May 12, 2024

The Drake vs. Kendrick beef reignited my love for music.

Two of music’s biggest superstars are going head to head in a rap battle that will be talked about for the rest of history. But it’s effect goes farther beyond simply who won and lost.

If you’ve been anywhere near the internet for the past month, I’m sure at some point you’ve heard  about the rap beef that’s been going on between Drake and Kendrick Lamar.

And if you’re anything like me, it’s totally and completely consumed your life as you can’t stop yourself from consuming as much information as possible about the subject.

Not only has it taken over my life, but also music as a whole.

Hip Hop has had a long and documented history of rap beef, but it’s never included two of the genre’s most popular and skilled artists.

There have been a multitude of scathing allegations and accusations being thrown at each party over several songs, and if any were proven true, it would prove detrimental to each’s character and reputation.

Things like domestic violence, sex trafficking, hidden secret children, cuckoldry, and even pedophilia have all been accusations being thrown around. What started out as a sportsman-like battle, turned nasty and personal very quickly.

But regardless of who you were rooting for, who’s music you like more, or if you don’t even care but it’s what everyone is talking about, for me personally…

This beef has reignited my love for hip hop music, a genre that for me, felt uninspired and stale for several years up until this point.

A brief overview.

For those who are unaware or not caught up to speed with this whole beef, here is a quick and unbiased synopsis of the events that have led us to this point. I can’t possibly recount every detail, I would be here writing a whole novel for everyone if that were the case.

So here’s the most brief I can be.

October 6, 2023 - “First Person Shooter” by Drake featuring J Cole is released, where the two speak about how Drake, J Cole, and Kendrick Lamar are the “Big 3” of rap and essentially stating how they are all the biggest and best artists in the industry right now. It’s really more of a unifying anthem celebrating their success and longevity in the industry… But without Kendrick Lamar himself being on the song.

March 26, 2024 - “Like That” by Future, Metro Boomin, and Kendrick Lamar is released, where it’s a pretty standard Future and Metro Boomin song, but in the middle there is a Kendrick Lamar verse where he essentially comes out and says “Fuck the Big 3, n**** it’s just big me.” Despite the non-hostile words from J Cole and Drake from “First Person Shooter”, Kendrick still finds the need to say he’s still the best out of all of them, don’t even include me in your group whatsoever.

This is the ignition of the beef we had all been waiting for.

April 5, 2024 - “7 Minute Drill” by J Cole is released where he is taking some light shots at Kendrick Lamar, but none of the lines are too scathing or offensive but it is still a response nonetheless. He would go on to apologize for his diss record two days later, and then take it down off of streaming services.

April 19, 2024 - “Push Ups” by Drake is released that contains lyrics aimed directly at Kendrick, taking shots at him for things like his height, his contract with his label, making songs with Taylor Swift, and mentioning his wife by name. He also goes out of his way to diss other rappers who all seemed to hate Drake as well, including Future, Metro Boomin, Rick Ross, and others.

This song was actually leaked on Youtube a week prior, but was officially released on Spotify this day.

April 19, 2024 - “Taylor Made Freestyle” by Drake is released on his Instagram account, where he includes verses from an AI generated 2Pac and Snoop Dogg to feature in his song, all to taunt Kendrick and bait him into a response as fast as possible.

April 30, 2024 - “Euphoria” by Kendrick Lamar was released, and after weeks of building tension, fans were impatiently waiting for Kendrick to respond. He finally does, and includes disses of varying subject matter, including lines about Drake being a deadbeat father, being a liar and master manipulator, as well as accusing him of having fake abs, among other things.

May 3, 2024 - “6:16 in LA” by Kendrick Lamar is released where he is going after Drake again, this time claiming how Drake may have a mole in his camp and that he is feeding Kendrick information about his next moves. This track is essentially a warning not to go too far, or else Drake will surely regret it.

