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Danbury High School     43 Clapboard Ridge Road Danbury, CT 06811     (203) 797-4800

The Hatters' Herald

Danbury High School     43 Clapboard Ridge Road Danbury, CT 06811     (203) 797-4800

The Hatters' Herald

Danbury High School     43 Clapboard Ridge Road Danbury, CT 06811     (203) 797-4800

The Hatters' Herald

The dissolution of rap’s ‘Big Three’: Kendrick Lamar’s solo stand


Earlier this week, producer Metro Boomin released an album in collaboration with Future titled We Don’t Trust You”, with lyrics and features that turned many heads. Multiple renowned rappers made their cameo on the record including Rick Ross, Travis Scott, Playboi Carti, The Weeknd, and, with the most controversial attribution, Kendrick Lamar. His verse on the song “Like That” sparked a debate among rap fans, and a potential new competition between himself, Drake, and J. Cole.

Future and Kendrick Lamar at Coachella, 2016

Lamar very clearly avoided subtlety and cut straight to the chase with his responses to J. Cole’s verse on Drake’s song “First Person Shooter”, released in accordance with his 2023 album “For All The Dogs”. In his portion, Cole called himself, Drake, and Lamar the “big three”, a title granted to them by many fans for their lyricism and impact on the rap industry. Simultaneously though, the three rappers have long considered their race to earn the “GOAT” title a competition and have dropped subliminal disses towards one another for the last decade. In Big Sean’s “Control”, for example, Kendrick Lamar acknowledges the two rappers and says “I got love for you all but I’m tryna murder you,” (2013).

On “Like That” however, Lamar erases the sugar coating and, in a straightforward fashion, separates himself from Cole and Drake by stating “Motherf*ck the big three, n—a, it’s just big me.” He continues to add salt to the wound by comparing their legacy to Prince and Michael Jackson’s, addressing how “Prince outlived Mike Jack”, the same way he believes his influence will outlast Cole and Drake’s. 

J. Cole and Drake at Dreamville Festival, 2023

Spectators of this drama are especially confused, because it seems to be completely newfound. After all, Lamar, Drake, and Cole paved their way through the industry at the same time and even toured together. There have even been collaborations between the rappers, such as Drake on Lamar’s 2012 “Poetic Justice”. It seems that Kendrick simply wanted to emphasize his independent achievements, and denounce the idea of him being lumped into a group with others. The setting of the diss wasn’t particularly unreasonable however, seeing as Metro and Future had their own feud with Drake in the past, regarding either a lack of credit or, as fans speculate, a woman.

Since the extremely frank jab at the two, Lamar has yet to be retaliated aside from a seemingly targeted caption on a recent Instagram post from Drake, stating “They rather go to war with me than admit they are their own worst enemy”. Overall, the uncalled-for diss has resulted in mixed reactions from fans of the three. Some are worried that this has erased any hope for a collaboration between the (apparently not) “Big Three”, while others are excited for a classic Hip-Hop rivalry to fuel the fire of the biggest music genre.

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About the Contributor
Linda Nucullaj
Linda Nucullaj, Staff Writer
Hey everyone, my name is Linda, and I am a senior here at DHS :) I decided to join the Hatter's Herald this year because writing has always been something I am fond of, and is definitely something I'd like to pursue in the future (along with political science). I'm a member of NEHS, an intern for the Danbury Library, and also hold a title as the Secretary for the DHS Class of 2024. Outside of school, I love movies, music, and books, as well as spending time with my cat. I am always interested in learning about new things and sharing information with people, so I look forward to publishing articles for our newspaper!

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