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  • Writer's pictureJoshua U.

Kendrick vs. Drake, Rap Wars... 3-Part TRB Pod Out Now!

Dynamics have shifted at the apex of the rap game.

Ever since Kendrick Lamar's explosive verse on Big Sean's 'Control' in 2013, where he said the following:

"But this is hip-hop and them n-----s should know what time it is

And that goes for Jermaine Cole... Drake

I got love for you all but I'm tryna murder you n-----s

Tryna make sure your core fans never even heard of you n-----s

They don't wanna hear not one more noun or verb from you n-----s

What is competition? I'm tryna raise the bar high

Who tryna jump and get it?"

Let's shelf J. Cole aside for now (Even though for all intents and purposes he already covered that on his own).

Kendrick's verse was a hallmark moment in rap. It emphasized the need for competition in an industry that, in my opinion, leaves a lot to be desired without it. I vividly remember the time period immediately following 'Control' in 2013 -- it had the culture truly charged up.

Since that point in time, Drake in particular hadn't fired an officially pointed response back towards Kendrick. Had he fired some clever sneak disses and subliminals in Kendrick's direction on a fairly consistent basis? Yes, absolutely.

But what we've seen play out recently from Kendrick's end since then has been the culmination of a decade-plus of brewing hatred towards Drake. Yes, hatred. You don't drop diss tracks like Euphoria, Meet The Grahams and Not Like Us without having real hate in your heart.

It appears that the boiling point for K. Dot was the drop of Drake & J. Cole's First Person Shooter on Drake's 2023 album, For All The Dogs. This track featured the following:

"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, but right now, I feel like Muhammad Ali" - J. Cole

As this "beef" has aged, it appears that this was just the in that Kendrick needed to let some unresolved emotions out. Funny enough, Kendrick also revealed in Euphoria that Cole and Drake requested for Kendrick to be on First Person Shooter, and that Kendrick had declined.

Future & Metro Boomin dropped their collab studio album, "We Don't Trust You" on March 22nd. This album, as well as its comically titled sequel, "We Still Don't Trust You" that dropped on April 9th, peeled the curtain back on just how many prominent artists have disdain for Drake. Future, The Weeknd, Rick Ross, A$AP Rocky, and Kendrick ALL fired shots at Drake on the two projects, for various reasons.

The album's most popular track, Like That, carried on it the following feature verse from Kendrick:

"Mother---- the big three, n----, it's just big me ...

What? I'm really like that

And your best work is a light pack

N----, Prince outlived Mike Jack' ...

'Fore all your dogs gettin' buried

That's a K with all these nines, he gon' see Pet Sematary"

Lights, camera, action.

As of this week, we've gotten this rundown of diss tracks from rap's two most powerful and famous titans:

First Person Shooter vs Like That

Pushups vs Euphoria

Taylor Made Freestyle vs 6:16 in LA

Family Matters and Meet The Grahams

Not Like Us vs The Heart Part 6

Highlighted in gold above were the two tracks that defined this battle. The battle's peak. The visceral negativity and resentment from each artist on each track was palpable. Especially from Kendrick on Meet The Grahams. The strategic move from Kendrick to drop his diss MINUTES after Drake dropped the spectacular 'Family Matters' will also prove to be a lasting memory from this battle.

Drake dropped 'Family Matters' on the evening of May 3rd, which fired crazy shots at Kendrick and his character. In an unbelievably strategic endeavor, Kendrick stepped on the track with a visceral diss of his own, "Meet The Grahams" not even 30 minutes later.

But The Recess Bell can tell you better than we can write it out for you.

Myself (trbceo, therecessbell on IG), as well as Gīnā (1andonlygina_), Destany/NINE11 (11xnine), and Kory (k_dot94) got together for one of my favorite podcasts yet; a three-part episode to break down EVERYTHING that has taken place in the rap game as it relates to Kendrick, Drake, everybody who hates Drake, and more.

Regardless on who you feel like won, I don't think this battle can be framed as anything other as a win for the culture. Competition is always good.

On the same token, I understand how people may have been turned off by the negative, dark, and downright nasty allegations that both rappers hurled at one another. Hip-hop's two most popular talents are now facing unsubstantiated "wife-beater" and "deadbeat" allegations. And, of course, Kendrick took real aim at the years-long rumor of Drake's... affinity for young, barely-or-not-legal-at-all women -- and also may have exposed a troubling & sick culture at Drake's label, OVO.

Not Like Us has been the highest-grossing song from this beef; a stupidly rhythmic song that will hilariously have clubs all summer dancing to & shouting bars like:

"Certified Lover Boy? Certified Pedophile"

"Freaky ass n----, he a 69 God! Freaky ass n----, he a 69 God!"

"Everybody say OV-HO! OV-HO!"

'Not Like Us' cover art -- featuring Drake's Toronto home.

I hope (?) time will tell which allegations are true and which were just fabrications and exaggerations. But, for now -- this is what we have. Listen to our three-part analysis below:


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