May 3, 2024 - “Family Matters” by Drake is released, the same exact day of Kendrick’s last song. This is the most scathing of Drake’s releases so far, with accusations of domestic violence, Kendrick’s wife having a child with his business manager, and attempts to mock his marriage with his wife who is mentioned again in this song and the previous songs.

May 3, 2024 - “Meet the Grahams” by Kendrick Lamar is released not even 30 minutes later on Youtube, where the concpet of the song entails Kendrick writing a letter apologizing to Drake’s child son, his mother, and his father, for how sorry he feels that Drake is such a bad person and how they all have to deal with him. Then in the last verse he addressed Drake directly and accuses him of hiding another 11 year old girl from the world, similar to in 2018 where Pusha T exposed Drake for hiding his other child from the world in their rap beef.

The release of this track was definitely the high point in this beef, with the audacity to drop immediately after Drake with one of the most creepy and haunting diss tracks every created, he effectively squashes all gas and momentum created with Drake’s own track. He would then shortly go on to deny the daughter allegations on his Instagram story shortly after this release.

May 4, 2024 - “Not Like Us” by Kendrick Lamar is released only a day after the craziness that was the day before, but this time completely and unwaveringly doubling down on the accusations that Drake employs convicted sex traffickers and is a pedophile. He also goes on to claim Drake is “not a colleague, he’s a fucking colonizer.”

May 5, 2024 - “The Heart Part 6” by Drake is released where he denies the pedophile allegations, makes fun of Kendrick for raising a child that’s not his, claims that he fed Kendrick fake information the whole time to look stupid, and claims the reason Kendrick is so obsessed with the pedophile allegations is because he was molested himself.

By this point, many would claim the damage to Drake was done already and Kendrick was the undisputed winner of the beef. This song feels like the waiving of the white flag of sorts, where Drake admits defeat (but has to deny the pedo allegations at the very least).

And there you have it, the whole timeline. Give or take a few extra and unexpected diss tracks being released from the likes of Rick Ross and Kanye West.

What this rap beef means for hip hop music.

This beef is unlike we have ever seen in history for hip hop fans. Two of the biggest artists in the genre, going head to head at each other is what many would consider a fan’s dream.

What started out as a simple chest pump from Kendrick Lamar, saying how he’s undeniably the best and that nobody is as good as him, turned into a dirt throwing, mud slinging, and serious criminal allegation accusing feud all taking place over beats for the whole world to watch.

These two men obviously hate each other. Why that is, nobody really knows. But everybody can agree it is the most entertaining spectacle to happen to hip hop maybe in the past 10-20 years.

While many fans were excited by the idea of their favorite artists going at it on the world’s stage, nobody could have expected how ugly and personal it got by the end of it all.

If any of the allegations mentioned in any song turned out to be true, it would be a death sentence to each respective artists careers and reputation. But that’s the thing, there is no proof of anything as of right now.

No proof Kendrick put hands on his wife, no proof Drake is a pedophile (although there is an unflattering video of Drake going around where he kisses and makes inappropriate comments about a 17 year old on stage at a show), and no proof Drake has a secret 11 year old daughter.

So all we can really do at this point is take sides and argue. At least, that’s what people who are on the internet who are interested in the beef are doing.

All of these character destroying diss songs are just claims yet to be confirmed at the moment, although the internet has been digging up dirt on each rapper, more or less trying to confirm the allegations for each side.

Many would say the beef was amazing and great for the genre (since rap beef and rap battling has always been a core tenant of the genre since it’s creation over 50 years ago), and some would say it was disgraceful how it did not stay pure for the sake of who had the better verses.

But one thing is for sure, this beef was so god damn entertaining. And it’s made a lot of hip hop fans, music fans, and also just regular people in general interested in hip hop.

This beef has reignited my love for music.

Not only has this beef been my obsession for the past month or so, the past two weeks have been a dream for me. I’ve been a hip hop fan for over half my life. I remember being 12 years old buying the “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” by Kanye West CD at Macy’s and thinking how it was the greatest thing I had ever heard in my life.

