Kendrick Lamar & Drake Beef: A Complete Timeline Of Diss Songs

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ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 22: Drake attends 21 Savage's Freaknik22: The Sequel at Underground Atlanta on October 22, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia.(Photo by Prince Williams/ GettyImages) MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - JULY 24: Rapper Kendrick Lamar performs onstage during day three of Rolling Loud Miami 2022 at Hard Rock Stadium on July 24, 2022 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Jason Koerner/Getty Images)
Drake vs. Kendrick Lamar. Who do you got?

Pressure can either burst pipes or make diamonds. The messy outcome that transpired this weekend between Drake and Kendrick Lamar affirms the reality behind that statement. Things became far too personal, forcing each MC to put their best foot forward in an attempt to stay ahead or, at the very least, neutralize their opponent. But for spectators of the sport of rap, this has been an excellent showing of two of the most celebrated MCs of this era in their element. However, this tension isn’t something that just began. It’s been brewing for over a decade and reached its boiling point when Kendrick unleashed his verse on Future and Metro Boomin's “Like That.” It reportedly came as a response to J Cole’s “Big 3” line on “First Person Shooter,” a song that allegedly attempted to see Drake bring his peers together as a united front before going on hiatus.

Ultimately, whether done in good faith or not, the No. 1 song off of For All The Dogs triggered tension within hip-hop circles. The public only began to feel its effects in March 2024 with the release of the first of Future and Metro Boomin’s joint albums, We Don’t Trust You. Metro and Future seemed to campaign these albums as a Drake takedown. However, it became even more clear in recent days that, except for Rick Ross, everyone else was basically hiding behind Kendrick Lamar. 

Below is a timeline of critical songs that have played a significant role in the battle between Kendrick Lamar and Drake. It should be noted that this is based on purely diss songs – not one-off subliminal bars. Therefore, we will not be counting Future and Metro Boomin’s back-to-back albums or any other track outside of “Like That” from those projects. 

March 26, 2024: Future & Metro Boomin - “Like That” Ft. Kendrick Lamar

It’s a treat to see Kendrick Lamar’s name attached to any tracklist as a featured artist, but no one really knew what they were jumping into when they heard “Like That” for the first time. The infectious bop, which has undoubtedly had radio, clubs, and social media in a stronghold since its release, swelled into one of the biggest songs of the year due to Kendrick’s verse. In the song, Dot makes it clear that the concept of the “Big 3” is obsolete – only one person could sit on the throne, and it is not Drake or J Cole. What's worse is that both Kendrick and Metro have alleged that Drake tried to block the song's release in different capacities.

April 5, 2024: J. Cole - “7 Minute Drill”

In the midst of catching a stray on “Like That,” J Cole succumbed to the pressure of social media and decided to try and gun for Kendrick’s neck on “7 Minute Drill,” the outro to his otherwise excellent mixtape, Might Delete Later. Though the public (clearly easily persuaded) believed this was an adequate release song, it did fall flat on a few occasions. For instance, Cole’s attempt to discredit Kendrick’s catalog could’ve been something flipped easily back on him. 

The public praised Cole for nearly 72 hours but what we didn’t know is that behind closed doors, Cole was riddled with regret. He took to the stage at his annual Dreamville Festival, where he offered an apology to Kendrick, referred to the song as one of the lamest things that he’s done in his career, and announced that he would remove it from streaming services. He kept his word and hasn’t really been heard from since.

April 13th, 2024: Drake - “Push Ups” (Officially Released On April 19th)

In the weeks after We Don’t Trust You, it became clear that it wasn’t just Kendrick who had an issue with Drake. It was everyone else who aligned themselves with Future and Metro Boomin, including Rick Ross, The Weeknd, and ASAP Rocky, who appeared in its sequel, We Still Don’t Trust You. The following day, a leaked demo of Drake’s “Push Ups” surfaced online, where he declared the entire debacle a “20 V. 1.”

He tore through Future and Metro Boomin, with the latter at the receiving end of the now-iconic phrase, “Metro shut yo h*e ass up and make some drums,” slammed Rick Ross for jumping in the feud, took shots at The Weeknd and XO as a whole, addressed J. Cole’s apology, and fired back at Kendrick with several short jokes and claims that he got swindled by Top Dawg. Ultimately, the song, including the mention of Whitney Alford, served as a warning shot toward Kendrick and the rest of his adversaries, though many initially believed it was an AI-created song before Drizzy confirmed its authenticity. 

April 13th, 2024: Rick Ross - “Champagne Moments” (Officially Released On April 15th)

Shortly after Drake’s diss track leaked online, Rick Ross wasted no time issuing a response. On “Champagne Moments,” which became a fan favorite among hip-hop’s old guard, emerged in snippets via Akademiks. The record feels like a classic MMG offering where Ross balances opulent tones with gritty imagery as he attacked Drake for using ghostwriters, getting plastic surgery, sending a cease to French Montana, and trying to embellish his street credibility by working with artists with more authentic ties to street gangs. 

