The Kendrick Lamar/Drake Beef, Explained (2024)

Still, when eagle-eyed fans took note of Metro unfollowing Drake on Instagram—the definitive 21st century signpost of an un-amicable split—ahead of the album’s release, it didn’t take a hip-hop scholar to assume that, as Kendrick would declare, “it’s up.” And for those wondering how a producer-rapper beef would even reasonably play out, Metro makes it clear by serving up a new creative peak on “Like That,” with an obscenely screwface-inducing beat sampling Three 6 Mafia’s “Who the Crunkest” (which itself sampled 80s rap duo Rodney O and Joe Cooley), alongside Eazy-E's classic “Eazy Duz It” as well as a splash of “Ridin Spinners.” In effect Kendrick and Metro are following playbooks beloved by the likes of Jay-Z before them, or even Drake with “Back to Back,” in dissing your opponent on a song that’s an undeniable banger whether people know the context or not.

But why would Future, who has approximately 30 (thirty) collaborations with Drake, including the 2015 collab album What a Time to Be Alive and two fairly recent tracks on Future’s last solo album, cede airtime on his new project to a noted Drake enemy? No one knows for sure at press time, but it’s possible they have issues of their own. Despite their prolific collaborations, their relationship has had its rough moments from day one. Recall 2011, when an ascendant Future got an assist from Drake remixing the former’s “Tony Montana,” only to publicly bemoan Drake refusing to do a video. And while they toured together in 2016, who can forget that time in 2013 when Future was briefly, allegedly booted off of Drake’s tour for less-than-flattering comments about his music in an interview.

Factor in the name of the album, and Future’s rap on the intro about someone who’s his number one fan despite sneak dissing him on the side, and you don’t need that big of a tinfoil hat to make the leap. Any opinions on the current status of Future and Drake’s relationship is all baseless conjecture for now, but what is irrefutable is that rap beef is geopolitics. One would imagine Drake, who on the chorus of a recent track cheekily wonders what Pluto (Future) would do in a certain romantic situation (answer: not safe for work), wouldn’t simply shrug at one of his most frequent collaborators releasing a project with space reserved for direct shots at him. (That would be like 21 Savage letting Pusha T hop on a track.)

It’ll be interesting to see how this all unfolds, but while it’s understandably taking up a lot of oxygen on the timeline right now, one thing we shouldn’t lose sight of is that We Don’t Trust You is, quite simply, incredible. Sure, beef is cool but so is Future reverting to some of his most historically depraved peaks earlier on the track—do not listen closely if you don’t want to hear specifics of the X-rated scenario that may absolve him of one of his 20 carat rings. He’s blacking out mostly everywhere else on the album even harder; 2022’s I Never Liked You is a great album, but We Don’t Trust You arrives immediately battling for an even higher spot in his storied discography. The same can be said for Metro’s beats; I yelled just as loudly as I did at Kendrick on “Like That” later on at the surprise Rick Ross verse as he glides on the soulful, escalating beat for “Everyday Hustle”... only for the beat to morph a third time as Future returns to take the reins.

Metro’s been talking this album up for the better part of a year, directly acknowledging the high standard set by his and Future’s past work as a unit. They’ve cleared that bar and then some, shaking the rap game up in the process, securing a top slot for a summer outside and any Best Of lists. Silencing all doubters with the music, casting oneself as a step ahead of the competition: it’s energy the late, great Mobb Deep rapper Prodigy would appreciate, which is perhaps why the album is peppered with gripping soundbites from some of his past interviews.

New beef and a handful of great mainstream rap records all before Easter? I thought it was a drought.

The Kendrick Lamar/Drake Beef, Explained (2024)


The Kendrick Lamar/Drake Beef, Explained? ›

Drake mocks Lamar by accusing him of not responding to Push Ups because of Taylor Swift's rollout of The Tortured Poets Department. "Now we gotta wait a f***ing week/'cause Taylor Swift is your new top/And if you 'bout to drop, she gotta approve."

Who is the big three in rap? ›

Now, Kendrick Lamar - he mentions the big three in that song. Now, why are these rappers - Drake, J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar - called the big three? LOVE: Well, they are the big three most influential male rappers of the millennial generation.

