The Sound Behind the Battle: Get to Know the Producers Laying Tracks For Kendrick and Drake’s War of Words

Here's a breakdown of the producers who created the tracks for one of rap’s greatest beefs.

The last week has been monumental for hip-hop fans and everyone witnessing this epic clash of titans. Kendrick Lamar and Drake, arguably two of the most highly regarded rappers in the game, are in the middle of an intense war of words. Each rapper has released enough songs so far to drop an official EP. The vitriol, venom, and flat-out hate we have witnessed lands much differently than the subliminal shots and jabs that K Dot and the Drizzy have tossed back and forth for over a decade. Each verbal blow has been direct, and the accusations have been wild. But none of this happens without the underlying track.

Every song dropped by Kendrick and Drake in the battle has been an original production, and much like the lyrical firestorm unleashed from each contender, the producers have been bringing the heat. 

Here are the producers behind the tracks:

Boi-1da- "First Person Shooter,"  “Push Ups,” “Family Matters,” “The Heart Part 6”

A native of Toronto, Ontario, Matthew Jehu Samuels, better known as  Boi-1da, is the mastermind behind each of Drake’s songs as the in-house producer of OVO Sound. His working relationship with Drake goes back almost two decades—contributing tracks to The 6 God’s albums Room for Improvement (2006) and Comeback Season (2007). He is responsible for some of Drake’s biggest hits, such as “Best I Ever Had,” “Forever,” and many more. Outside of his work with Drake, Boi-1da has produced hits for JAY-Z, Rihanna, and Kanye West.

Metro Boomin- “Like That” “BBL Drizzy”

Hailing from St. Louis but based in Atlanta, Metro Boomin’ is one of the most in-demand producers in the game. He is behind Future’s “Like That” featuring Kendrick and “BBL Drizzy,” which may be a producer's first instrumental diss track. His production portfolio includes "Jumpman" by Drake and Future's "Bad and Boujee" by Migos. "Mask Off" by Future, "Bank Account" by 21 Savage, "Heartless" by the Weeknd, and several more.

Cardo and Kyuro “Euphoria”

A native of St. Paul, Minnesota, Cardo or Cardo Got Wings may be one of the most underrated producers on the scene, but his resume is impeccable. He began to create a major buzz for his production after relocating to Fort Worth, Texas. He has produced hits for Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Playboy Carti, Travis Scott, Jeezy, The Game, Wiz Khalifa, and more. He also has several projects with Payroll Giovanni.

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

Sounwave and Jack Antonoff- “6:16 in La”  

Sounwave frequently collaborates with Kendrick Lamar, and he has been a part of every one of his projects since Kendrick released his self-titled EP in 2009. Born in Los Angeles, he was a teenager when he was discovered by Terrance "Punch" Henderson, co-founder of Top Dawg Entertainment. He would go on to produce "B*tch Don't Kill My Vibe," "M.A.A.D. City," and “Alright.” For his work with Kendrick, he has earned several Grammys. 

Jack Antonoff is considered one of his generation's most acclaimed pop producers. Known for his collaborations with Taylor Swift, he’s won ten Grammy Awards and is the second person ever to win three Producer of the Year awards consecutively following Babyface.

Alchemist-“Meet the Grahams”

Throughout his stellar career, Alchemist has gained a reputation for his gritty, dark cinematic productions that utilize samples. Born in Beverly Hills, he honed his skill with DJ Muggs and relocated to New York, where he became affiliated with Mobb Deep in 1999—producing cuts on their studio album Murda Muzik. A prolific producer, he has produced for Nas, Ghostface Killah, Lil Wayne, Westside Gunn, Freddie Gibbs, and Anderson Paak.

DJ Mustard- “Not Like Us”

Without question, DJ Mustard is one of the best hitmakers in the game. The Los Angeles native is known for producing club bangers with his signature melodic yet energetic sound. Proving his versatility, Mustard has notched Billboard hits in rap, R&B, and pop. As an artist, he has released three projects 10 Summers (2014) Cold Summer (2016), and Perfect Ten in June 2019. Mustard is behind the hits of YG,  Big Sean, Tyga, Jeremih, Rihanna, and more.

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