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What Happens Next for Kendrick Lamar and Drake? Let’s Discuss.

EntertainmentWhat Happens Next for Kendrick Lamar and Drake? Let’s Discuss.

And there’s this sense, true or not, that Kendrick saw the whole field and moved accordingly.

CARAMANICA It’s not simply that he did that, it’s that no one expected him, the only rapper to win a Pulitzer Prize, to do that. People didn’t think Kendrick was a gamer in this way. He might be like, “I’m the best rapper,” but “I’ve been collecting dirt on you for weeks and weeks and weeks, potentially months, potentially years, in order to absolutely ether you in your own house”? That’s different. No one expected that of Kendrick. So he gets a tremendous amount of credit for the chasm between what people thought he would do and what he actually did.

COSCARELLI Whereas Drake basically lived up to exactly what you expected.

CARAMANICA Drake did Drake. And if anything, Kendrick also did Drake.

COSCARELLI He went back-to-back after “Euphoria,” releasing “6:16 in LA” before Drake could respond. He also made hits, which we’ll get to.

CARAMANICA I will say, this beef was fun until it wasn’t fun. One of two things is true about Drake’s “Family Matters”: Either what he’s saying is accurate, and he’s just done irreparable damage to a man’s reputation and his family, or Drake is lying and talking about abuse in such a casual way so as to minimize the actual conversation around abuse.

This beef started with “I’m the best rapper.” It’s Kendrick saying, “It’s not the Big Three, it’s just big me.” And with his responses, Kendrick is saying, essentially: “I’m the best rapper, and I’m using those skills not to say that you’re the worst rapper, but that you’re the worst person. Not only can I beat you with bars, but I can use those bars to beat you with condescension, disgust and distaste.”

COSCARELLI Despite my complaints about Kendrick’s “Meet the Grahams” as a song — the theatricality of the creative writing exercise, the condescension and the faux-enlightenment — that’s totally trumped by it as a strategic move. This song, released less than 30 minutes after Drake’s “Family Matters” on Friday, is why Kendrick Lamar won. This is the knockout.

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