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The student news site of New Trier High School

New Trier News

Kendrick vs. Drake beef is good for rap, but who won?

Back and forth diss tracks dropped by Kendrick Lamar and Drake have had the music world in a chokehold for the last few weeks
Carina Brown

Over the past month, rap artists Kendrick Lamar and Drake have engaged in rap beef that has captivated the rap genre and music industry as a whole. While many point to Drake’s subtle disses of Kendrick and other artists throughout the years to be the root cause, what really set off this beef was Kendrick’s verse on Metro Boomin and Future’s song “Like That.”

Since then, Drake responded with a diss track titled “Push-Ups,” before Kendrick and Drake engaged in a back and forth of diss tracks, with KDot dropping “Euphoria,” “6:16 in LA,” “Meet the Grahams,” and “Not Like Us,” while Drake intermittently also dropped tracks “Family Matters” and “The Heart Part 6.”

The claims from both artists are heavy with information, in particular with Drake claiming that Kendrick’s wife is a domestic violence victim–“They hired a crisis management team to clean up the fact that you beat up on your queen”–and one of Lamar’s children isn’t actually his–“Heard one of them kids might be Dave Free’s.” 

While Kendrick raps that Drake has an 11-year-old daughter (“[He] should be teachin’ you timetables or watchin’ Frozen with you or at your eleven birthday singin’ poems with you”), he also makes several jabs at his inner circle’s involvement with underage girls: “And we gotta raise our daughters knowin’ there’s predators like him lurkin.” With such heavy claims and no proof, it’s difficult to detect who is telling the truth. 

While people on the internet have debated for weeks on who really won the rap beef, it seems that Lamar’s numbers are the overall winner. According to ChartData, KDot’s “Not Like Us” diss track garnered 12.8 million streams on Spotify as of May 10, setting the record for most streams in a day of a hip-hop song in 2024. 

Lamar’s single also debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 100 chart on Monday, May 13, his fourth No. 1 song on the chart. 

Personally, I’d have to give the edge to Kendrick for the time being, due to the manner in which he has dropped his time tracks. Lamar dropped “Meet the Grahams” not even an hour after Drake dropped a diss titled “Family Matters”, clearly knowing the route Drake was going to take in his song. It seems his initial verse on “Like That” was one hoping to awaken the beast that is Drake and Drake went with it. While Drake averages more than 25 million more monthly streams than Kendrick on Spotify, Kendrick was able to drop a song like “Not Like Us” that features immense replay value and dominated the radio since its release.  

Kendrick Lamar’s discography streams continue to rise since the initial diss tracks were dropped. Ignoring the diss tracks he has dropped in the past week, Lamar’s streams have still grown heavily, as his discography drew a 49% increase from May 3-6. For those four days, Drake’s streams have slightly dropped, earning a 4.9% decrease in discography streams. 

While some may argue that this proves to be a win for Drake, as his name value has drawn Kendrick to many more streams, I believe these numbers to be a win for KDot. All it took was for new ears to listen to the greatness of Lamar to earn more and more fans. Humans lie, numbers don’t.

As time goes on, it will be very interesting to see how the diss tracks from both artists age. For now, we’re left waiting to see what’s next for the hip-hop genre as its two titans rebound from a once-and-a-generation beef.

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