What is Kendrick Lamar's story? ›

Duckworth grew up in a high-crime area of Compton, where, ironically, his parents had moved to escape a violent milieu in Chicago. He began writing rhymes as a young teenager, and he released his first mixtape, Youngest Head nigg* in Charge (2003), under the name K. Dot.

How many Grammys does Kendrick Lamar have? ›

Kendrick Lamar (17 GRAMMY wins)

Kendrick Lamar burst onto the scene in 2011 and was quickly recognized for his lyrical prowess. With iconic albums like To Pimp a Butterfly and DAMN, Kendrick has secured wins in categories such as Best Rap Album and Best Rap Performance.

Who is mumble rap king? ›

There is disagreement over who first rapped in such a style, although its creation has been attributed to rappers such as Lil Wayne, Gucci Mane, Chief Keef, Young Thug, Rich Homie Quan, Migos, Sahbabii and most notably Future, whose 2011 single "Tony Montana" is often cited as the first mumble rap song; however, there ...

Which rapper is 777? ›

777 is the second studio album by American rapper and singer Latto. It was released through RCA Records and Streamcut on March 25, 2022.

What song does Kendrick Lamar talk to Tupac? ›

Within the album's closing song, “Mortal Man,” Lamar engages in a conversation with the late Tupac Shakur using audio excerpts from a rare 1994 interview between Shakur and the host of Swedish radio show P3 Soul, Mats Nileskar.

When did Kendrick Lamar come out? ›

Lamar's debut studio album Section.80, was released on July 2, 2011, and issued on independent record label Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE). It peaked at number 113 on the US Billboard 200 chart. The album's lead single, "HiiiPoWeR", was released prior to the album through iTunes.

Is Kendrick Religious? ›

at the end of the day, kendrick realizes that God isn't just confined to one religion. God is everywhere, christianity or not. if given a choice between religion or love, i think he'd choose love. so yes, kendrick is still a christian, but not in a typical conservative sense.

When did J Cole come out? ›

The Come Up, his debut mixtape, was released on May 4, 2007. Following the release of The Come Up, J. Cole was contacted by American rapper Jay Z and subsequently signed to his record label Roc Nation.

Why is Kendrick Lamar so popular? ›

Through Lamar's immediately recognizable, multifaceted flow and technique, he has been proclaimed the voice of Black America on multiple occasions. On To Pimp a Butterfly, Kendrick rapped about the oppression and exploitation of Black people and culture by the hands of the United States.

How did Dr. Dre discover Kendrick Lamar? ›

Kendrick Lamar is a Grammy Award-winning hip-hop artist who was discovered by Dr. Dre. Dre heard one of Kendrick's mixtapes and was immediately impressed by his talent.

Why is Kendrick Lamar Kung Fu Kenny? ›

Some speculate that the name was inspired by Don Cheadle's character of the same name in Rush Hour 2. This piece by The Fader goes into detail about how Kendrick Lamar admitted to as much.

What does <3 mean in rap? ›

He often sports a cap with the number 3 across the front, and I really can't think of other instances of 3 being a thing in rap. Chance's 3 refers to Chance 3- or as we know it, Coloring Book. His third full-length project. He wears the cap for most of his public appearances, and has been doing so for quite a while.

Who is the big rapper in the world? ›

Top 50 Greatest Rappers of all Time
RankRapper (Stage Name)Real Name
1EminemMarshall Bruce Mathers III
2Jay-ZShawn Corey Carter
3Kendrick LamarKendrick Lamar Duckworth
4NasNasir bin Olu Dara Jones
46 more rows
Mar 23, 2024

Who is major figure rap group? ›

Major Figgas was founded in the Erie Ave area of Philadelphia by Gillie da Kid, Wallo, and Abliva, who were friends from the neighborhood. They knew Bump J, Dutch and Ressy Rolx from all living in the same area, and eventually expanded after inducting Spade and Bianca.

Who was the first big rap group? ›

The Sugarhill Gang may have released the first rap|single with “Rapper's Delight” in 1979 may have been the first hip-hop artist to sign a major-label record deal.

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