May 6, 2024 - News

Kendrick Lamar says Drake exploits Atlanta’s culture

(L-R) Drake and Kendrick Lamar. Photos: Prince Williams/Wireimage and Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for Turner

Drake, left, and Kendrick Lamar. Photos: Prince Williams/Wireimage and Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for Turner

In the ongoing rap war between Kendrick Lamar and Drake, there's one clear winner: Atlanta.

Why it matters: The duel between the superstars has been the talk of the internet for more than a week, but its roots go back years. And, like anything in modern hip-hop, they trace back to Atlanta.

Catch up quick: Drake is at odds with several rappers after he and J. Cole dropped "First Person Shooter," wherein J. Cole declares himself, Drake and Lamar as rap's "big three."

  • Lamar replied that "it's just big me" in "Like That," released by Metro Boomin and Atlanta rapper Future. Drake and Lamar have been rap battling ever since.

The latest: The artists dropped dueling diss tracks throughout the weekend, in which they each made serious allegations against one another.

Zoom in: Lamar makes several references to Atlanta and its rappers in "Not Like Us," which is arguably Lamar's most brutal track against Drake to date.

  • In the song, Lamar accuses Drake, who is biracial, of interacting with Atlanta and its rappers to validate his Blackness and profit from Black people.

Case in point: Lamar says "Atlanta was the Mecca, building railroads and trains," in reference to how white people exploited Black people during slavery. He then says Drake has "the same agenda," adding that "you run to Atlanta when you need a check balance."

Here's a list of Lamar's other references to ATL and its talent.

  • "You called Future when you didn't see the club"
  • "Lil Baby help you get your lingo up"
  • "21 gave you false street cred" is a reference to rapper 21 Savage.
  • "Thug made you feel like you a slime in your head" refers to Young Thug, who is on trial for racketeering allegations.
  • "Quavo said you can be from Northside" refers to ​​Quavo from the group Migos, who affectionately call Gwinnett County "nawf" Atlanta.
  • "2Chainz say you good, but he lied"

Flashback: Lamar also mentioned Atlanta rappers when he dropped "Euphoria" last week.

Fun fact: The Los Angeles Dodgers made an Instagram post captioned "Not Like Us" after they beat the Braves over the weekend. Lamar is a Compton, California, native.

The intrigue: Merriam Webster is also following this rap beef. Over the weekend, the dictionary's X account posted "diss | noun | an insulting expression of disrespect or criticism."

What we're watching: As the rap battles continue, we're eager to see how Atlanta will get pulled into the mix.

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