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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

Drake and Kendrick Lamar: A feud timeline


On Tuesday, April 30th, Kendrick Lamar released a 6-minute response to Drake’s diss tracks “Push Ups” and “Taylor Made Freestyle,” titled “Euphoria”. The track comes after 17 days of silence following the leak of Drake’s former track. Titled after the show Euphoria, which Drake serves as an executive producer on, the track dives deep into Drake’s past controversies following a series of indirect and direct disses towards Lamar.

Drake and Lamar’s feud stretches back all the way to 2013, just one year after their collaboration track “Poetic Justice” on Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d city. It started with Lamar’s verse on Big Sean’s track “Control” where he came for several rappers, including Drake. At the time, Drake responded with peace, saying that it sounded like him being ambitious. However, Lamar would later come after Drake again during a cipher at the 2013 BET Hip-Hop Awards, further igniting the beef.

The two would drop subliminal disses towards each other repeatedly on their tracks, notably on “King Kunta” off of the critically acclaimed To Pimp a Butterfly by Lamar, in which he raps “I can dig rapping, but a rapper with a ghost writer? / What the **** happened?” resulting in Drake’s response on the track “100,” in which he said “I would have all of your fans if I didn’t go pop / And I stayed on some conscious ****” This all culminated in the track “Like That,” in which Lamar put himself on the top of the metaphorical “big three” following J. Cole’s 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,” on his collaboration track with Drake, “First Person Shooter.” 

“WE DON’T TRUST YOU” album cover, 2024

On “Like That”, Lamar compares himself to Prince and Drake to Michael Jackson, continuing the comparison Drake drew to himself on “First Person Shooter”. However, instead of paying respect to Drake, he further cements himself on top, stating “And your best work is a light pack / ***** Prince outlive Mike Jack.”

Drake fired back on the track “Push Ups,” which he released on streaming on April 19th. He also released “Taylor Made Freestyle” on social media, but later took it down after Tupac Shakur’s estate threatened to sue him for using A.I vocals of him. In the song, he also used A.I vocals of Snoop Dogg to try and get Lamar to respond to his prior track, as he had been silent ever since his verse on “Like That.”

The song features Lamar on top of three different beats, weaving intricate disses throughout its verses and entendres. He starts by calling Drake paranoid and stating that he’s “movin’ just like a degenerate,” as well as calling him “a pathetic master manipulator.” In the first verse alone, he also calls Drake a “scam artist”, rapping that “You’rе not a rap artist, you a scam artist with the hopes of being accеpted.” He finishes his first verse with the warning “Know you a master manipulator and habitual liar too/ But don’t tell no lie about me and I won’t tell truths ’bout you.”

On the second beat, Lamar reinforces his hatred for Drake and goes in deeper, mentioning Pusha T, the rapper who revealed Drake’s son Adonis to the public on his track “The Story of Adidon” in 2018. His verses are layered in references to Drake’s ghost-writing allegations, Drake’s label, and rappers, including YNW Melly’s double murder trial (“Yeah, Cole and Aubrey know I’m a selfish ***** / The crown is heavy, huh / I pray they my real friends, if not, I’m YNW Melly”), as well as rapper Gunna’s RICO trial, in which he is known for snitching, suggesting that Drake is a snitch as well (“I know some **** about ******* that make Gunna Wunna look like a saint”). 

J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar on stage, 2014

This culminates in the end of the second verse, where he declares his hatred for Drake, rapping “I hate the way that you walk, the way that you talk, I hate the way that you dress/ I hate the way that you sneak diss, if I catch flight, it’s gon’ be direct.” Additionally, he tells Drake to stay in his lane and stick to melodic music (“I like Drake with the melodies, I don’t like Drake when he act tough”), as well as calling him out for his abs, which are rumored to be from plastic surgery, reigniting liposuction claims from rapper Joe Budden in 2016 (“Let your core audience stomach that / Didn’t tell ’em where you get your abs from / V12, it’s a fast one, bow-bow-bow, last one”) (A reference to the Cryolipolysis Slimming Machine V12, used for liposuction). He also mentions Drake’s attempt to cease and desist either “Like That” prior to it’s release, suggesting that Drake was trying to avoid battling Lamar.

Lamar also responds to Drake’s usage of A.I vocals in “Taylor Made Freestyle,” questioning whether he is “…battlin’ ghost or AI,” also referencing Drake’s usage of ghostwriting in the past. He also disses the way Drake raises his son, Adonis, rapping that “I got a son to raise, but I can see you know nothing ’bout that.” He even mentions an incident in 2009 when Drake was allegedly robbed at gunpoint where he allegedly cooperated with police, further adding to the snitching allegations. Additionally, he uses clever wordplay to mention the incident, mocking Drake’s Toronto accent and even referencing Toronto restaurant New Ho King.

Lamar’s response track further proves his stance as one of the greatest rappers of his generation. With him covering so much material in only 6 minutes, he leaves no stone unturned. His references to other rappers and events add complexity to the track, making it a significant turning point in the feud with Drake. 




