied about your daughter, huh/You lied about them other kids that's out there hopin' that you come/You lied about the only artist that can offer you some help/F**k a rap battle, this a long life battle with yourself.”

Kendrick Releases Fourth Diss “Not Like Us” May 4, 2024

“Kung Fu Kenny” will not be stopped. Less than 24 hours after dropping the haunting “Meet the Grahams,” he returned with “Not Like Us.” Produced by DJ Mustard, the track became an instant club banger and created a frenzy on social media. For the song's visual, an aerial view of Drake’s enormous home known as "The Embassy” was used with numerous red sex offender symbols placed on the home.

On the track, Kendrick continues his allegations of Drake and his team being pedophiles and labels Drizzy as the ultimate culture vulture.

Kendrick raps, ‘Certified lover boy, certified pedophile/Wop, wop, wop, wop, wop, Dot f**k 'em up/Rock, rock, rock, rock, rock, I'ma do my stuff/Why he trollin' like a b***h? Ain't you tired?/Tryna strike a chord and it's probably A-Minorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.’

Drake Unleashes “The Heart Part 6”, May 5, 2023

Even Sundays are not safe in this all-out war. Drake swung back with the menacing “The Heart Part 6.” The 6 God calls out K Dot for his alleged domestic abuse, he includes allegations that Kendrick was molested as a child and that Drake set up the entire situation feeding information to Kendrick who took the bait.

Drake rapped, “I am a war general, season in preparation/My jacket is covered in medals, honor and decoration/You waited for this moment, overcome with the desperation/We plotted for a week and then we fed you the information/A daughter that's 11 years old, I bet he takes it/We thought about giving a fake name or a destination/But you so thirsty, you not concerned with investigation.”

Where do we go from here? Only time will tell. What we do know is that we have witnessed one of the most epic moments in hip-hop history.

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