The Student News Site of the Latin School of Chicago

The Forum

The Student News Site of the Latin School of Chicago

The Forum

The Student News Site of the Latin School of Chicago

The Forum

Rap Civil War: Kendrick Vs. Drake

Kendrick Lamar and Drake have taken their feud to the next level, including many roasts in their raps.

Nobody was prepared for the drama that would ensue after “We Don’t Trust You,” created by rap producer Metro Boomin and rap artist Future, hit streaming services. Rapper Kendrick Lamar, featured on the sixth track “Like That,” had a lengthy feature in which he directly dissed his nemesis, Drake.

Kendrick addressed Drake by using his own song, “First Person Shooter,” against him. In “Like That,” Kendrick states, “First Person Shooter / I hope they came with three switches.” Later in the verse, Kendrick claims top spot in the rapper hierarchy, in which Drake had once claimed that he, Kendrick, and J. Cole were the “big three” of rap.

In his rebuttal to Drake’s prior roast, Kendrick denied these accusations, saying how “it’s just big me.” To top it off, Kendrick comes back for more, referencing “For All the Dogs” and Stephen King’s 1983 novel “Pet Sematary,” saying “​​’Fore all your dogs gettin’ buried / That’s a K with all these nines / He gon’ see Pet Sematary.”

This diss was particularly shocking, because to many fans, Kendrick and Drake seemed to get along. They’ve collaborated on multiple tracks such as “Poetic Justice” from Kendrick’s seventh album, titled “good kid, m.A.A.d. city,” Drake’s RnB “Take Care,” and A$AP Rocky’s fast-paced and cleverly-written single with 2Chainz.

Nonetheless, if you take a closer look at their history, they’ve had small amounts of tension dating back to August 2013. Kendrick poked at Drake and multiple other rappers on Big Sean’s song “Control.” In this song, Kendrick showcases his more competitive side, claiming that he has “love for you all, but I’m trying to murder you.” He calls out not only Drake, but numerous other artists such as J. Cole, Mac Miller, Pusha T, Meek Mill, and A$AP Rocky.

Kendrick pressed Drake again only two months later, in October 2013, calling Drake a “sensitive rapper back in his pajama clothes.” Drake stayed quiet throughout these disses, brushing them off as jokes or claiming to “stand [his] ground,” as he said in a Vibe Magazine interview.

Flash forward to 2024, and Drake is finally addressing Kendrick. In April, Drake released a single called “Push-Ups,” in which he fires shots at Kendrick, claiming “[y]our first number one, I had to put it in your hand,” and going as far to insult Kendrick’s height, retorting “[h]ow … you big-steppin’ with a size-seven men’s on?”

Clearly, Kendrick was not going to take that diss, and hurled back with a six-minute-long single titled “euphoria.” In this track, Kendrick questions Drake’s racial background, his fashion sense, and even if he writes his own music. He even sends out a warning to Drake, “…don’t tell no lies ‘bout me, and I won’t tell no truths ‘bout you,” and sounds almost like Kat Statford in the movie “10 Things I Hate About You,” when he calls himself Drake’s biggest hater and lists off everything he hates about him: the way he walks, talks, and dresses. To finish off the song, he labels Drake as a bad father, saying he knows “nun ‘bout that,’” referring to parenting his 6-year-old son in a traditional Canadian accent, mocking Drake’s nationality.

Before Drake could even respond, Kendrick went on to release another song on May 3, titled “6:16 in LA.” With a dark, doo-wop instrumental, Kendrick reveals how Drake’s record label OVO Sound’s employees may not be looking out for Drake and his best interests. After putting pressure on Drake, Lamar was left waiting for his response.

On May 3, around 14 hours after “6:16 in LA” was released on streaming platforms, Drake responded with “Family Matters.” Drake extends this whirlwind of drama out to numerous different rap artists such as The Weeknd, A$AP Rocky, Rick Ross, Future, and Metro Boomin. Drake individually dissed each of them, giving no mercy.

Only minutes after Drake’s “Family Matters” dropped, Kendrick released a third tune called “Meet the Grahams.” Opening the song, an eerie piano and unsettling instrumental plays while Kendrick addresses Drake’s son, Adonis Graham, and airs all of Drake’s dirty laundry. In this shocking six-minute and 32-second long track, Lamar claims that Drake has a child he’s hiding from the rest of the world, is involved in sex trafficking, and deals with gambling and alcohol addictions, all while consistently covering up cosmetic surgeries. Leaving listeners with their jaws dropped, Kendrick digs deep into Drake and says that there’s no more debate about if this is a rap battle—it’s a battle with himself.

However, the musical civil war wasn’t over yet, as less than a day after dropping “Meet the Grahams,” Kendrick released his fourth blistering track: “Not Like Us.” As if the second child allegation isn’t enough, Kendrick ruthlessly accuses Drake and his OVO companions as pedophiles. Memorable lines from this track play on music chords and Drake albums, as Kendrick says, “[t]ryna strike a chord and it’s probably A minor,” taking shots at Drake’s alleged pedophilic behaviors, and again bringing up this theme when Kendrick spins the name of Drake’s renowned album “Certified Lover Boy” to “Certified Pedophile.”

Finally, Drake had his last comeback and shared “The Heart Pt. 6.” Here, Drake shuts down the allegations about his long-lost daughter, and pans the attention back to Lamar, bringing up the fact that Kendrick has spent a questionable amount of time away from his children, saying “the distance is wild.” The Canadian rapper even went on to speak to Lamar’s ex girlfriend, Whitney Alford, and told her to “hit [him] up if [she] needs a favor.”
Amid the drama, Latin students are stuck on both sides of this predicament. Conversations about these artists can be heard daily in the locker bays and Learning Commons.

Freshman Ani Mehta-Shah said, “Drake will always be my unbothered winning king.”

Freshman HJ Walberg disagreed, saying how the feud was “very interesting and Drake is getting cooked.”

Freshman Eliza Goldhaber said that it “…went further than I expected and I think it’s giving both of them a lot more fame.”

Rap fans across the world are still in shock at the public display of hatred coming from both parties. When stuck in the middle of this heated feud, it can be hard to choose which side to support. The question still remains: the winner takes what, exactly?

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