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The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

Gator Take: Kendrick embarrassed Drake, but now their beef has gone too far

Check out the lyrics that stand out and lines that have been crossed

Kendrick won.

The most recent rap battle between Kendrick Lamar and Drake is one of the most meaningful rap battles that culture has seen in recent history.

One of the first rap beefs occurred in 1981 between rappers Busy Bee and Kool Moe Dee. Busy Bee had claimed he was the best rapper. Kool Moe Dee didn’t like this, responding with verbal jabs and a style that mimicked Busy Bee’s.

It’s simple enough, but this early battle can be seen as a template and example of a root cause for numerous future rap beefs like this one. Rappers seem to like being the best in the world and take offense when others claim to be.

Kendrick appeared on Metro Boomin and Future’s most recent studio album, “We Don’t Trust You.” The song “Like That” featured all three artists, with Kendrick throwing multiple jabs at Drake and J Cole.

The most prudent is the claim that he’s the best rapper alive. “Motherfuck the big three, It’s just big me,” Lamar said.

On April 13, Drake leaked the track “Push Ups” which featured the lines, “Top say drop you better drop and give them 50. Pipsqueak pipe down, you ain’t in no big three; SZA got you wiped down.”

A graphic depicting Kendrick Lamar (left) (Batiste Safont, CC BY-SA 4.0) and Drake (The Come Up Show, CC BY 2.5, Wikimedia Commons). (Jonah Chambliss / Golden Gate Xpress)

Drake references Lamar’s former manager and label owner Top Dog along with his former label mate from Top Dog Entertainment, SZA. The most direct line calls Kendrick short and says he isn’t in the big three (of rap).

Drake then dropped another track, “Taylor Made Freestyle,” which featured artificial intelligence-generated verses from Tupac Shakur and Snoop Dogg, which is where Drake lost me.
The song sounded okay, but to AI-generate the voice of Tupac, one of rap’s most beloved artists, is simply distasteful.

Tupac didn’t shy away from rap beef; he had an incredibly well-known beef with The Notorious B.I.G – my personal favorite rapper of all time. But in my opinion, to use a rap icon like Tupac’s voice without his estate’s permission is so cringeworthy and, frankly, corny. I refuse to even include the lyrics in this opinion piece.

Tupac’s estate sent a cease and desist to Drake and had the song taken down.

On April 13, the beef was truly served as Kendrick dropped “Euphoria.” This is one of the best diss songs ever released in the history of rap.

Many lines in this song directly refer to Drake’s character, reputation and rapping ability.

Kendrick calls out Drake’s parenting with the line, “I got a son to raise, but I can see you don’t know nun’ bout that.” He calls out his use of A.I., saying, “I’ll die before I let a Canadian make Pac turn in his grave.” My personal favorite goes at Drake’s misogynistic lyrics and treatment of women, saying, “I believe you hate women.”

My main opinion is that these lyrics and many more amount to a 6 minute and 23 second banger of a song that absolutely trashes Drake.

Kendrick followed “Euphoria” with “6:16 in LA” on May 3. This song is OK but really follows Kendrick’s promise to go back-to-back as Drake did in his previous beef with Meek Mill.

I would have been completely satisfied if this was the extent of the beef between Kendrick and Drake.

Instead, the songs that follow all cross a line.

The debate about whether you can cross a line in a rap beef is a whole other discussion. In my opinion, speaking about things as serious as child abuse and domestic violence in a personal feud is pretty immature and tasteless.

It reminds me of the Jay-Z and Nas feud, in which Jay-Z’s mother forced him to apologize for taking the beef too far, along with Nas putting out what many consider the meanest diss track ever in the track “Ether.”

Drake responded to Lamar’s “6:16 in LA”, with the song “Family Matters,” in which he claimed Kendrick had abused his wife and one of his children isn’t his but his manager’s, Dave Free.

A catchy song full of nothing but low blows.

Kendrick responded with “Meet The Grahams” and “Not Like Us.” These two songs remind me of “Ether,” and I would argue are even more disrespectful.

In the two songs, Lamar alleges that Drake has relationships with underage women, employs child predators, has another child whom he’s hiding, takes drugs and reminds Kendrick of Sexyy Red. I love Sexxy Red and find her music extremely catchy, but I don’t think Drake loves this comparison.

Kendrick “Ethered” Drake. The lyrics of these songs are too inappropriate and cross so many lines, I can’t really even put them in this story, because I feel like he went too far.

Drake responded with the track “The Heart Part 6,” a clever track that mimics “The Heart,” a series of titles Lamar has used on past songs. He also claims that the second hidden child was fake information planted by Drake and his team.

This beef is cooked.

At this point, Lamar and Drake are making allegations against each other without much proof, if any.

“Not Like Us” is another amazing chart topping song and Drake has yet to respond. The beef has roped-in family members from both sides, and created some serious allegations for both rappers.

That’s why I think the beef has gone too far.

Drake had some fine lines, but Kendrick absolutely bodied him. The things being said and allegations being made are pretty messed up and shouldn’t really be joked about.

If all is fair in love and war, Kendrick utilized the meanest, most disrespectful lines in the catchiest song.

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About the Contributor
Jonah Chambliss
Jonah Chambliss, Staff Reporter
Jonah Chambliss (he/him) is a reporter for Golden Gate Xpress. He is majoring in journalism and minoring in sociology. He was born and raised in Oakland, California. He lives in San Francisco, California, while working full-time and attending San Francisco State University. He previously contributed to The Cabrillo Voice, the student newspaper of Cabrillo Community College in Aptos, California. He served as a staff reporter for Golden GateXpress last semester, covering arts and entertainment, and will cover student life and club events this spring. During his free time, Jonah is an avid cyclist, motorcycle rider, and mechanic. Jonah is also a huge fan of Bay Area sports, specifically the Oakland Athletics and Golden State Warriors.

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