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Kendrick vs. Drake: A Timeline


This poll is up in Chemistry (Room 233) if you want to vote.

If you’ve been following rap at all in the last few weeks, you know that Kendrick and Drake (and for a few days, also J. Cole), arguably the two biggest rappers alive right now, are at war. Many people have been saying this is the most entertaining hip hop has been in years, but how did this actually happen? Well, it all started in 2022.


October 31, 2023


Drake releases his hit song “First Person Shooter” featuring J. Cole. Drake and Kendrick had already disliked each other for multiple years at this point, taking subliminal shots at each other every so often, but J Cole ignites something bigger by referring to himself, Kendrick, and Drake as the “Big 3.” This was a popular concept before, as many rap fans consider them to be the 3 best of the modern era, but Cole’s verse was the first time one of the Big 3 mentioned it.


March 26, 2024


Metro Boomin releases his album We Don’t Trust You with Future. Kendrick Lamar features on the song “Like That” and has some choice words for Drake and J. Cole. First, with the line “F*** sneak dissin’, first person shooter,” he calls out Drake and Cole (mostly Drake), accusing them of sneak dissing him on First Person Shooter. In addition, he calls out Cole’s mention of the Big 3 with the now infamous line that ignited the beef, “the Big 3, it’s just big me.”


April 5, 2024


J.Cole drops a surprise mixtape, Might Delete Later. The last song of this mixtape is “7 Minute Drill,” which is a diss aimed at Kendrick Lamar. Due to J. Cole’s lack of dirt on Kendrick, and possibly his normally humble and nice attitude, J. Cole’s diss track was a complete flop. Two days after releasing, Cole apologizes and decides that he didn’t name his mixtape what he did for nothing, deleting “7 Minute Drill.” This is J Cole’s last involvement in the beef. At the time, many people mocked him for showing his weakness by deleting a diss track, but this wouldn’t last, and J. Cole suffered little to no damage to his reputation by avoiding the beef.


April 6 – April 18, 2024


Other rappers in the industry begin to choose sides. Almost all of them choose Kendrick. As of writing this, Future, Metro Boomin, Kanye West, Rick Ross and A$AP Rocky have all either sneak dissed or released full diss tracks on Drake. On April 15, Kanye releases “Like That Remix” and Rick Ross releases “Champagne Moments” on April 21, both dissing Drake and strengthening Kendrick’s side.


April 19, 2024


With the release of two diss tracks, “Push Ups” and “Taylor Made Freestyle,” Drake gets in on the action. On “Push Ups”, Drake disses Kendrick for not having many hits or streams when compared to him and being short (Kendrick is 5’5). Along with other insults, Drake also pressures Kendrick to respond immediately, and says he has more serious information in store for a future diss. He also includes lines for everyone else on Kendrick’s side, while they may have been necessary, these lyrics caused some to speculate that Drake might be at a disadvantage in this beef because he won’t be fully focused on Kendrick.


A few hours later, Drake releases “Taylor Made Freestyle.” This diss has more of the same content but also contains AI verses from legendary West Coast rappers 2Pac and Snoop Dogg. This rightfully drew a lot of criticism because Snoop Dogg is alive which makes using an AI Snoop Dogg questionable, and 2Pac is dead which makes using an AI 2Pac disrespectful. For this reason, 2Pac’s estate forced Drake to take the song down. 


April 30, 2024


Kendrick clearly did not oblige with Drake’s request to respond quickly as his first diss track, “Euphoria,” comes 11 days after Drake’s disses, long enough to make listeners start wondering what the hold up was. The name is a reference to the popular TV show Euphoria, which Drake has production credits on. The show has also been controversial, as people accuse it of oversexualizing its teen characters, which may be an extra jab at Drake who has been accused of the same thing in real life. In the diss, Kendrick declares his hatred for Drake, calls him a liar and a manipulator, mocks his ghostwriters, his music, his racial identity, and many other parts of Drake’s past. Importantly, like Drake, Kendrick threatens to reveal much more serious information about his opponent. At this point, both rappers have hinted that they’re holding back, but this is going to end very soon.


May 3, 2024


Kendrick drops a second diss track on Instagram called “6:16 in LA.” The title is seemingly a response to Drake jokingly saying on “Taylor Made Freestyle” that Kendrick “better have a quintuple entendre” on his next song, as it is a quintuple entendre. 

    • The naming format is a play on Drake’s timestamp series.
    • June 16 is Father’s Day in Canada. Drake has been called out on past disses for hiding his children.
  • Euphoria first aired on June 16, 2019.
  • OJ Simpson’s infamous murder trial was filed on June 16, 1994. The cover for 6:16 in LA is a picture of a glove, a major piece of evidence in the case.
  • 2Pac’s birthday is June 16.

The beat for the diss samples a song that Drake’s uncle played guitar on. On the actual diss, Kendrick reiterates some of the points from “Euphoria”, calls out Drake’s online chatter during the beef and claims that he has a mole in OVO (Drake’s record label) feeding him information.


11PM, May 3, 2024


Drake drops his response track, “Family Matters,” with a music video where Drake crushes the van from Kendrick’s good kid, m.A.a.d city album. This is the payoff of the threats of more serious information he claims to have on Kendrick. First, Drake claims that Kendrick’s friend and cofounder of his pgLang label, Dave Free, is the father of Kendrick’s son, supposedly an explanation for why Kendrick doesn’t have many photos with him. Second, he claims Kendrick’s cousin, Baby Keem, ghostwrites for him. Finally, and perhaps most seriously, he claims Kendrick has cheated on and beaten his girlfriend, Whitney Alford. In addition, he also questions Kendrick’s residence in Brooklyn and responds to Kendrick’s remarks about his blackness, among other things. These are all heavy hits that make “Family Matters” an extremely solid response, but unfortunately Drake also makes some accusations that are verifiably false.

