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On ‘Euphoria,’ Kendrick Lamar is Drake’s biggest hater — and proud of it : NPR



On 'Euphoria,' Kendrick Lamar is Drake's biggest hater — and proud of it : NPR

Kendrick Lamar can’t stand Drake; “Euphoria” lists the methods.

Ricardo Rubio/Europa Press by way of Getty Photographs

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Ricardo Rubio/Europa Press by way of Getty Photographs

Kendrick Lamar can’t stand Drake; “Euphoria” lists the methods.

Ricardo Rubio/Europa Press by way of Getty Photographs

Kendrick Lamar simply reminded us there is no substitute for actual emotion in rap beef.

This morning, the LA rapper launched his response within the ongoing feud between himself and Drake, by dropping a six-minute diatribe aimed toward Drizzy as a rap artist and, extra importantly, as an assassination of his character on a human stage.

“Euphoria” not solely references Drake’s involvement with the MAX hit drama of the identical identify but in addition expresses the extent of elation Lamar seemingly feels in lastly getting these items off his chest. Lamar’s music is the newest plot level within the timeline of hostility between the 2 rap titans thought of to be a part of hip-hop millennial Mount Rushmore. It is a timeline that goes again over a decade and was lately reignited to start with of 2024 with a storm of messy diss tracks — each genuine and synthetic.


On the primary verse, Lamar makes use of a relaxed, cool but sinister supply: “Know you a grasp manipulator, and ordinary liar, too / However do not inform no lie ’bout me, and I will not inform truths ’bout you.”

However fairly shortly, his rhymes erupt into tunnel-visioned, blood-boiling disgust on the deepest stage. Lamar accuses Drake of being an insufficient father to his son, mocks his Toronto slang, jeers at his rumored cosmetic surgery, alludes to him being a snitch, calls again to previous beefs Drake has remained mum about and even comes for Drake’s complete identification, questioning his Blackness. These lyrical pictures, whereas undoubtedly disrespectful, actually aren’t something too explosive. Actually, these are accusations rap followers have heard earlier than about Drizzy by way of disses by Rick Ross, Megan Thee Stallion and Pusha T. However at 3:10, Okay.Dot breaks his standard poetic kind to record out each element in regards to the streaming-era star he simply merely can’t stand:

I hate the way in which that you simply stroll, the way in which that you simply discuss
I hate the way in which that you simply gown
I hate the way in which that you simply sneak diss
If I catch a flight it is gonna be direct
We hate the b****** you f*** as a result of they confuse themselves for actual ladies
Discover I say, “We”
It isn’t simply me; I am what the tradition feeling

Deployed in fast succession, this caliber of a callout is so visceral and actual that it is precisely what’s been lacking on this rap beef. To rap fandoms and music critics alike, a lot of this high-profile hip-hop conflict has simply felt off. Artificial, gummy, uninspired. Within the age of synthetic every part, even the confrontation between Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole and Drake (plus a couple of others alongside the way in which) has been marked by its detachment from the entire inventive premise of a rap beef — to point out off your expertise, up the ante and embarrass your opp into submission.

It has been a month (March 26) since Lamar threw the primary stone within the long-brewing beef along with his sub on the Future and Metro Boomin observe “Like That”: “Motherf*** the large three, n****, it is simply large me.”

After J. Cole dropped the observe “7 Minute Drill” on April 5 in response to “Like That,” Cole rescinded his diss and introduced publicly that he was bowing out of the meat fully whereas onstage at his label’s annual Dreamville Fest as a result of, level clean, Cole’s coronary heart wasn’t in it.

On April 19, Drake lastly unleashed his official response to Lamar with “Push Ups,” coming at Lamar’s previous pop-leaning options, his “pip-squeak” stature, mocking TDE’s tour gross sales and even name-checking “Like That” producer Metro Boomin within the course of. However the way in which “Push Ups” was rolled out created a brand new frontier of Web Age confusion amongst rap followers. When it first dropped, some assumed the low high quality, on-line leak was an AI-generated facade and never Drake himself. The legitimacy of “Push Ups” was confirmed by stay streamer DJ Akademiks and ultimately hit DSPs, however this disorientation created an added layer of Web chatter, one Drake may capitalize on. Proving he was taking cues from social media timelines, Drake doubled down on his response to Lamar with one other observe, “Taylor Made Freestyle” only a few days later. Solely this time, he began off the music with AI-generated verses from the late Tupac Shakur and the very alive Snoop Dogg.

The try and irk Lamar with manipulated voices of two West Coast legends was a uniquely 2024-type of transfer, however in the end, it undercut any efficiency of the music. The Shakur property issued a stop and desist to the Toronto rapper for “unauthorized use of Tupac’s voice and persona” and the observe was promptly taken down from social media.

Firing again with a observe that is as savage and emotional as “Euphoria” on a random Tuesday morning by way of YouTube is taken into account an old-school power in at present’s period of infinite distribution avenues and a conversation-driving chess transfer that leads again to at least one supply. This report drips with ranges of seething, petty hatred for Drake that is clearly been on Okay.Dot’s coronary heart for years. At its core, “Euphoria” is fueled with begrudged, drained, emotional baggage from Okay.Dot that is solely gotten heavier with time and cannot be mimicked or manufactured. It is freed from gimmicks, media personalities, gatekeeping or ChatGPT. This beef is over or it is simply getting began. For actual this time.

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