Ever since that day I was hooked. I would spend countless hours listening and diving into all of the legendary and classic albums that have been released through several decades of the genre’s lifetime.

I am definitely a hip hop super fan, it’s my favorite genre by far. But the last few years I must admit the genre as a whole has been feeling extremely stale for me. No new artists or artists I already loved had been releasing music that was particularly interesting or innovative and I found myself moving to other genres out of a need of something fresh and exciting.

I openly discussed this a few months ago in my article “Why does music not hit the same anymore?

I’m not complaining though, I began to explore new genres like Indie, Alternative, Electronic, and even some Country. Frankly, hip hop wasn’t scratching that itch that it used to back when I was a young teenager.

But as the beef has been cooling down over the past few days, I’m actually finding myself revisiting many of the old albums and artists I used to enjoy so many years ago.

Albums that I had already loved but also revisiting albums that I was never too keen on are all now sounding incredible, like I have a whole new perspective and experience to apply to the music and it makes it all so much more impactful and enjoyable.

This beef had me staying up late throughout the night glued to my computer in anticipation for new music, conspiracy theories, dissecting lyrics, and watching videos for song breakdowns trying to see if I missed anything crucial.

I haven’t had enthusiasm and excitement for music coming out like this since I was a teenager, and in many ways I feel like that 12 year old popping his Kanye West CD into his mom’s car yet again.

It seems like Kendrick and Drake are a fan of my blog and read how I was so bored of music as of late. So to them, I say thank you. Because now I give a shit about hip hop again.

And again, regardless of who you are rooting for or who’s music you like more, this beef has made everyone care again. Maybe not for the casual listener, but for the jaded and bored hip hop enthusiast like myself, this feud has given me a whole new perspective.

Things artists are saying in their music have meaning and implications again. It’s not just simple bangers that are fun for only a few weeks, but instead every line is crucial and significant because it has a direct correlation to how the beef is going and their chances of victory.

These two megastars are trying their very hardest to destroy each other with their art, and it’s so refreshing.

And it’s exactly what not hip hop, but music as a whole needed so badly. Hip hop is one the most popular genres in the world, and this only confirmed its relevance in the general music landscape.

This whole thing has been a whirlwind of pettiness, fan bases being pit against each other, emerging internet conspiracy theories, and respectively good songs coming out on both sides.

I think the general consensus now is that Drake is the undisputed loser of this whole beef. He simply could not keep up with Kendrick’s output of music and couldn’t craft as many high quality songs as him.

Not to mention Kendrick released a bay area banger with “Not Like Us” that quickly swayed public opinion that was and will continue to be played all across California parties and clubs for the foreseeable future.

Honestly, I feel kind of bad for Drake. He keeps getting wrecked in every beef he gets into and it’s kind of sad. But overall, I think he will be fine, he will continue to make hits and his career will go on as it always has (that is, unless he’s actually a pedophile and is hiding another daughter from the public, in that case fuck em).

I don’t think it’s controversial to say these two artists have been somewhat slowing in their careers over the past several years. Drake who has been undeniably releasing music with declining quality, and Kendrick who took a 5 year hiatus but did recently release an album in 2022.

Kendrick may be the technical winner, but both him and Drake are walking away from this with battle scars and has created discussions that will follow them for years to come.

But one thing is for sure, we the fans are the real winners after all of this.

Two of the biggest artists in music are attempting to make some of their best music in the form of verses that are meant to tear down their opponent and ruin their reputation in attempts to claim who is the best rapper in hip hop.

What could possibly be better than that?

Maybe Taylor Swift vs. Beyonce vs. The Weeknd? Maybe but it wouldn’t be nearly as entertaining.

I’m just glad. people in music are trying again, and as a result, it’s given me a newfound love for hip hop, a genre that influenced and molded me throughout my life since I was that 12 year old at Macy’s.

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