Kendrick Lamar escalates Drake feud on the scathing diss track, Euphoria

Author: Editors Desk, Mark Savage, Music correspondent, BBC News Source: BBC News:
May 1, 2024 at 14:09
Kendrick Lamar won a Pulitzer Prize for his 2017 album, Damn. Getty Images
Kendrick Lamar won a Pulitzer Prize for his 2017 album, Damn. Getty Images

Kendrick Lamar has released a diss track attacking fellow rap star Drake, escalating their long-running feud.

Called Euphoria, the song is a response to weeks of taunting by Drake, who has taken pot-shots at Lamar on a series of viral diss tracks.

Over six minutes, Lamar calls Drake a "manipulator and habitual liar", and criticises his parenting skills.

He also accuses the Canadian star of selling out, saying he only makes music to "pacify" fans.

And he leaves listeners under no illusions about the strength of his feelings towards Drake."This ain't been 'bout critics, not about gimmicks, not about who the greatest," 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."


Getty Images Drake
Getty Images
Drake is the most-streamed hip-hop artist in the world


The rappers' feud dates back to 2013, when Lamar was a relative newcomer.

During a performance at the BET Awards, he boasted that his skills had "tucked a sensitive rapper back in his pyjama clothes". The line was interpreted as a reference to Drake, whose soul-baring blend of rap and R&B had changed the sound of hip-hop.The feud simmered for a few years, boiling over again last year, when J Cole and Drake described themselves, along with Lamar, as the "big three" of rap, on the song First Person Shooter.

The seemingly innocuous comment went unremarked for months. Then, in the middle of March, Lamar delivered a fiery verse on Like That, declaring that there was no "big three - it's just big me".

In April, Drake released the first of two diss tracks, titled Push Ups, in which he mocked Lamar's height as well as his collaborations with Maroon 5 and Taylor Swift.

Later that month, Drake dropped another song, Taylor Made Freestyle, in which he taunted Lamar, calling him a coward for failing to respond.The track controversially used AI technology to imitate the voices of Snoop Dogg and the late Tupac Shakur - one of Lamar's heroes.

After a complaint from Shakur's estate, Drake pulled the song off his Instagram.

Lamar's Euphoria similarly criticises the use of AI, saying it would "make [Tu]pac turn in his grave".

He also asks "Am I battlin' ghost or AI?" - a reference to the accusation that Drake has used ghostwriters in the past.

Lamar even addresses the time it took to record a response, with the combative lyric: "Y'all think all of my life is rap? I got a son to raise, but I can see you know nothin' 'bout that."


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A former Pulitzer Prize winner for his fourth album, Damn, Lamar uses the song to display the dexterity of his voice, switching between flows and rhythmic meters throughout.

He even appears to be mimicking Drake's Toronto accent in the closing bars.

However, fans who were hoping for a slam-dunk conclusion to the rap beef were disappointed.

Lamar conceded: "I like Drake with with the melodies, I don't like Drake when he act tough," and declined to respond to Drake naming his wife on a previous song.

"We ain't gotta get personal, this a friendly fade, you should keep it that way," he rapped.

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