Drake Taunts Kendrick Lamar On "Taylor Made Freestyle": Breaking Down The Bars

BYGabriel Bras Nevares11.8K Views
Link Copied to Clipboard!
Drake Kendrick Lamar Diss Taylor Made Freestyle Lyrics Explained Hip Hop News
John Phillips/Getty Images & Samir Hussein/Redferns/Getty Images
The Boy went "Back To Back" again, this time solely targeting K.Dot and using A.I. verses, a fellow UMG titan, and his own flaws to goad Mr. Morale.

While Kendrick Lamar fans either patiently or desperately anticipated his response to Drake's "Push Ups," his opponent chose not to wait until he suits up. Drizzy dropped "Taylor Made Freestyle" on Instagram late Friday night (April 19) after sharing "Push Ups" on streaming services that same day. Add onto that the other players in rap's coup d'état, and you've got a whole lot of drama that the 6ix God is happily laughing through.

The principal idea is that Drake wants Kendrick Lamar to respond to him because the Compton lyricist has supposedly been sitting on a diss track for four years. That's in addition to the fact that Dot ignited this whole situation with his verse on Future and Metro Boomin's "Like That." On "Taylor Made Freestyle," Drake uses three main tactics and angles to portray K. Dot as a scared dog who "barked up the wrong tree and got his head popped off in a crowded room." Whether you think this is a desperate move or a nail-in-the-coffin moment, the OVO mogul certainly got what he wanted: respect through being disrespectful.

Drake Turns "The West Coast" Against K.Dot: The A.I. Snoop & 'Pac Verses

Examining the primary controversy surrounding the song is imperative to understand the levels of disrespect. The first two verses on "Taylor Made Freestyle" use A.I. technology to replicate Tupac and Snoop Dogg's voices, respectively. Drake raps from their "perspective" about how "they" want Kendrick Lamar to ether Drake on behalf of the West Coast. However, lines like "You supposed to be the boogeyman, go do what you do" question whether Kendrick is really like that, as Snoop and 'Pac were more combatively upfront in their Death Row days. Aubrey also alludes to Snoop passing Kendrick the torch as the new frontrunner for the West Coast at a 2011 concert in L.A., emphasizing this historical pressure.

Aside from any ethical conversations about the use of A.I. here, the illusion is just a shiny taunt in this context and doesn't truly emulate either Cali legend. Kendrick, on the other hand, previously used similar technology in ways many felt were more thematically appropriate and less disrespectful to their subject's memories. These include talking to 'Pac on TPAB's "Mortal Man" or using deepfakes of Will Smith, Nipsey Hussle, and more to draw parallels between their stories and his own in the music video for "The Heart Part 5." But more importantly than all of this, the "Evil Ways" spitter questions the "Savior" creative's L.A. ties by mentioning an apartment he bought in New York, and accuses Lamar of faking his aggressive funk and being "out of moves" in this "chess game" that the world is watching.

Kendrick Lamar Is A Swiftie Through & Through, Drizzy Declares

Drake also audits Kendrick Lamar's artistic roots through Taylor Swift's new album, which dropped the same day "Push Ups" hit DSPs and this "freestyle" hit @champagnepapi's IG. Specifically, he claims that Kendrick hasn't responded yet because he doesn't want to interfere with Swift's schedule, despite Drake mentioning her as his only competition on the song "Red Button" last year. "She Taylor-Made your schedule with Ant, you out of the loop / Hate all you corporate industry puppets, I'm not in the mood," he raps, possibly referencing TDE's Anthony "Top Dawg" Tiffith, or Kendrick's manager Anthony Saleh. It follows similar points from "Push Ups" and posits that Mr. Duckworth is prioritizing money over his craft.

On this point, though, someone tried to turn this argument against Drake: Kanye West. The now-independent Chicago artist raps the following on his "Like That" remix: "Where's Lucian? Serve your master, n***a / You caught a little bag for your masters, didn't ya? / Lifetime deal, I feel bad for n***as." This paints the former Degrassi star as a puppet of UMG head Sir Lucian Grainge who, in 2022, confirmed that Drake entered a multi-faceted deal with Universal Music Group, per Variety. At the time, the publication reported that Drake signed a rumored "Lebron-sized deal" with UMG that could be worth upwards of $400 million.

Nonetheless, Ye's retort remains muddy, speculative, and lacks actual information that would make these claims worthwhile in this feud. Another muddy point is how Ye and Drake argue over ghostwriting and credits when they've both written for each other. Regardless, Kendrick Lamar is now "independent" through pgLang. However, another separate report from Variety in 2020 indicated that Lamar signed a worldwide administration agreement with Universal Music Publishing.

"Taylor Made Freestyle" Anticipates Kendrick's Next Shots

Finally, Drake addresses potential disses that Kendrick Lamar's response track would include. The Tupac A.I. verse begs K.Dot to call out the "Canadian lightskin" for "liking young girls." First, this attempts to disarm shots at his perceived racial ambiguity and insecurity. Later, it addresses the speculation surrounding his alleged proximity to Millie Bobby Brown, Bella Harris, and others when they were underage. It's important to note that the only documented evidence of this type of alleged behavior was from a Denver concert in 2010. Per The Guardian, the then-23-year-old Drake brought a girl onstage, caressed her, kissed her on the lips, and was shocked when the girl told her that she was 17 -- the age of consent in Denver -- afterward. However, her actual age is still officially unconfirmed at press time.

In addition, Drake jokes that Kendrick Lamar needs a "quintuple entendre" on his response track, mocking how folks hype up his complex pen. This complements his claim that "Push Ups" only took him "an hour or two" to write and that his next diss track is when Kendrick will really lose. Overall, the Certified Lover Boy tries to downplay his rival's artistic value and patience through consistent pressure. Some jabs could be interpreted as hypocritical, though, such as Drake questioning Kendrick's street ties. Nevertheless, as of writing this article, there are only rumors of whether or not K.Dot will eventually respond mercilessly or if he'll pull a J. Cole. But history shows us that a single verse can change everything.

About The Author
Gabriel Bras Nevares is a music and pop culture news writer for HotNewHipHop. He started in 2022 as a weekend writer and, since joining the team full-time, has developed a strong knowledge in hip-hop news and releases. Whether it’s regular coverage or occasional interviews and album reviews, he continues to search for the most relevant news for his audience and find the best new releases in the genre. What excites him the most is finding pop culture stories of interest, as well as a deeper passion for the art form of hip-hop and its contemporary output. Specifically, Gabriel enjoys the fringes of rap music: the experimental, boundary-pushing, and raw alternatives to the mainstream sound. As a proud native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, he also stays up-to-date with the archipelago’s local scene and its biggest musical exponents in reggaetón, salsa, indie, and beyond. Before working at HotNewHipHop, Gabriel produced multiple short documentaries, artist interviews, venue spotlights, and audio podcasts on a variety of genres and musical figures. Hardcore punk and Go-go music defined much of his coverage during his time at the George Washington University in D.C. His favorite hip-hop artists working today are Tyler, The Creator, Boldy James, JPEGMAFIA, and Earl Sweatshirt.