Which Rappers Have Apologized To Kendrick Lamar?

BYWyatt Westlake9.5K Views
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2017 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival - Weekend 1 - Day 3
INDIO, CA - APRIL 16: Kendrick Lamar performs on the Coachella Stage during day 3 of the Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival (Weekend 1) at the Empire Polo Club on April 16, 2017 in Indio, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Coachella)
J. Cole is far from the first rapper to walk back their remarks against Kendrick Lamar.

During the headlining performance at his Dreamville Festival, J. Cole rescinded the shots he took at Kendrick Lamar on “7 Minute Drill.” The outro from his latest surprise album responded to Lamar’s verse on Future and Metro Boomin’s “Like That,” which dissed both Cole and Drake. On “7 Minute Drill,” J. Cole aimed at Kendrick’s discography and minimal output while also expressing hesitation to diss him out of love. His decision to backtrack the bars on his Might Delete Later outro has garnered polarizing reactions from the hip hop community. Social media may be in a frenzy over his public apology, but J. Cole is far from the first rapper to walk back their remarks against Kendrick Lamar. Today, we are revisiting five instances in which rappers have offered an apology to Kendrick Lamar. Take a look at the list below.


After taking home the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album in 2014 for The Heist, Macklemore took to Instagram to reveal a text message he sent to Kendrick Lamar. “You got robbed,” he wrote. “I wanted you to win. You should have. It’s weird and sucks that I robbed you. I was gonna say that during the speech. Then the music started playing during the speech and I froze.” Many saw Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s win over Kendrick Lamar, Drake, JAY-Z, and Kanye West as a major upset for the hip hop community, despite their astronomical success as independent artists. The aftermath of The Heist’s Grammy win resulted in Macklemore’s apology to Kendrick Lamar, advocating that Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City should have won instead. 

Jay Electronica

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 04: Jay Electronica performs at The Tabernacle on December 4, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)

A few years after appearing on Big Sean’s “Control” alongside Kendrick Lamar, Jay Electronica dissed Lamar during a 2016 livestream. "Kendrick is my son, Kendrick is my baby, Kendrick wishes he could be me," he said. Soon after, Jay Electronica released “#TBE The Curse of Mayweather,” in which he referenced Kendrick Lamar’s 11 Grammy nominations. “He's got eleven Grammy nominations, y'all not equal / Maaaan f*ck these white people!” he raps. Ab-Soul defended his fellow Black Hippy member, dissing Jay on “RAW (Backwards).” Jay Electronica later issued a public apology to Kendrick Lamar, asking him and Top Dawg to “forgive [his] past transgressions.”

Lupe Fiasco

Lupe Fiasco has expressed his gripes with Kendrick Lamar on several occasions. He once said he does not regard Lamar as a top-tier lyricist, favoring rappers like King Los and Logic. “[Kendrick’s] overall lyrics are good, his stories phenomenal, but punchline entendre lyrically I don’t see it,” he said. In 2018, Lupe took to Twitter to voice his suspicions about Kendrick potentially copying his album cover. “Even I admit this is a little too close for comfort,” he captioned a side-by-side image of Kendrick and SZA’s “All the Stars” and the initial artwork for DROGAS WAVE. Lupe continued, “No matter how far you go… you will reflect me,” pointing out similarities between their album covers, reversed tracklists, and ninja-themed aesthetics.

Fiasco later backtracked his views, writing, “I apologize for even engaging and talking about n****s' careers. I’ll never do that sh*t again.” This 2018 statement recently made headlines in light of J. Cole’s apology to Kendrick Lamar. Earlier this week, Lupe Fiasco clarified his remarks on Twitter, writing, “I wasn't apologizing to him lol...I was sorry about the entire shindig because it was such a waste of time and energy in something that actually had nothing to do with me.” Despite his sentiment, Lupe also voiced that he “fears no rapper of any kind or on any time,” indicating that he is not ducking any smoke from any artist.

French Montana

In 2020, French Montana started a Twitter debate that he has more hits than Kendrick Lamar. He wrote, “If we just talking about anthems, me vs Kendrick hit for hit ! I believe I can go neck to neck!!” Doubling down on his declaration, he continued, “I love Kendrick! that’s not just for Kendrick that’s to anybody they put in front of me.” Young Thug even got involved in the conversation, sparking a Twitter debate. French Montana later retracted his statement, apologizing to Kendrick Lamar on Instagram Live. He said, “I want to do the positive thing here and stay out the way of trouble ‘cause at the end of the day, me, Thug and Kendrick [are] three different artists.” 

Big Sean

Even after appearing together on songs like “Control” and “Holy Key,” Big Sean and Kendrick Lamar began their long history of subliminal exchanges. Sean allegedly dissed Kendrick on “No More Interviews,” leading many to believe that Lamar’s alleged shots on “The Heart Part IV” were targeted at Sean. In 2020, however, Big Sean revealed in his song “Deep Reverence” that he and Kendrick buried the hatchet. He raps, “I reached out to Kendrick, it wasn't even no real issues there to begin with / Lack of communication and wrong information from people fueled by their ego, it's like mixin' flames with diesel.” The two reportedly remain friendly, though Kendrick Lamar’s outshining of Big Sean’s latest releases prompted more supposed shots


About The Author
Wyatt Westlake is a writer from Somerville, MA. He has been writing about hip hop, RnB, and beyond for almost a decade, joining the HNHH team in 2023. Majoring in Communication Studies, he is currently finishing his BA at Temple University. Wyatt is also a radio presenter, hosting his own shows and curating eclectic playlists since 2019. An avid concert-goer, one all-time moment for him was when Dave brought him onstage to perform “Thiago Silva” in front of a sold-out crowd.