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The Drake/Kendrick Lamar Beef Has a Winner. Where Do We Go From Here?



The Drake/Kendrick Lamar Beef Has a Winner. Where Do We Go From Here?

This previous weekend, after a month of flirting with open warfare, the battle Drake and Kendrick Lamar lastly tipped over into three days of exhilarating back-and-forth, and we’re nonetheless feeling the aftershocks. 2024’s greatest rap beef reached its presumed conclusion Sunday night time with Drake’s despondent “The Coronary heart Half 6,” however the on-line world hasn’t stopped reacting. The West Coast is treating “Not Like Us” like a triumphant battle cry. Educators are dissecting the lyrical complexities of the disses. Superfans of each artists seem like spiraling.

Kendrick and Drake are the 2 most outstanding rap superstars of the millennial era, and over time they’ve been framed as one another’s antithesis— Kendrick, the tastefully restrained storyteller who pops out each few years when he actually has one thing on his coronary heart to share, versus Drake, the decadent, ever-present workaholic who’s by no means let various months of his 17-year profession move with out releasing new materials. Their wrestle to upstage one another—culminating within the launch of six tracks between them simply within the final week alone— provided no scarcity of spectacle. Drake used A.I. to troll Kendrick within the voices of his West Coast heroes to strike a nerve on “Taylor Made Freestyle”; Kendrick responded, on “Euphoria,” by paraphrasing the late DMX’s anti-Drake sentiments, drawing blood in a lower-tech approach. “6:16” samples “What A Great Factor Love Is,” a 1972 Al Inexperienced tune that options Drake’s uncle Teenie Hodges on guitar; Drake promoted “Household Issues” on his Instagram by sharing “Buried Alive Interlude, Pt. 2,” named for a tune from his 2011 Take Care album that featured Kendrick again when issues had been copacetic. Each rappers additionally swiped one another’s emblems: Kendrick’s “6:16 in LA” performed on Drake’s timestamp-in-a-specific-city song-titling conference, whereas Drake pulled a Younger Thug Barter 6-esque transfer by naming his ultimate entry “The Coronary heart Half 6,” after Kendrick’s career-spanning collection of the identical identify.

“Not Like Us,” in the meantime, has been learn as a message to Drake followers who declare Kendrick isn’t able to making club-ready anthems. However should you ask the proper self-appointed web rap analyst, each transfer that’s been made on this battle has had a quadruple that means. What we will say for certain: No matter their rivalry, these are males who’ve been acutely dialed into one another’s careers from the very starting, which meant this standoff was at all times destined to be about greater than deciding who was the most effective at rapping. It was destined to grow to be what it grew to become—a high-stakes battle to see who might obliterate whose integrity first.

Fact be informed, the obvious finish of the meat feels just like the closing of a chapter in hip-hop’s story, the place the teachings of the outdated guard met the interconnectedness of the brand new age. When’s the final time rappers born within the 80’s commanded this a lot of our consideration? Save for Drake, not one of the individuals who got here in in the course of the weblog period’s latter years nonetheless imply one thing to any era apart from their very own. Drake and Kendrick’s locations inside the style’s pantheon of legends are just about established already. Something that we get from them now could be decorative, which is why the sheer effort they each put in over the previous couple of weeks has been one thing to marvel at. It additionally in all probability represents the tip of an period: There’s so little materials return for Gen Z’s greatest rappers to go toe-to-toe with each other outdoors of buying and selling insults on livestreams and in interviews that it will doubtless not occur once more. Not like this. That is for individuals who spent their childhoods watching rap superstars freestyle at radio stations and on BET’s after faculty tv lineup within the early-to-mid 2000s. Individuals who bear in mind a time—even when it was their early childhood— when an MC was solely pretty much as good as their staunchest competitors, and calling your self a rapper meant being able to show your superiority at any second.

In that respect, the feud has been a pleasure to witness. Nevertheless it’s additionally been a reminder that, at its worst, hip-hop incentivizes the infantilization of grown males who want to have the ability to maintain the eye of individuals of their teenagers and early 20s to stay highly effective. Of their late 30s, these brothers ought to be receptive and accountable sufficient to chorus from dangling abuse of girls and kids as a method to reveal dominance. That form of decency is outwardly an excessive amount of to ask of males preventing desperately for a generational crown. And the results of these failures are already revealing themselves.

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