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Drake and Kendrick Lamar
Drake and Kendrick Lamar
Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images / Maury Phillips/Getty Images for The Recording Academy
Culture > Entertainment

Kendrick Lamar & Drake’s Beef Started *Way* Before “6:16 In LA”

Drake and Kendrick Lamar’s beef just got a little more interesting. In the early morning of May 3, Kendrick Lamar dropped his second diss track within a week on Instagram Reels, titled ”6:16 in LA.” And, naturally, the internet is freaking out about it.

On April 30, Lamar released a six-minute track named “Euphoria,” aimed at his longtime rival, Drake. The first track received outstanding reviews and is doing well on several streaming services. However, it was clear Lamar wasn’t finished, as he released “6:16 in LA” unannounced on Instagram. “6:16 in LA” features a relaxed version of Kendrick Lamar on a soul sample as he goes on to list his own blessings — from yachts to traveling — before turning his attention to Drake. In a few lines, Kendrick taunts Drake by claiming people on his teams aren’t really there for him: “Are you finally ready to play have-you-ever? Let’s see / Have you ever thought that OVO is workin’ for me / Fake bully, I hate bullies, you must be a terrible person / Everyone inside your team is whispering that you deserve it.”

Compared to “Euphoria,” Lamar’s “6:16 in LA” is a shorter and more direct diss to Drake. But how did all this happen? What was done to make Kendrick Lamar drop two tracks in a week? Turns out, they go way back.

2011: Kendrick and Drake collaborate.

In 2011, Drake was working on his new album, Take Care, and invited Kendrick to be on one of the tracks. After coming down from the high of Section 80, Lamar was slowly becoming the next big West Coast artist, so Drake took this opportunity to allow him to shine on “Buried Alive Interlude.” On this track, Lamar thanks Drake for his position by rapping, “So blame it on Mr. OVOXO / The reason why I’m breathin’ all the vanity I know.”

In 2012, Lamar was one of the opening acts for Drake’s Club Paradise Tour, alongside A$AP Rocky. After the tour, Lamar and Drake were both featured on A$AP Rocky’s song “F-kin Problems.” The pair soon began working on the song, “Poetic Justice,” which would become a commercial success. Unfortunately, “Poetic Justice” would be Lamar and Drake’s final collaboration together. 

2013 – 2014: Drake and Kendrick Lamar start feuding.

After Kendrick Lamar became a household name due to the success of good kid, m.A.A.d City, he addressed his peers — Meek Mill and Tyler, The Creator — on Big Sean’s “Control.”. Drake responded to the diss by claiming it could be “an ambitious thought” and that Lamar is “not murdering” him on any platform. 

Lamar added more pressure in Drake at the BET Hip-Hop Awards in 2013 by participating in the cipher. Over an instrumental music, Lamar taunts Drake by rapping lines such as 

“Nothing’s been the same since they dropped ‘Control’/ And tucked a sensitive rapper back in his pajama clothes.”

Drake talked about the shots thrown at him by Lamar in a 2014 story with VIBE Magazine. Drake said he stood his ground and never said a bad word about Lamar, claiming him to be a genius. He said he wouldn’t let Lamar take him down from his high and that there was no real issue between the two.

2015 – 2016: Kendrick and Drake release their respective diss tracks.

In 2015 and 2016, Kendrick and Drake both took jabs at each other. A notable diss by Lamar was on “King Kunta” and he called Drake out about him allegedly using a ghostwriter for his music. Drake counterattacks on The Game’s “100” by claiming he could have all of Lamar’s fans if he didn’t change music genres. More shots are fired when Kendrick goes on the songs, “Darkside/Gone” and “Deep Water.” After this, both Kendrick and Drake stopped taking public jabs at each other. Well, until now.

Late 2023 – 2024: Drake and Kendrick’s beef is revived.

In late 2023, Drake made history with J. Cole on their song “First Person Shooter.” During the song, they each shared the spotlight and boasted about their achievements. Without knowing it, Cole awakes Lamar by mentioning him in the song and calls him, Drake, and Lamar “the big three.”

On March 22, 2024, Kendrick was featured on Future and Metro Boomin’s track titled “Like That.” He didn’t hold back and fired shots at both Cole and Drake, but mostly at the latter. He snapped as he spoke on the chart-topping collaboration between Cole and Drake and denounced the “Big Three” claim and raps that “it’s just big me.”He calls back to Drake’s For All the Dogs album and raps: “For all you dogs gettin’ buried / That’s a K with all these nines, he gon’ see Pet Sematary.”

Days later, Drake seemingly addressed the diss during his tour stop in Sunrise, Florida, saying,  “A lot of people asking me how I’m feeling. Imma let you know how I’m feeling. Listen, the way I’m feeling is the same way I want you to walk out of here feeling together about your f*cking self.” 

It didn’t stop there, though. Drake continued on to say, “I got my f*cking head up high, my back straight, I’m 10 f*cking toes down in Florida or anywhere else I go, and I know that no matter what, there’s not [anyone] on this earth that could ever f*ck with me in my life. And that’s how I want you to walk outta here tonight.”

April 19, 2024: Drake’s releases “Push Ups.”

On April 19, Drake released his diss to Kendrick Lamar, “Push Ups,” on streaming services. In the song, Drake mocked Kendrick’s height and foot size and his deal with Top Dawg Entertainment. Drake used this song as an opportunity to attack Rick Rose, Metro Boomin, Future, and more. 

Five days later, Drake released his “Taylor Made Freestyle” on Instagram and used A.I. vocals of Tupac and Snoop Dogg. On the track, Drake showed disappointment in Lamar because of his lack of response to “Push Ups.” The track was later taken down due to Tupac’s Estate threatening legal action if Drake didn’t remove the song from his social media. 

April 30, 2024: Kendrick’s disses Drake on “Euphoria” and “6:16 in LA.”

On April 30, “Euphoria” was released by Kendrick Lamar. The six-minute track was brutal as Lamar called Drake out several times about his fashion sense, his merits in music, and so much more. Not even a week later, Kenrick Lamar attacked Drake again with his second diss song, “6:16 in LA.”

As of now, the rap beef is only just starting back up. All we can do now is wait to hear what Drake has to say in response. Will he respond back in the diss in the booth or on social media? Only time can tell what Drake’s next moves are. 

My name is Aricka and I am a recent graduate from the University of Michigan. I enjoy writing articles about sex and relationships, mental health and books. On my free time, I enjoy playing video games, writing short stories and spending time with my family and pets. I also have hobbies like crochet, reading books and painting.