April 19th, 2024: Drake - “Taylor Made Freestyle”

Perhaps the most confusing entry in this whole list, Drake reimagined himself as the late Tupac and Snoop Dogg on “Taylor Made Freestyle.” Released days after “Push Ups” in an attempt to encourage a response from Kendrick, Drake used the power of AI to deliver his first verse from the perspective of ‘Pac while the second came as an encouraging pep talk from Snoop Dogg. Drake wrote and recorded both verses, as well as delivered a verse at the end as himself to close the song.

On the track, Drake jabbed Kendrick for his street ties and downplayed the Compton artist’s impact on the West Coast. Much like “Push Ups,” this was another taunt aimed at Mr. Morale, though it also served as Drake’s first song where he solely addressed Kendrick Lamar. Considering the controversy surrounding AI, Drake faced backlash for attempting to desecrate Tupac’s legacy. Even Suge Knight condemned Drake from behind bars. The estate of Tupac Shakur later stated their disproval of Drizzy’s artistic choices.

“The Estate is deeply dismayed and disappointed by your unauthorized use of Tupac's voice and personality,” attorney Howard King wrote in a letter obtained by Billboard. "Not only is the record a flagrant violation of Tupac's publicity and the estate's legal rights, it is also a blatant abuse of the legacy of one of the greatest hip-hop artists of all time. The Estate would never have given its approval for this use." He added, "The unauthorized, equally dismaying use of Tupac's voice against Kendrick Lamar, a good friend to the Estate who has given nothing but respect to Tupac and his legacy publicly and privately, compounds the insult.” Days later, Drake removed the song from his Instagram page. 

April 21st, 2024: Kanye West - "Like That (Remix)"

Though this was by far the weakest diss track to come out of this feud, it did feel like a significant development as fans waited for Kendrick's reply. Kanye West's feud with Drake has been well-documented over the years, though both parties have attempted to revive their beef on wax to little effect. Kanye later jumped on the No. 1 single with a new verse while revamping the hook, declaring in the intro, "You know we had to get the Hooligans up here. We gon' take this p*ssy n***a out. Yo Dot, I got you." Outside of claiming that Drake sold his soul to UMG for that reported $400M deal, Kanye's diss record landed on deaf ears.

April 30th, 2024: Kendrick Lamar - “Euphoria”

Over two weeks passed after Drake’s “Push Ups” leaked online, and doubt began to cloud the air that Kendrick backed down from the feud. Media personalities, such as Akademiks and Jamil "Mal" Clay, began speculating that Dot would only respond on his next studio album. There were even rumors that Kendrick was too shook to fire back. However, on April 30th, Kendrick Lamar released “Euphoria” at 8:24 a.m. PST in what appeared to be an homage to Kobe Bryant. Furthermore, the song’s title also references the HBO series that Drake executive produces. The blistering song delivered on all fronts: addressing each of Drake’s major talking points and alluding to plenty of tea that the internet uncovered in the days that followed while also teasing Drake’s heritage as a Canadian and criticizing his parental skills when it comes to Adonis. 

Ultimately, “Euphoria” was a massive flex that proved Kendrick stood as a commercial giant next to Drake – a feat that no other rapper in this beef could flaunt. Moreover, his taunts of Toronto’s accent, OVO, and mention of New Ho King showcased Kendrick Lamar’s international appeal as the Toronto restaurant saw a significant spike in business shortly, thanks to “Euphoria.”

May 3rd, 2024: Kendrick Lamar - “6:16 In LA”

Days later, Kendrick Lamar doubled back with the release of “6:16 In LA” as an Instagram exclusive. Including a random Maybach motorcycle glove as its cover art and referencing Drake’s timestamp records, Kendrick Lamar let off another shot at Drake where he made his feelings towards him clear. This particular record had the makings of an entry in “The Heart” series. 

Produced by Taylor Swift associate Jack Antonoff and Sounwave, Kendrick tackles a smooth sample of Al Green’s “What A Wonderful Thing Love Is” (Drake’s uncle Mabon “Teenie” Hodges plays guitar on the song) and uses the first half as an opportunity to deliver both spiritual and materialistic flexes. Then, halfway into the song, Kendrick goes back in on Drake for trying to troll his manager, Anthony Saleh, online and alludes to having a mole in the OVO camp. This became a critical piece of information that would unfold over the next 72 hours. 

