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The Pioneer Press

The student news site of Jonathan Alder High School

The Pioneer Press

The student news site of Jonathan Alder High School

The Pioneer Press

Drake vs Lamar: the beef from the beginning

While they currently have a very public feud, Aubrey “Drake” Graham and Kendrick Lamar weren’t always enemies. 

The beginning

The two met in 2011, when Drake, an up and coming new rapper himself, discovered Lamar, who was not wildly known yet. Drake saw potential in him and invited him on his sophomore album “Take Care.” Lamar even collaborated on Drake’s record.

They stayed on friendly terms, with Lamar accompanying Drake on his Club Paradise tour, and talking to the press about one another in kind supportive manners. The two worked together for the very last time in 2013, on A$ap Rocky’s “F**king Problems.”

At this point, Lamar was getting lots of attention from fans and media from his album “Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City” which was number two in the United States. He started off 2013 winning MTV’s hottest MC in hip hop, and months later he won Best Male Hip Hop artist over Drake at the BET awards. 

There was certainly some competition between Drake and Lamar at the time, but fans were surprised with Lamar’s verse in Big Sean’s “Control,” released in August 2013 that dissed Drake along with other artists. Lamar dropped the line, “I’m usually homeboys with the same **** I’m rhymin’ wit, but this is hip hop and them **** should know what time it is, and that goes for Jermaine Cole, Big KRIT, Wale, Pusha T, Meek Millz, A$AP Rocky, Drake, Big Sean, Jay Electron’, Tyler, Mac Miller, I got love for you all but I’m tryna murder you ****”

It’s clear from this lyric that Lamar saw himself as number one. Every person that Lamar mentioned had no problem with the slight diss. Most of them didn’t even see it as disrespect, they saw it as competition. 

Drake was the only person who took issue with this. “I don’t know it just wasn’t real to me” Drake said in an interview with Hot 97 News. “I saw him after that and it was just like, love so it’s like was that real or was that just like for the people?” He described Lamar as using harsh words, and it seemed as though he was genuinely upset. 

Drake soon released his album “Nothing Was the Same.” In the song “The Language,” the first line could be seen as a shot at Lamar, saying “I don’t know why they’ve been lying but your shit is not that inspiring.” 

Drake says in an interview with Elliot Wilson, “At this point? I can’t wait to see what he does because now it’s time to show and prove consistency. It’s been, like, one album.” The tension between the two of them was definitely rising. It didn’t help that Lamar had laughed at Drake’s expense in two separate interviews, and called him “sensitive” in the 2013 BET cypher. 

The two of them took many shots at each other over the years in their songs, but they wouldn’t call each other out by name yet. At this point, it was just a little fight between two grown men. Years later, things would turn to war. 

The escalation 

In November 2023, Drake and J Cole released “First Person Shooter” where J Cole dropped the line, “Love when they argue the hardest MC / Is it K-Dot? Is it Aubrey? Or me? / We the big three like we started a league.” Here, J Cole references Lamar (K-Dot) and Drake (Aubrey), claiming that they are the big three of modern rap.

As Lamar has said before, he sees himself as above everyone else. He doesn’t see himself on the same level as J Cole and Drake, so he made a song to respond. 

In March 2024, Future and producer Metro Boomin came out with “Like That” featuring Lamar. Lamar shot a clear diss at J Cole’s line, rapping, “Motherf**k the big three, **** it’s just big me **** bum.” 

A timeline of the history between Lamar and Drake. (Maddie Saiter)

In the same song, Lamar references the title of Drake’s “For All the Dogs” album when he says, “‘fore all your dogs getting buried, that’s a K with all these nines, he gon’ see Pet Sematary.”

In retaliation, Drake dropped two songs in April 2024, “Push Ups” and “Taylor Made Freestyle,” both diss tracks directed at Lamar. “Push Ups” was a comeback song where Drake named several other artists, including SZA, Travis Scott, and Twenty-One Savage, who “got you wiped down” in reference to Lamar.

In “Taylor Made,” Drake used AI-generated Tupac and Snoop Dogg’s voices to taunt Lamar, stimulating a conversation between them. Before this, Drake only communicated subliminal messages in his music to diss Lamar, but in this track, he calls him out by name and insults him. He insinuates that Lamar is small and calls him his son, because Drake helped him with his career in the beginning. 

However, he deleted “Taylor Made” shortly afterwards because Tupac Shakur’s estate threatened to sue over the use of his AI-generated voice.

