Rap Beef 2024: A Breakdown

Vincent Merry

In 2024, rap beef is erupting between Kendrick, Drake, J. Cole, Kanye, Rick Ross, and more. Just when it seemed impossible for mainstream rap titans to engage in beef, Kendrick's verse on Metro Boomin and Future's album 'WE DON’T TRUST YOU' ignited the firestorm a few weeks ago. Let’s delve deeper.

Rap drama often manifests in diss tracks. From Tupac’s "Hit ‘Em Up" to Ice Cube’s "No Vaseline" and Pusha T’s savage "The Story of Adidon," diss tracks have been pivotal in rap culture. Yet, it's rare to witness such widespread beef spanning multiple fanbases of artists with massive followings.

On March 22nd, 2024, Kendrick Lamar's 'Like That' verse took aim at J. Cole and Drake, particularly referencing their recent collaboration "First Person Shooter." Kendrick spared no punches, rapping, “Fuck sneak dissin', first-person shooter, I hope they came with three switches." His standout line, “Think I won't drop the location? I still got PTSD / Motherfuck the big three, it's just big me,” caught everyone off guard, hinting at an underlying beef unbeknownst to the rap community.

April 5th, 2024, saw J. Cole’s surprise album release Might Delete Later, featuring "7 Minute Drill" as the anticipated reply. Cole's response felt underwhelming compared to Kendrick's ferocity, with lines like “He still doin' shows, but fell off like The Simpsons / Your first shit was classic, your last shit was tragic.” Shortly after its release, J. Cole expressed regret at Dreamville Festival, stating he would remove '7 Minute Drill' from streaming platforms.

On April 13th, 2024, a leaked demo of Drake’s 'Push Ups' surfaced on social media, initially dismissed as AI-generated but later confirmed authentic. Drake mercilessly mocked Kendrick’s stature, attempted to expose label politics, and even took jabs at Metro Boomin, The Weeknd, and Rick Ross. Asserting his independence from J. Cole’s stance, Drake quipped, “I don't care what Cole thinks, that Dot shit was weak as fuck.”

Rick Ross fired back on April 15th, 2024, with "Champagne Moments," accusing Drake of ghostwriting, sabotaging a French Montana collaboration, and leaking "Push Ups." However, Ross’s response fell flat amongst the rap community.

Drake’s "Taylor Made Freestyle," released on April 19th, 2024, took a unique approach, featuring verses in Tupac and Snoop Dogg’s AI voices to goad Kendrick into responding. Drake cleverly capitalized on SEO by dropping the diss track alongside Taylor Swift’s album release, further cementing his marketing prowess.

Kanye West joined the fray on April 21st, 2024, with the 'Like That (Remix)'. Incorporating the Inter Milan Ultras from his hit "CARNIVAL," Kanye targeted Drake and J. Cole, critiquing Drake’s obedience to his label and deriding J. Cole's music’s impact on romantic encounters.

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