In the past few weeks, rappers Kendrick Lamar and Drake have been beefing it out over a series of diss tracks aimed toward each other, with the occasional mention of other rappers in the songs. The two have thrown insult over insult, bringing in wild and serious accusations toward each other and their families. Although the two’s rap beef has been simmering for a while, it has finally exploded, much to fans’ and the public’s enjoyment. 

Lamar and Drake first started on friendly terms. The two collaborated on some projects such as A$AP Rocky’s “F**kin’ Problems” and Lamar’s “Poetic Justice.” However, their friendly collaboration ended in 2013 when Lamar made aims toward Drake and other big names in the rap game on Big Sean’s song, “Control.” As time went on, the two would take subtle digs at each other, but nothing escalated too far. While Drake dominated the charts and sales, Lamar stood tall critically in the rap game, receiving a Pulitzer Prize for his “DAMN.” album. 

Things remained calm until October 2023 when Drake and J. Cole collaborated on “First Person Shooter.” The track took on a lively tone as the two rappers claim to be on the top of the rap game along with Lamar. Specifically, Cole raps, “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.” Despite the two ranking Lamar at the top with them, they would soon find out he did not appreciate the sentiment.

A couple of months later, in March 2024, Lamar collaborated with Future and Metro Boomin on “Like That.” He fired back in full force at Drake and Cole in response to their track, rejecting their idea of the “big three.” In his verse, he fiercely rapped “Motherf**k the big three, / n****, it’s just big me.” As a result, he rejected their civility, claiming his position at the top of the rap game. Additionally, he made various other clapbacks in his verse most especially toward Drake and Cole. Besides his disses, he hypes himself up by comparing his legacy and influence to Michael Jackson and Prince. Lamar let it be known to the other two rappers that their legacy does not match his nor will it ever compare. 

In less than 24 hours following the release of “Like That,” Drake vaguely brushed off Lamar’s diss at a show for his “It’s All A Blur – Big As The What?” tour. However, in April 2024, J. Cole directly responded to Lamar with a diss track titled “7 Minute Drill.” The rapper went all in on Lamar, calling out his slow releases of music and falling off the game. However, Cole later regretted the track as he publicly apologized to Lamar and took the song down on streaming platforms, calling it the “lamest sh*t” he has ever done. 

In the same month, Drake finally dropped his first response to Lamar titled “Push Ups.” In the track, Drake mocks Lamar’s short height and his deal with Top Dawg Entertainment, implying that the company has a hold over Lamar’s artistic choices. Quickly following this, Drake drops his second response, “Taylor Made Freestyle.” In the track, the rapper uses AI-generated voices from Tupac and Snoop Dogg to rap his verses. He calls out Lamar for his slow response, claiming that he was waiting for the release of Taylor Swift’s new album “The Tortured Poets Department” to come out first. However, this led to Tupac’s Estate to threaten to sue Drake if he did not remove the song from platforms, to which he complied. 

At the end of April 2024, Kendrick fired back hard at the Canadian rapper with a six-minute-long diss, “Euphoria.” The track was ruthless as it took jabs in every direction toward Drake. He raps, “it’s always been about love and hate, / now let me say I’m the biggest hater / I hate the way that you walk, the way that you talk, I hate the way that you dress.” Lamar also called out Drake for his lack of parenting toward his 6-year-old son, Adonis, mocked his crew, October’s Very Own (OVO) and criticized Drake for using the N-word as he is half-white. The intensity of the track only added fuel to the flame. 

Lamar quickly dropped another diss track, “6:16 in LA,” which seems to be a direct response to “Taylor Made Freestyle.” In the song, Lamar collaborates with producer Jack Antonoff, who is a frequent collaborator with Swift, producing many of the pop singer’s hits. Lamar uses the song to target the people who work at OVO, saying there is a mole revealing dirt on Drake and criticizing Drake for the moves he has made since the beef began.

In May 2024, Drake fired back at Lamar with “Family Matters.” The reply came out about 14 hours after Lamar dropped the “6:16 in LA” track. Drake takes aim at Lamar’s family, specifically his relationship with his fiancee, Whitney Alford. Drake alleged that the relationship between the couple is fractured and is filled with infidelity. Drake raps, “You did her dirty all your life, you tryna make peace.” Besides his shots at Lamar, Drake also targeted other rappers such as Metro Boomin and Rick Ross. 

In just a few minutes after Drake dropped “Family Matters,” Lamar did not back down and released the eerie “Meet the Grahams.” The rapper fired back at Drake’s family, calling him out for being a deadbeat father to Adonis and alleges another child Drake has kept hidden. Lamar is ruthless in rapping “you lied about your son, you lied about your daughter, huh / You lied about them other kids that’s out there hopin’ that you come.” Besides his kids, Lamar also called out Drake for endless lies such as cosmetic surgeries and ghostwriting. 

Before Drake could have a chance to respond, Lamar dropped “Not Like Us.” Since dropping this, fans have been listening to the track nonstop due to its lyrical skill and fun beat. Specifically, fans have highlighted the bar in which Lamar raps, “tryna strike a chord and it’s probably A-minor.” This calls out Drake as he accuses the rapper of having an attraction to minors. The song was an instant hit and arguably the most popular song to come out of the rap battle, hitting clubs just hours after. 

Following “Not Like Us,” Drake responded to Lamar with “The Heart Part 6.” In the song, he goes back to reference Lamar’s fiancee to having an affair while also shutting down the grooming claims Lamar made. Although since the release of “The Heart Part 6” on May 5, nothing else has been dropped from the two rappers. Many fans are enjoying the beef, but others are calling out the rappers for bringing their families into the mix. Nevertheless, many fans are saying that Lamar has won the battle with his intense clapbacks. It is still yet to be seen whether the battle is over, or if the rappers plan to ignite the flames further.