The Kendrick Lamar/Drake Beef, Explained


But we’ve gone hundreds of words without returning to the duo who delivered this moment: Future, the fourth face on that 2010s Rap Mount Rushmore, and Metro Boomin, the superproducer he’s made some of his most potent music with. There’s a deeper layer to Kendrick choosing a Future and Metro album as the stage to finally go at Drake: Metro has seemingly had his own problems with the 6ix God. Late last year he posted and subsequently deleted a tweet about his acclaimed album Heroes and Villains continuing to lose awards to Drake (and frequent Metro collaborator 21 Savage’s) album Her Loss. During a livestream not long after, Drake hilariously referenced “the non-believers, the underachievers, the tweet-and-deleters,” adding “you guys make me sick to my stomach, fam.” Despite trading a few more subliminal potshots across Twitter and IG, Metro downplayed any beef, saying that the issue was “not deep at all.”

Still, when eagle-eyed fans took note of Metro unfollowing Drake on Instagram—the definitive 21st century signpost of an un-amicable split—ahead of the album’s release, it didn’t take a hip-hop scholar to assume that, as Kendrick would declare, “it’s up.” And for those wondering how a producer-rapper beef would even reasonably play out, Metro makes it clear by serving up a new creative peak on “Like That,” with an obscenely screwface-inducing beat sampling Three 6 Mafia’s “Who the Crunkest” (which itself sampled 80s rap duo Rodney O and Joe Cooley), alongside Eazy-E’s classic “Eazy Duz It” as well as a splash of “Ridin Spinners.” In effect Kendrick and Metro are following playbooks beloved by the likes of Jay-Z before them, or even Drake with “Back to Back,” in dissing your opponent on a song that’s an undeniable banger whether people know the context or not.

But why would Future, who has approximately 30 (thirty) collaborations with Drake, including the 2015 collab album What a Time to Be Alive and two fairly recent tracks on Future’s last solo album, cede airtime on his new project to a noted Drake enemy? No one knows for sure at press time, but it’s possible they have issues of their own. Despite their prolific collaborations, their relationship has had its rough moments from day one. Recall 2011, when an ascendant Future got an assist from Drake remixing the former’s “Tony Montana,” only to publicly bemoan Drake refusing to do a video. And while they toured together in 2016, who can forget that time in 2013 when Future was briefly, allegedly booted off of Drake’s tour for less-than-flattering comments about his music in an interview.

Factor in the name of the album, and Future’s rap on the intro about someone who’s his number one fan despite sneak dissing him on the side, and you don’t need that big of a tinfoil hat to make the leap. Any opinions on the current status of Future and Drake’s relationship is all baseless conjecture for now, but what is irrefutable is that rap beef is geopolitics. One would imagine Drake, who on the chorus of a recent track cheekily wonders what Pluto (Future) would do in a certain romantic situation (answer: not safe for work), wouldn’t simply shrug at one of his most frequent collaborators releasing a project with space reserved for direct shots at him. (That would be like 21 Savage letting Pusha T hop on a track.)


You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *