Last Friday (19/1), Drake surprised everybody by releasing two new singles entitled, ‘God’s Plan’ and ‘Diplomatic Immunity’, returning fire against Kendrick Lamar.
Whether it’s N.W.A versus Eazy-E/Ice Cube, Tupac versus Biggie, or Nas versus Jay-Z, hip hop has always had beef between the west and east coast. It’s become an essential part of the culture that regardless of whether it’s good or bad for their music, every generation will have their Frazier and Ali who aims to win the title of the G.O.A.T (greatest of all time).
Every rapper tends to take shots at all the other contenders on their level in order to be the best, but the two giants of our current time has to be Kendrick Lamar and Drake (I’m open for a debate). Take a quick refresher with Complex and see the timeline of this generation’s Cold War of Hip Hop.
After K.Dot’s whoops Drake’s ass with his chart topping album DAMN. – showcasing his ability to create commercially successful songs (which was part of Drake’s previous shot at Kendrick), the album also dominated the charts by a landslide without losing its authenticity with the help of Rihanna, Drake’s on and off fling. King Kunta is favoured over Drake by being more pop-rap, completely overshadowing his More Life playlist, almost (in my humble opinion) obliterating any doubts on who is the true G.O.A.T of our generation.
I’ve always been a bigger fan of Kung Fu Kenny mainly because his street smart rhymes kept these feet krump-ing on with the struggles of living in the Hood and I am definitely not rich enough to relate to Aubrey’s excessive lifestyle. But never underestimate Drake’s skills to write a haunting song with emotional awareness and catchy dance beat, which can clearly be seen on the track “Passionfruit” (no ghost writer involved) that managed to capture the essence of what we all go through at the end of a relationship. And though his biggest strength is being a Pop (Emo-like) Rap Artist, he doesn’t shy away from getting some dirt on his Gucci.
As part of his new EP “Scary Hours”, – the two new tracks was first previewed at a private party in Memphis and it has all the trademarks you would expect from a Drizzy’s instant hit with playful beats and sing-songy verses.
“God’s Plan” is an uptempo feel-good track produced by Cardo, Boi-1da & Yex and was originally leaked by @malakwatson on Instagram (but for unknown reasons later was removed). It has an easy groove and a simple melody and lyrics that discusses Drake’s future — “God’s plan, God’s plan/ I hold back, sometimes I won’t/ I feel good, sometimes I don’t.”
The song clearly states the negative jabs that the folks in the industry takes at him, wanting him to fail, however a higher power wont let such a thing happens. A clear sign of response to Kendrick Lamar’s “DAMN.” album that has a more religious aspect with the track “GOD.” and Carl Duckworth’s voicemail quoting Deuteronomy 28:28. While Kendrick tends to focus on the black people’s struggle and the sins of the culture – all the while claiming to reach the status of a Messiah. On the other hand, Drake takes cue and went with a HUMBLE. approach of allowing his fate to be in the hands of the divine.
If Kendrick Lamar is Malcolm X; going hard and aiming to be the best ‘by any means necessary’, – then Drake is Dr. King taking the non-violent approach to their beef with lyrics like “I been movin’ calm/ don’t start no trouble with me/ Tryna keep it peaceful is a struggle for me” and “I don’t wanna die for them to miss me”. Though it is not directly aimed at Kendrick Lamar and some might find the retaliation a soft comeback, the connection unlikely to be just another coincidence and it stays true to his nature of being the more sensitive rapper that rather focused on his safety and wealth.
But if “God’s Plan” is his soft side, then the “Diplomatic Immunity” track is definitely his darker side with a ‘mid-period OutKast’ snaky beat accompanying the perils-of-fame brags. This track is more obviously written as his reply to Kendrick with lines like “Opinions over statistics, of course” – calling back to their arguments on who got the bigger numbers of hits.
The line “Motor City Casino, I’m at the cage with my old license/ They tell me “don’t worry, I got your money” like Osirus (I’m the Osiris of this shit)” is three dis at once with – (1) a call back to Kendrick calling him a motor mouth and Drake referencing the Detriot’s casino popular live mixed martial arts event, “Cage Night” – (2) a reference to Wu-Tang Clan’s ODB (Ol’ Dirty Bastard)’s song “Got Your Money” – who still owes him money which is – (3) also a reference to Rihanna’s betrayal of switching sides to collab with Kendrick on the track “Loyalty” and a reply to “Bitch, Better Have My Money”.
Another clear shout out to his speculative relationship with the Bad Girl is the next line in the lyrics; “Tired of women that may tag me in pictures airin’ my dirty laundry/ Caterin’ is from Giorgio Baldi, Robyn’s favorite/ Shit is nice, but I prefer Madeo”. Whenever Rihanna also known as Robyn Fenty visits Los Angeles, one of her favorite place to eat is the high-end Italian restaurant, Giorgio Baldi. This is a clear shut down to any future discussion on whether they’re still a thing and maybe (it’s a stretch) to his preference for his scandal with Jennifer Lopez that he clearly isn’t over with the line “2017 I lost a J. Lo”.
He continued pointing out the hypocrisy of the whole Hip Hop culture with his ‘black excellence’ comment of getting left out from the celebration of ‘black artist’ regardless of his success. Also commenting on Joe Budden and other Hip Hop critics who often judges others but have nothing to contribute to the game.
Whether you prefer Kendrick Lamar or Drake, you can’t deny that both of them have their own flavors, strength and flaws. And in my honest opinion both are needed to balance out the dark side and the light side of the Force. Both needed, the aggressive and the softness. Both conscious and materialistic are part of the Hip Hop culture. Whoever is better is truly up to matter of preference. It has always been a thrill to see both of them trying to out do the other and it’s gonna be interesting to see Kendrick’s reply to this new singles by Drake. Both diversifying and contributing to the music in many different ways and this beef would go down in history as another important moment of Hip Hop. The only thing I hope is for them to not start shooting one another, we don’t need another Tupac. I hope one day they can learn something from Nas and Jay-Z, and solve their differences in a table talk show.
Listen Below to Drake’s Scary Hours and tell us whatchu think about it.
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JUICE. (they were too late)
Written and Pending Review Since : Monday 22/January/2018