May 3rd, 2024: Drake - “Family Matters”

A little over 12 hours later, Drake would come back with a vengeance with the release of “Family Matters." Another one produced by Boi-1da, who clearly has kept a battery in Drake’s back throughout this beef, the song is broken down into three different sections. Similar to “Push Ups,” which previewed the hook of the first part of the song, Drake is after everyone who has fired at him over the past few weeks. Kendrick Lamar becomes the focal point, but this is where Drake begins to publicly disseminate information surrounding Lamar’s fiancée, Whitney Alford, and egg on rumors that she had an affair with Dave Free, Kendrick’s general manager, leading to the birth of a son. This was the biggest bombshell of the song, while Drizzy also spent the record doubling back on The Weeknd, Metro Boomin, Rick Ross, Future, and ASAP Rocky. 

May 3rd, 2024: Kendrick Lamar - “Meet The Grahams”

In what is undoubtedly one of the most scathing diss songs in the history of hip-hop, Kendrick Lamar released an open letter to the Graham family moments after “Family Matters” hit DSPs. Produced by Alchemist, Kendrick directs each verse at different family members, including an alleged secret 11-year-old daughter. While it did attempt to have the same effect as “The Story Of Adidon,” Drake later debunked this theory and alleged that he actually planted false information about the daughter himself. However, that didn’t take away from the fact that Kendrick accused Drake of using Ozempic, getting a BBL, protecting sex offenders and exhibiting Weinstein-like behavior, preying on underage women, and so much more. If you were looking for a diss track that emphasized dirty secrets before lyricism, this one is certainly for you. 

May 4th, 2024: Kendrick Lamar - “Not Like Us”

Nearly 24 hours after dropping “Meet The Grahams,” Kendrick came through with his fourth release of the week, “Not Like Us.” With production from Mustard, Kendrick delivered arguably the best song out of this whole kerfuffle. The heavily influenced West Coast bop takes cues from artists like Drakeo The Ruler and E-40 while Kendrick relentlessly trolls Drake. Though many doubted Kendrick’s ability to craft an anthem for the clubs, “Not Like Us” found his lyrical sword, infectious songwriting, and humor take center stage as he called Drake and OVO a bunch of pedophiles. We can’t imagine anything hurt Drake more in this battle than seeing Kendrick Lamar unite the streets of Los Angeles to scream “Certified Lover Boy? Certified pedophile” or “Trying to strike a chord and it’s probably A-Minor” in unison. 

May 5th, 2024: Drake - “The Heart Part 6” 

In what currently stands as the final offering in the current phase of this battle, Drake returned fire on Sunday night with “The Heart Part 6.” In another offering produced by Boi-1da, Drizzy switched his tone to offer a moody record that felt akin to the timestamp joints that fans have been longing for. Across the song, Drake doubled down on all of the allegations against Kendrick Lamar, including unsubstantiated claims of domestic abuse and the narrative surrounding Whitney Alford and Dave Free. Furthermore, he said that Kendrick hasn’t actually seen his kids in nearly six months.

In an attempt to address the allegations of grooming and predatory behavior, Drake also tried to flip the script to accuse Kendrick of projecting his own traumas of sexual abuse onto him. However, outside of his core fanbase, this backfired terribly. His failed attempt to reverse the narrative on “Mother I Sober” from Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers proved that he was, in fact, just as “dumb and reactive” as he accused Kendrick Lamar of being.

Ironically, by the end of the song, Drake says, “Everything in my sh*t is facts,” which feels less effective after several of his claims were debunked. Plus, his actual attempt to deny the grooming allegations didn’t help his case in the court of public opinion. However, the outro of this song indicated that Drake might be worn out by the constant back and forth with Kendrick. Is he truly willing to back down?

About The Author
Aron A. is a features editor for HotNewHipHop. Beginning his tenure at HotNewHipHop in July 2017, he has comprehensively documented the biggest stories in the culture over the past few years. Throughout his time, Aron’s helped introduce a number of buzzing up-and-coming artists to our audience, identifying regional trends and highlighting hip-hop from across the globe. As a Canadian-based music journalist, he has also made a concerted effort to put spotlights on artists hailing from North of the border as part of Rise & Grind, the weekly interview series that he created and launched in 2021. Aron also broke a number of stories through his extensive interviews with beloved figures in the culture. These include industry vets (Quality Control co-founder Kevin "Coach K" Lee, Wayno Clark), definitive producers (DJ Paul, Hit-Boy, Zaytoven), cultural disruptors (Soulja Boy), lyrical heavyweights (Pusha T, Styles P, Danny Brown), cultural pioneers (Dapper Dan, Big Daddy Kane), and the next generation of stars (Lil Durk, Latto, Fivio Foreign, Denzel Curry). Aron also penned cover stories with the likes of Rick Ross, Central Cee, Moneybagg Yo, Vince Staples, and Bobby Shmurda.
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