Who Murdered Who: Drake Vs. Kendrick EditionPosted by Lucas Garrison on 09/23/13 | Filed under Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Debates
It has been 984 hours, or 41 days, since Kendrick rattled the industry’s cage with his “Control” verse. Considering this is an ephemeral, what-have-you-done-for-me-lately industry, it is pretty impressive that one verse released 3,542,400 seconds ago is still getting attention from anyone, let alone (arguably) the hottest rapper in the game right now, Drake. On the eve of the release of Nothing Was The Same, Drake spoke to Billiboard about the infamous verse and where he thought he fit in the grand scheme of K.Dot’s assault.
'I didn't really have anything to say about it,’ Drake says of the verse, which has so far inspired responses from A$AP Rocky, Joey Bada$$, former Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson and too many others to count. ‘It just sounded like an ambitious thought to me. That's all it was. I know good and well that Kendrick's not murdering me, at all, in any platform. So when that day presents itself, I guess we can revisit the topic’
Even for Drake, the biggest name in the industry (at least right now), that is a bold claim, but is he right? Well the only way to really prove it is to pit the two head two head in a good old fashioned “who murdered who” showdown. While the sample size of Drake and Kendrick collabs is small, there is still enough there to settle the discussion. If Drake gets bodied 2 or 3 times by Kendrick, then obviously he has been drinking too much strawberry whipped cream Smirnoff Ice, but if he gets Kendrick on even just one song, maybe there is some truth to his claims. It is time to play the rap game Clue, who murdered who?
Round 1: “Poetic Justice”
Kendrick already has homefield advantage on this song, as it is on his album and he has two verses and the hook to Drakes guest 16, but still I am going to give the edge to Kendrick because he stepped out of his element and still delivered. This beat sounds like a Drake song—you could have put this on "Nothing Was The Same" and the uniformed listener wouldn’t think twice—so I would expect Drake to sound great on it, and he does. Kendrick however, really shows his range. He was able to make his flow work on a cut that has a distinct R&B vibe whereas, for Drake, it was business as usual; he was going but didn’t blow me away or do anything that really impressed me. Also, Kendrick has the most memorable line, “Making sure my punctuation curve, every letter here's true. Living my life in the margin and that metaphor was proof” which has always stuck out to me. Compare that to Drake’s relatively straightforward, “big ass in that sundress” type of lines and I think K. Dot has the edge.
Round 2: “Fuckin’ Problems”
First and foremost, I want to applaud both Drizzy and Mr. Lamar for blowing A$AP out of the water on his own shit while simultaneously making 2 Chainz actually serviceable; both deserve a round of a applause for those feats. As for who had the better verse, I am going to have to go with Drake. If this were supposed to be a lyrical, complex song, I probably wouldn’t be motioning his content, but considering the song is called “Fuckin Problems” Drake had the perfect wordplay. He was clever, witty while still keeping up with the raunchy, x-rated content of the song. It didn’t feel forced or over the top and he dishes out a plethora of braggadocios. I remember when I first heard the song I kept listening to Drizzy’s verse on repeat. His energy and brilliantly ignorant bars really engine the effort. Again Kendrick isn’t a slouch, but on a party, lady-killin anthem, Drake’s verse is just more fun to listen to and as he would say, “have a fucking sing along” with.
Tie-Breaker- Funk Master Flex Freestyles
Since Drake and Kendrick are now tied and have no more collaborations (to my knowledge) we have to go to a tiebreaker. Nothing like a good old fashioned Funk Flex Freestyle to settle the score. If this was a look good rapping contest, I don’t know if either would win—Kendrick with his jellyfish hand and Drake being a generally goofy, awkward Canadian—but since it is just about the bars, the nod goes to Kendrick. Drake had some great one-liners, but Kendrick was able to tell stories with his freestyle. Storytelling rap is hard enough at it is, but to do it off of the dome and have sound cohesive and smooth is very impressive. Besides, Drake clearly wrote his and while Kendrick might have, it doesn’t look like he is reading it, making even more astonishing. Kendrick seems more in control, well rounded, and lyrical, which is why he definitely beats Drake here.
And The Winner Is...
As much shit as we all give Drake, you have to admit, the man is definitely capable of taking over a song. Hell, he is on a short list of rappers who have trumped Kendrick and for that he should be commended, but to say Kendrick hasn't murdered him “at all” isn't quite true. Drake is like Ice Cream and Kendrick’s is like the main course. Sure you love ice cream and it is good anytime anywhere, but would you eat only ice cream? Of course not. As much as you love ice cream it doesn’t satisfy you like the main course, and if you had to pick ice cream or a meal, you are picking the meal almost everytime. So while Drake can hold his own against Kendrick, saying he has not nor ever will be murdered by K Dot is clearly not true.
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