First, Drake accuses Kendrick of not “planting money trees,” or giving back to his hometown of Compton. However, Kendrick has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to support school programs in Compton and keep kids there off the streets. For his contributions, he was even given the key to the city by the mayor of Compton in 2016.

In addition, Drake accuses Kendrick of being a fake activist, controversially saying he’s “always rapping like you ‘bout to get the slaves freed,” and claims his discussion of Black issues in albums like To Pimp A Butterfly is a fake aesthetic. Despite this, the album has received great praise for its discussion of these issues, and Kendrick himself has been seen at Black Lives Matter protests.


Midnight, May 4, 2024


Yes, you read that right. Kendrick dropped “meet the grahams” an hour later. He didn’t write it in an hour either, he had this trap set way in advance. The cover is a picture of assorted items from Drake’s house, which seems to confirm the existence of a mole in OVO. While the rappers were going hard before, they were just dropping normal diss tracks. There was anger, but there was also a fair bit of hype. But there’s no hype to be found in “meet the grahams,” only horror and disgust. No fancy beat switches are seen on this song, only Kendrick over the same eerie piano beat for 6 and a half minutes, as he drops a nuke on Drake.


Compared to the tea Drake spills on “Family Matters,” Kendrick has a lot more to reveal on “meet the grahams”.  While Drake addresses Kendrick’s fiancé multiple times, Kendrick seems to have a personalized verse for multiple people close to Drake. In the first verse, he talks to Drake’s son whose existence was exposed in Pusha T’s “The Story of Adidon” in 2016. Kendrick expresses his sorrow that Adonis has a father as bad as Drake, and offers to be his mentor. 

On the second verse, he talks to Drake’s parents, telling them that Drake is a misogynist and an addict. Kendrick goes on to say that Drake is a predator in company with other predators and he wants to see him die or rot in prison for life. These remarks aren’t completely unfounded with there being multiple reports of Drake’s behavior with women, including sexual assault allegations and bringing a 17 year old up on stage, kissing her, and making creepy remarks about her body afterwards.

On the third verse, Kendrick addresses/exposes Drake’s hidden 11 year old daughter (for those of you keeping track at home, that’s 1 of Drake’s children revealed by Pusha T, 1 revealed by Kendrick, and 0 by Drake). He expresses sorrow that her father has been more occupied with music, drugs and sex than raising her, similar to the first verse.

On the fourth, last, and most intense verse, Kendrick addresses Drake himself. He suggests that Drake brought this upon himself by bringing up Kendrick’s issues on “Family Matters” and that the beef could have just been a nice back and forth if not for him. He reiterates Drake’s drug, alcohol, gambling and sex addictions, the fake culture/identity he claims, and his lack of masculinity. The song ends with Kendrick getting angrier as he lists off all of Drake’s lies, including all the kids he has that haven’t been mentioned before. A whole article could be written on just this song and/or “Family Matters”, as these are by far the most devastating hits in the whole beef.


May 4, 2024


Kendrick blasts the crater left by “meet the grahams” even further with his most recent diss, “Not Like Us.” He names some of the other predators in OVO, but other than that, no new information is revealed. Not simply content to just destroy Drake, Kendrick wants to make sure the fans are pumped up about it, as the song is much more upbeat and condenses his points into catchy one liners like “tryna strike a chord and it’s probably a minorrrrrr” and “certified lover boy, certified pedophiles.” These bars have seen a little controversy as they seem to match tweets from a few years ago, but they seemed to have achieved Kendrick’s goals regardless, as “Not Like Us” has smashed multiple streaming records.


May 5, 2024


Drake is squarely on defense now, and he sounds the part in his response, “The Heart Part 6.” His delivery almost sounds defeated, but he still tries to maintain some dignity by claiming that he planted the mole in OVO, and Kendrick fell for bait. He also calls out Kendrick for not rebutting allegations that he has his own family issues, beat his wife, and that one of his kids comes from Dave Free. These are definitely pressing points on Kendrick’s character, but rather than double down on this, Drake plays some terrible defense in the next verse. He denies the predator allegations by saying that he’s “way too famous” and therefore would have been arrested already if they were true. Anyone who took AP Lang this year can point out the terrible logic in this one. He then claims to still have more on Kendrick before a weird, uninspiring spoken word outro. As such, the song has 700k likes to 1.4 million dislikes on YouTube, a sour note that has not been followed up by either rapper since.



While both rappers put up a good fight, Kendrick is most likely the clear winner, unless Drake has more to say. Not only does he do significantly more, possibly irreparable damage to Drake, he has also come out much better as far as the numbers go. According to Billboard, Kendrick’s streams have increased by almost 50%, while Drake’s have actually decreased by about 5%. The beef may be dormant, and it may not even concern you, but you can actually still get involved. On May 5, in his own act of disrespect towards Drake, Metro Boomin dropped as close to a diss track as a producer can, with “BBL Drizzy.” This is a unique diss as Metro doesn’t do any rapping himself, but rather is using the beat as a contest. Whoever makes the best BBL Drizzy diss track gets a free beat and $10,000 from Metro himself, and the runner-up also gets a free beat. Maybe someone from Museum could win the BBL Drizzy contest, as unless another response is released by Kendrick or Drake, this beef is in our hands now.

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About the Contributor
Benjamin Tripp
Benjamin Tripp, Arts and Entertainment Writer
I like to listen to and talk about music. If you have a recommendation for me, I’d love to check it out. Some other things I enjoy are cooking and playing games.
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