Kendrick Lamar Disses Drake & J. Cole: Unpacking Future & Metro Boomin's "Like That"

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British Summer Time Festival - Florence And The Machine
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 02: Kendrick Lamar performs as part of British Summer Time Festival at Hyde Park on July 2, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/Redferns)
Kendrick Lamar's fiery rhetoric on "Like That" has sparked a flurry of discussion regarding the competitive nature of hip hop.

Future and Metro Boomin finally released their long-awaited collab album We Don't Trust You last week. It arrived to a flurry of positive reviews from critics and fans alike. One stand-out moment on the record was a surprise, with an uncredited Kendrick Lamar feature on the track "Like That." Much to the shock of listeners, Kendrick brought some incredibly competitive energy to the song. Notably, he explicitly took shots at Drake and J. Cole. Fans have already begun spreading jokes and memes about the explosive verse online. Some argued that the shots mark the first blood in a hip hop world war. With artists already taking sides and fans anticipating a fiery response from J. Cole and Drake, let's dive into Kendrick's lyrics on "Like That" and dissect the bars.

Kendrick Has Had Smoke For Drake For Years

Long before Kendrick Lamar made his feelings clear on "Like That," he and Drake have taken numerous subliminal shots at one another on tracks such as The Game's "100," Dr. Dre's "Deep Water," and Big Sean's "Control." Kendrick's "Control" verse famously called out a wide array of his musical contemporaries, with some taking the mention of their name as a compliment, while others considered it a call to arms. When the song first premiered in 2013, Drake responded in an interview with Billboard, stating, "I know good and well that [Kendrick Lamar]‘s not murdering me, at all, in any platform. So when that day presents itself, I guess we can revisit the topic.”

While the subliminal shots over the years have been minor enough for some fans to ignore the Cold War feud, Kendrick's "Like That" verse is the most overt diss yet, specifically responding to lyrics by J. Cole and Drake on their recent collab track "First Person Shooter." On "First Person Shooter," Drake raps, "First-person shooter mode, we turnin' your song to a funeral." The opening lyrics to Kendrick's "Like That" feature respond to this lyric directly, stating, "These n****s talkin' out of they necks, don't pull no coffin out of your mouth, I'm way too paranoid for a threat." Elsewhere on the track, Kendrick raps, "Say it's a lot of goodies with a check I mean, ah / I hope them sentiments symbolic / Ah, my temperature bipolar I choose violence." These bars reference Drake's ongoing deal with Nike while likening his rap rival to that of an ineffective Twitter troll.

Kendrick Specifically Aims At J. Cole For The First Time

Despite Kendrick's years-long under-the-radar beef with Drake, he and Cole have had a positive relationship with one another in the past. The duo have worked together on numerous tracks, toured worldwide, and even teased a collaborative album, which never ultimately materialized. However, it appears as though J. Cole's lyrics on "First Person Shooter," referring to himself, Drake, and Kendrick as the Big 3 artists leading the rap game, sparked this fiery response from Kendrick Lamar in the first place.

On "Like That," Kendrick Lamar alludes to his foes clicking up before name-checking both "First Person Shooter" and Drake's album For All The Dogs. Kendrick raps, "F*** sneak dissin' / First person shooter, I hope they came with three switches," and "For all your dogs gettin' buried, that's a K with all these nines, he gon' see Pet Sematary." His most explicit jab at J. Cole responds directly to the Big 3 discussion, with the bar, "Think I won't drop the location? I still got PTSD / Motherf*** the Big 3, n**** it's just Big Me." Clearly, Kendrick Lamar felt insulted by the mere notion that Drake and J. Cole are on his level, rebuking the notion of sharing the crown with two rappers he views to be beneath him artistically.

Drake & J. Cole Have Not Responded On Wax

While Drake had some choice words for his detractors at a recent concert stop, neither J. Cole nor Drake have responded to Kendrick's "Like That" verse in the days since it was released. Fans anticipate a mellow rebuttal from Cole, possibly in the form of a "Might Delete Later" vlog entry or a freestyle verse. Fans are skeptical that Drake will directly respond to Kendrick Lamar on a record. Many claim that Drake can't write a compelling diss to the Compton rapper. This is especially after receiving a scathing lyrical beating from Pusha T on the track "The Story of Adidon" several years ago.

Either way, "Like That" will surely not end this beef, as Future and Metro Boomin appear to have sided with Kendrick, along with other notable collaborators such as Rick Ross and The Weeknd. After J. Cole and Drake linked on For All The Dogs, many fans hoped to see a big 3 collaboration on Cole's upcoming LP The Fall Off. Now, the idea of such a collaboration seems further from materializing than ever before.


About The Author
TeeJay Small is a professional humorist, pop culture columnist, and an avid enjoyer of all things hip hop. When he's not compiling dozens of monologue-style jokes about the most absurd news headlines, or furiously scribbling rewrites for his television pilot, you can find him carefully analyzing the lyrics to the latest Griselda or Dreamville releases, or digging in the crates to find the hottest up-and-coming rappers. After receiving his bachelor's degree in English/Communications from UMASS Boston, TeeJay set out on a journey to travel the world and develop a culturally diverse media career. He has been personally assured by both members of EARTHGANG that he is, in fact, part of the culture.