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The beef between Kendrick and Drake intensifies


Feuds are nothing new in the hip-hop world, and one of the most talked-about ones of late has involved Drake and Kendrick Lamar, two of the genre’s biggest stars. With huge fan bases and individual styles, these two musicians have taken the rap game by storm. Things between them haven’t always been easy, though, even with their mutual success. 


Relationship between Drake and Kendrick Lamar did not begin badly. Actually, they used to collaborate and appeared to respect one another highly. One of their well-known joint efforts was on the song “Poetic Justice” off of Lamar’s highly regarded album “good kid, m.A.A.d city.” Their complimentary styles—Lamar’s honest, reflective lyrics and Drake’s silky, melodic flow—were highlighted in this hit song.


But all of a sudden things have changed around. Their most recent album releases appear to have stoked the most recent round of animosity. Fans have been quick to point out lines that appear to be directed at one another in Lamar’s “Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers” and Drake’s “Certified Lover Boy,” which both dropped in the past few years.


When Lamar raps on “Savior,” he says, “Keen ears, I hear you loud and clear/The pressure’s taking its toll, I fear.” A lot of people think this is a direct response to what Drake said. This tension comes from a number of times when Drake seemed to poke fun at Lamar. In 2013, Drake downplayed the impact of Lamar’s “Control” verse, which named Drake and several other rappers by name, during his acceptance speech at the BET Hip Hop Awards. Drake has also hinted at a rivalry with Lamar in interviews and lyrics, calling him fake and questioning his influence in the industry.


Some people think that Drake’s line “I’ve been losing friends and finding peace/But honestly that sounds like a fair trade to me” in “Fair Trade” is a jab at Lamar’s more thoughtful and critical style. This line could mean that Drake is talking about his own growth and ignoring the criticism from his peers, maybe even Lamar.


They haven’t kept the tension to their music alone. Using social media, both musicians have expressed their emotions. Following “Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers,” Drake shared an Instagram story that many fans take to be directed at Lamar. It said, “Some folks should cut back on the subtlety. What’s up is known to us.”


Conversely, Lamar has been more forthright in interviews, implying that he believes Drake is more focused on chart success than on the craft of rapping itself. Lamar declared recently in an interview, “I’m about the message and the craft. Though that’s nice if it makes the charts, that’s not the aim.”


Quick to take sides, fans are debating on social media who is the better rapper and who is winning this feud. As a means of encouraging both musicians to improve, some fans value the competitive attitude. Others, hoping the two would work together rather than fight, are let down.


Some Novi students were quick to share their opinions. Lisa Moolman, a senior said, “Kendrick, won 100%. He’s more poetic. He gets straight to the point. He doesn’t go around the bush, and his flow and everything is just out of this world.” 


Dami Abiloye, also a senior, said, “I don’t really know. I just think that Kendrick is lowkey beating Drake right now because he’s lowkey called out some things that Drake did. The industry has been touched by the beef as well; other producers and artists have commented. Kendrick has had some supporters who have praised his message and lyrical depth. Drake has supporters who praise his adaptability and ability to regularly top the charts.”


The future course of this beef is unclear. Given their reputations for deft wordplay and calculated moves, Lamarand Drake’s future work is probably going to include more subdued—or not so subdued—jibes. It will be seen if they eventually put the hatchet down or keep igniting the rivalry.


The most recent dispute between Drake and Lamar ultimately serves as a reminder of how competitive hip-hop is. Although some fans could find it unfavorable, others would see it as a motivating factor that keeps the genre fresh and interesting. The world will be watching—and listening—as long as these two are at the top of their game.

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About the Contributor
Savannah Lewis
Savannah Lewis, Staff Writer

Savannah Lewis is a junior. This is her first year on staff. Savannah enjoys writing, listening to music, photography, traveling, and hanging out with family and friends. If you want to tell your truth contact her at [email protected]

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