Home » Drake can’t lose the Kendrick battle. He also can’t win it

Drake can’t lose the Kendrick battle. He also can’t win it

by The Grio

Editor’s note: The following article is an op-ed, and the views expressed are the author’s own. Read more opinions on theGrio.

Suddenly, it seems like everybody hates Drake. Kendrick Lamar just unloaded on him with ill verses on his hot new song “Like That.” Kendrick’s verse is one of the great battle verses in hip-hop history, and people are talking about how great it is. The record was produced by Future and Metro Boomin so they’re hating on him, too. Mos Def recently dissed him. Megan Thee Stallion is surely offended by his continued support for Tory Lanez. Kanye got beef with him. Pusha T had beef with him, too. Rick Ross had an issue with him. Meek Mill had an issue with him. And there’s a host of rappers who don’t like him. Damn, is it all about Drake?   

On “Like That,” Kendrick focused a lot more on Drake than on J. Cole. There are multiple dog references, all of which play off of the title of Drake’s last album, “For All the Dogs.” (That album was mid.) And when Kendrick talks about Prince outdoing Michael Jackson, he’s referencing Drake likening himself to MJ because of their success on the Billboard charts. Drake is the main villain in Kendrick’s verbal assault.

It would be better for Drake, and for everyone, if Drake did not respond. He’s not at Kendrick’s level as a writer or in the booth. Kendrick is one of the greatest MCs alive. Any response would make that clear and invite an even more powerful retort from Kendrick. You don’t want that smoke, Aubrey.

Drake is unquestionably more popular, but artistically he and Kendrick are in different worlds. They are at two different levels of MC capability. Only one of them has a Pulitzer.

Also, they’re two different spirits as artists. Kendrick is a hypersmart wordsmith from Compton. You feel the warrior spirit in his music. Drake is a brooding playboy from Canada who’s had his heart broken by so many women. He makes catchy pop music…

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