Since then, on the morning of May 3rd, Lamar released the song “6:16 in LA” on Instagram, seemingly as a reference to Drake’s series of tracks titled such as “8 AM in Charlotte” and “6 PM in New York.” Additionally, the title is a play on June 16th, which is Tupac’s birthday, when Father’s Day falls this year, as well as the series premiere of Euphoria. Coincidental or not and despite the speed of the response, Lamar’s writing still was incisive, rapping about Drake’s own inner circle being against him, as well as alleging that Drake tried to pay people to dig up info about him. 

“Family Matters” cover, 2024

Later that night, Drake released the 7-minute response track “Family Matters” in which he disses Kendrick, The Weeknd, Rick Ross, and A$AP Rocky. He accuses Lamar’s wife, Whitney Alford of having a baby with Dave Free, cofounder of Lamar’s label pgLang. Additionally, in the final verse, he accuses Lamar of domestic violence: “When you put your hands on your girl, is it self-defense ’cause she bigger than you?” and then returns fire to the back-and-forth comparison between Prince and Michael Jackson between both of their tracks since “Like That.” He even ends the song referencing the alleged abuse by stating “They hired a crisis management team to clean up the fact that you beat on your queen / The picture you painted ain’t what it seems.” The latter portion of that line follows Drake’s consistent accusations of Kendrick being a fake activist who puts on a persona and claims a higher moral ground because of his raps that are based around racism and the Black experience. Earlier in the track for example, Drake states that Kendrick raps as if he’s about to “get the slaves freed,” and implies that his advocacy is performative, as he allegedly does not help the less fortunate in Compton.

At midnight on May 4th, Lamar released another response track titled “meet the grahams”, mere hours after the release of Drake’s response track. In this track, Kendrick has a message for every member of Drake’s family. He scathes Drake, bringing up allegations that he has a gambling addiction from his father, that he has sex offenders in his inner circle,and that Drake may potentially have another child that he is hiding from the public. Drake denied the allegations of having a second child on Instagram shortly after the song dropped, but had not said anything regarding the other allegations.

“Not Like Us” cover, 2024

Later that evening, Lamar dropped yet another diss track, “Not Like Us,” featuring an aerial view of Drake’s mansion with sex-offender map symbols on it. The song centers around allegations of Drake talking to minors, with Lamar rapping: “Say, Drake, I hear you like ’em young / You better not ever go to cell block one / To any ***** that talk to him and they in love / Just make sure you hide your lil’ sister from him.” He even went as far as to state “Certified Lover Boy? Certified pedophiles,” a play on Drake’s 6th studio album, Certified Lover Boy. He includes a play on words further on, with the line “tryna strike a chord and it’s probably A Minor.” This track stood apart from those previously released, with a more Westcoast Compton melody and less serious lyrics. It has also been observed that “meet the grahams” was in the key of A Minor the entire time – a chord that curated the jarring and unsettling tune. Whether that was intentional or not is unsure.

As of now, fans have dug up a clip of Drake kissing a 17-year-old girl on stage in a show in Colorado in 2010, with him saying “I can’t go to jail yet, man. 17, why do you look like that?” However, the girl has gone on record to state that there was never anything between them. Drake goes on to refute internet-viral allegations of him grooming UK actress Millie Bobby Brown when she was just 15 years old: “Only *******’ with Whitney’s, not Millie Bobby Brown’s, I’d never look twice at no teenager…” Brown has gone on countless interviews through the years explaining their peculiarly close bond, which many observers found to be odd. Though Kendrick never mentioned her name explicitly, Drake immediately thwarted the potential diss. Nevertheless, both rappers have refused to personally show proof of each other’s accusations, leaving fans to scramble for details. 

This led Drake to release “The Heart Part 6”, a play on Lamar’s series of “The Heart” songs. Ironically enough, the song samples “Prove It” by Aretha Franklin, symbolizing the angle he would take on this song. Going on the defensive, he responds to the allegations thrown at him by Lamar. For example, Drake reveals that the supposed 11-year old daughter that Lamar suggested was leaked to his team in order to bait him to use it to his advantage (“We plotted for a week, and then we fed you the information / A daughter that’s eleven years old, I bet he takes it / We thought about givin’ a fake name or a destination / But you so thirsty, you not concerned with investigation”). Most importantly, he defends himself from the predator allegations, and in doing so, he also references “Mother I Sober”, a song off of Lamar’s last studio album, Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers. However, he takes the angle of making fun of Lamar being sexually assaulted, when in reality Lamar was referring to the generational trauma regarding assault running in his family.

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About the Contributors
Noah Gallo
Noah Gallo, Staff Writer
Hi! I'm Noah Gallo, a senior at Danbury High School. I am a staff writer for the Hatters Herald, the school paper. This is my first year writing for the school paper as I wanted to try my hand at journalism and writing. I enjoy writing and I want to inform others of events going on in the school because as an underclassman, it felt like I never knew what was going on around me. Aside from writing, I am interested in photography, photo and video editing, coding, cybersecurity, and music.
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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