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The Second Control Diss War: American hip-hop becomes a battlefield of celebrities

2024.04.26 21:23:42 Alvin Song

[A hip-hop artist performing. Photo Credit to Unsplash]

In recent weeks, hip-hop, one of the most dominant genres of the music industry, has been the center of a rather unexpected controversy: the ‘beef’ between many prominent rappers and Canadian megastar Drake.


Aubrey Drake Graham, more widely known as Drake, stands as one of the most influential figures in hip-hop.


Drake has the most No.1 hits in the genre, sold over 170 million records, and was the first artist ever to surpass 50 billion cumulative streams on Spotify.


However, despite his commercial success, critical acclaim has sometimes eluded him.


His latest album, For All The Dogs, received an underwhelming rating of 5.3 on Metacritic.


Due to such a discrepancy and his sheer popularity, Drake has consistently been the topic of debate within the hip-hop community.


Yet, recent events have escalated tensions to new level, with several prominent artists launching a collaborative attack against him.


The first attack was fired by producer Metro Boomin and rapper Future, who joined forces on their collaborative album WE DON’T TRUST YOU, released on March 22nd.


While they didn’t directly “start” the ongoing battle, it was rapper Kendrick Lamar who took the aim at Drake in his verse on the album’s 6th track, Like That.


More specifically, he alluded to First Person Shooter, a top-streamed track on For All The Dogs, where another rapper J. Cole referred to himself, Drake, and Kendrick Lamar as the “big three.”


Responding swiftly, J. Cole released the track 7 Minute Drill on April 5th, only to retract it days later, opting to apologize to Lamar during a live concert.


On top of such surface-level conflict, other artists with past grievances against Drake jointed the fray.


The Weeknd, hailed by Guinness Records as the world’s most popular artist, and rapper Rick Ross, both participated in WE DON’T TRUST YOU.


As expected, in Metro Boomin and Future’s second collaborative album, WE STILL DON’T TRUST YOU, released promptly after their first on April 12th.


The album saw further disses aimed at Drake, this time from The Weeknd and A$AP Rocky.


Both of them are known for their complicated relationships with Drake; The Weeknd was known for his close ties with Drake since his debut in 2011, as they frequently released collaboration mixtapes and featured for each other, but attacked him in the 2019 song Lost in the fire.


Afterwards, fans believed that things had been settled between the two, as Drake shouted The Weeknd out in War, a song he released in the same year, and constantly praised his musical talent in concerts.


However, it seems like there was additional conflict between the two Canadians in late 2023, given their current relationship.


In the case of A$AP Rocky, it was Drake who first attacked him in For All The Dogs; they have a long history which originates from Drake’s old romantic relationship with singer Rihanna, who is now engaged to A$AP Rocky.


Amid the chaos, on April 14th, Drake’s response, Push Ups(Drop & Give Me Fifty), to everyone who dissed him was leaked online; as of now, his main target seems to be Kendrick Lamar, as everyone else was only given a line or two.


Kendrick Lamar is considered the exact opposite of Drake by many fans; he is renowned for one of the best critical receptions in the genre’s history, but is not as popular.


For that very reason, many fans are anticipating Kendrick Lamar’s response to Push Ups(Drop & Give Me Fifty), as he also claimed that he has been preparing tracks against Drake for the last four years.


As the feud continues, the hip-hop community braces for what promises to be an intense battle of words and music between two of the genre’s titans

Alvin Song / Year 11
North London Collegiate School Jeju