On April 30 2024, Lamar released the song “Euphoria.” Lamar isn’t one to release music often, so this was a real treat for his fans. Hate spews out of every pore on Lamar in this song. Lamar said he hates when Drake says the N word, and Drake is a deadbeat father, saying, “I got a son to raise / but I can see you know nothin bout that.” He doesn’t call him out by name, but there’s little room for doubt as to who he is talking about. Drake is an executive producer on the show “Euphoria,” so the title of the track alone could be seen as in reference to Drake, and he references a Canadian in the song.

This week

On May 3, 2024 both Lamar and Drake released new songs. 

Lamar released “6:16 in LA,” which is allegedly titled after a time and location to schedule a fight, Lamar raps about how Drake’s label is against him. “Everyone inside your team is whispering that you deserve it,” he raps.

Drake’s song, “Family Matters,” has a music video that shows the van from the Lamar’s album cover “Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City” being destroyed in a car crusher. 

In the song, Drake alleges that Lamar’s manager had an affair with Lamar’s longtime partner, Whitney Alford. Drake also alleges that Lamar likes to cheat with white women, beat his girl, and that he’s not a real activist. Drake asks the question of why Lamar is never seen with his son and daughter, possibly accusing that one of Lamar’s children are from another man, referring back to Drake’s claims of the affair between Lamar’s partner and his manager, Dave Free.

Within the hour after “Family Matters” was released, but technically on May 4, 2024, Lamar released “Meet The Grahams,” a reference to Drake’s last name. Lamar goes all in. He talks specifically to Drake’s son, starting off with “Dear Adonis” and saying things like “your dad is not responsive” and “I’m sorry that you gotta grow up and then stand behind him.” In other verses, Lamar addresses each member of the Graham family individually – Adonis, then Sandra (Drake’s mom), then “baby girl,” Drake’s alleged hidden daughter, before addressing Aubrey “Drake” Graham himself.

Since Drake did in fact hide his son Adonis from the public for years, it is possible that he is also hiding another child, but that has not been confirmed. In other parts of the lyrics, Lamar exposes Drake for having sex offenders on his label’s payroll, and says Drake deserves to die.  

The cover of the song is a collection of personal items, possibly belonging to Drake. This could mean that Lamar has moles watching Drake, someone in his inner circle. That’s how he would know Drake was dropping something that night, and how he got that picture of the personal items, which include prescribed medications. 

In the evening of May 4, Lamar doubles down with “Not like Us,” with the cover art being a photo of Drake’s house, showing several sex offender stickers posted on the house. In this song, Lamar adds to the accusations of pedophilia originally published in “Family Matters.”

In retaliation, Drake dropped the most recent diss to date; “The Heart Part 6” on May 5. The tone was defensive, basically asking for proof of Lamar’s claims. 

In one line, Drake writes, “We plotted for a week, and then we fed you the information, a daughter that’s eleven years old, I bet he takes it,” insinuating that he knew that Lamar was listening to his conversations through a mole, and gave him false information. 

He responds to the deadbeat claims by saying Lamar hasn’t seen his own children in over six months: “You haven’t seen the kids in six months, the distance is wild.”

As for the pedophile claims, Drake states that he’s way too well known to be going around messing with children or young girls, saying “I’m way too famous for this s*** you just suggested.” 

However, a video from 2010 shows Drake kissing a 17 year old fan on the stage of his show. He asked her age after he kissed her and held her from behind. Once she replied with “17,” he proceeded to kiss her again. 

Drake ends the song with “Everything in my shit is facts, I’m waiting on you to return the favor, like.” 

With so many allegations at once, it’s a lot to take in. The beef is entertaining, and it’s been going on for a decade. It’s pretty clear Lamar has been holding in his feelings for Drake for years. We have yet to see if this beef (or collab album) is officially over or not. 

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About the Contributors
Fiona Petticrew
Fiona Petticrew, Staff Writer
Senior Fiona Petticrew is in her first year of journalism. She plays soccer for the high school and is involved in musicals and show choir. She can be spotted by her curly brown hair and her awesome style! She loves taking pictures with her film camera and enjoys spending time with her dog Peter.
Maddie Saiter
Maddie Saiter, Staff Writer, Social Media Manager
Maddie Saiter is a second-year journalism student, who is a senior this year. You can recognize Maddie by her awesome hair. You’ll often see Maddie playing the guitar, or at least doing something musical, as she is also in the Marching Band. Maddie intends on being a marketing major at Ohio University. 

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    ChristinaMay 11, 2024 at 1:41 PM

    You are a talent! This is well researched