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Drake Vs Kendrick Lamar: The Lyrical Battle



Drake vs. Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick Lamar and Drake: Image source: Getty Images.

There are rap battles and warfare, and Kendrick Lamar and Drake demonstrated the latter. Lyrically, they were locked and loaded on the battlefield, and neither took prisoners.

A few weeks ago, the world witnessed the start of the next era of rap battles. Older hip-hop fans recall the early ’90s rap battles between legendary artist Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G. Since then, there has been little dust-up in battle rap. However, J. Cole and Drake laid the groundwork a little more than a month ago. Like the first match in a title fight, it was only a preview of what was to come when Drake and Kendrick would take their positions in the center of the ring. And as the Ringer points out, it was worth paying attention to. Why? Well as noted

“Hip-hop has become more diffuse and hyper-regional; Drake and Kendrick represent the last artists popular enough to suck up this much oxygen.”

A Journey Through Creative Conflict: Who’s Winning?

Everyone has their own perspective.  However, in terms of balance, Hip-hop reigns supreme. Fans are witnessing lyricists at work, each elevating the other as they reach down into that creative space to find that fire to demolish the competition. This time around, the conflict has been ongoing. So, where did this all start?

“First Person Shooter” and the Rise of an Epic Rap Battle

It all started with the “First Person Shooter” project, which featured Drake and J. Cole.

Cole’s verse was an ominous predictor of what was to come. As Cole flows, “N****s so thirsty to put me in beef, dissectin’my words and start lookin’ too deep.”

And Kendrick Lamar was one who didn’t take too kindly to the mention of his name in the pair’s collaboration. In response, Lamar used his feature on “Like That” to scorch his lyrical nemesis.

Cole responded with a “7-minute drill,” which some interpreted as a few mediocre jabs.


Despite public sentiments, Cole decided to step down gracefully after some thought. Nevertheless, that did not derail the express train to one of the most intense rap battles of all time.

Drake vs. Kendrick Lamar

Drake took offense to Lamar’s verse and responded with a rumored leaked diss track, “Push Ups.” Before Kendrick could respond, Drake aimed and fired again in “Taylor Made Freestyle.”

The heavyweight that Lamar is, he was not taking it on the chin, and he came back stronger with “Euphoria,” which ABC27 describes as a six-and-a-half minute track that “hits like an opus.”

He unleashed a full-fledged lyrical assault that many believed was a TKO that Drake would not recover from

Drake vs. Kendrick Lamar: Go Hard or Go Home

The artist responded with “Family Matters.”

That was nowhere near the end. It became apparent that these two were likely to go for ten rounds. And Lamar didn’t disappoint, coming back with “Meet the Grahams.”



To add insult to injury, in the style of “Mortal Kombat,” Lamar did not just try to “Humble” Drake but “finish him” with “Not Like Us.”

All Eyes on Drake

At this point, Drake had everyone’s attention. Many wondered if Drake’s response was worth it after Lamar’s rapid-fire responses. But when you are in the ring, and your reputation is on the line, you fight until the end. In his track “The Heart Part 6,” the “Certified Lover Boy” stood up for one more pushback, or, as some believe, defensive posturing.


There has been no exchange since Drake’s response was released.  The question remains: Is one even necessary? As ABC 27 notes, the “hotline bling performer sounded “notably lethargic on the song—potentially taking a final bow .”

Hip-hop for the win

Although fans have their favorites, when two artists compete to prove their mettle, hip-hop always wins. So, for FMHipHop readers, who’s your pick?

Written by Renae Richardson 

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