A Timeline Of Kendrick Lamar And Drake's Feud

Drake has been known for taking shots at his rivals throughout his career, using his lyrics as a sniper amidst his many famous feuds. Aiming at artists like Kanye West and Meek Mill to Pusha T and Megan Thee Stallion, there's no shortage of beef (past and present) concerning the Canadian rapper. But it's his beef with Kendrick Lamar that's making headlines like never before.

For over a decade, the "Take Care" artist has had a tumultuous relationship with Lamar, and the two have traded shots at each other in several diss tracks. The rappers were once on the same side, oddly enough, collaborating on several tracks — like 2012's "Poetic Justice" and "F***in' Problems" — earlier in their respective careers. But their relationship ultimately turned sour, and even the former leader of the free world was asked to pick a side in a hypothetical Lamar-Drake debate. Obama previously admitted he was team K.Dot, which became ammunition for Drake's 2016 track "Summer Sixteen," in which he raps, "Tell Obama that my verses are just like the whips that he in, they bulletproof."

Their mutual hatred may have inspired some fire singles in the past, but their feud reached a breaking point in 2024. While shade makes for chart-topping singles, Lamar and Drake's ongoing fight has taken on a new level. We're breaking down the timeline of Kendrick Lamar and Drake's deeply-rooted feud.

Kendrick Lamar first took shots at Drake in 2013

Whatever mutual respect Drake and Kendrick Lamar had for each other ended with the latter's decision to call out the "Started From the Bottom" artist in 2013. On a high from the 2012 release of his critically-acclaimed sophomore album, "good kid, m.A.A.d city" — on which Drake was a featured artist — Lamar decided to use his newfound platform to take some shots at his peers.

The "Money Trees" singer jumped on Big Sean's "Control" track in 2013, name-dropping Drake and several other artists, including Pusha T, Meek Mill, A$AP Rocky, and Mac Miller. "I got love for you all but I'm tryna murder you n****s / Tryna make sure your core fans never heard of you n****s / They don't wanna hear not one more noun or verb from you n****s," Lamar rapped in the song. It was a bold move for the artist to call out several heavy hitters, but especially for his decision to take down Drake, who he had previously opened for during the Toronto native's 2012 Club Paradise Tour.

Not long after, Drake addressed the beef in his cover story for Billboard, seemingly unbothered by the shade. "I didn't really have anything to say about it. It just sounded like an ambitious thought to me. That's all it was," he shared at the time. "I know good and well that [Lamar]'s not murdering me, at all, in any platform. So when that day presents itself, I guess we can revisit the topic."

Drake hit back at Lamar on The Language

Six weeks after Kendrick Lamar made some serious enemies on Big Sean's track "Control," Drake hit back with his own record. The Canadian rapper dropped his third album, "Nothing Was the Same," in 2013, which included the diss track, "The Language," a song believed to be his response to Lamar.

In the track, Drake says, "I don't know why they been lyin' but your s*** is not that inspirin'," and, "I am the kid with the motor mouth / I am the one that you should worry 'bout," which seemed to be a clear attack. He even goes on to rap, "Someone just talking that bulls***," which many took as a dig at his fellow "Poetic Justice" artist despite not explicitly stating his name.

Despite the shady tracks, Drake insisted in an interview with Vibe that he was merely "[standing] his ground" against his former co-collaborator. "I never once felt the need to respond to that record," he told the outlet in 2014. "The sentiment he was putting forth is what he should have. Of course you wanna be the best," he noted, referencing Lamar's name-dropping on "Control." "Where it became an issue is that I was rolling out an album while that verse was still bubbling, so my album rollout became about this thing. What am I supposed to say? Nah, we'll be buddy-buddy? Mind you, I never once said he's a bad guy [or] I don't like him," he added.

Lamar called out Drake at the 2013 BET Hip Hop Awards

Kendrick Lamar took his beef with Drake a step further in 2013 when he called out the rapper during that year's BET Hip Hop Awards. During the show, Lamar participated in a cypher alongside other artists from his Top Dawg Entertainment label. "Nothing been the same since they dropped 'Control,'" Lamar rapped during the performance, directly referring to Drake's third album "Nothing Was the Same." He continued, "And tucked a sensitive rapper back in his pajama clothes / Haha joke's on you ... I'm bulletproof/ Your shots'll never penetrate / Pin the tail on the donkey, boy you been a fake."

Lamar's shade lit up the Internet, with many fans reacting to his bold decision to call out Drake on the national stage. "I just want to thank Kendrick Lamar  & #TBE for bringing aggressive rap back into the game. It was gettin' real jazzy for a minute," one viewer wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter (via Vibe). Another took Drake's side, writing, "Drake sittin' back at his house watching his 100-inch tv. He not stun Kendrick Lamar." The "Swimming Pools" artist went on to have the last laugh of the night, winning best male hip-hop artist over Drake at the 2013 BET Awards.

The rappers continued to take low-key shots at each other

After Kendrick Lamar's serious shade at the 2013 BET Hip Hop Awards, there was no doubt that the rappers were at odds. Lamar's performance ignited a battle of lyrical warfare with Drake. In 2014, Lamar was featured on Jay Rock's track "Pay for It," directly responding to Drake's diss on "The Language." In "Pay for It," he raps: "Been dissectin' your motormouth, 'til I break down the engine," and, "Endin' our friendship, baby, I'd rather die alone," putting the nail in the coffin on any chance of a Drake-Lamar reunion.

Drake clapped back in his 2015 song, "Used To," saying, "They gon' say your name on them airwaves / They gon' hit you up right after like it's only rap." This was referring to Lamar's name-dropping on "Control" in 2013, with the rapper allegedly greeting Drake at the VMAS not long after. "I know that verse had no malice behind it, because I saw him five days later at the VMAs and it was all love," Drake told Elliott Wilson about the situation in 2013.

The jabs continued in 2015, with the rappers dropping various tracks low-key shading each other. On The Game's, "100," Drake calls out Lamar's listeners, rapping, "I would have all of your fans / If I didn't go pop and I stayed on some conscious s***." Lamar hit back with wordplay inspired by Drake's 2015 single, "Energy." In the track, "Darkside/Gone," Lamar raps, "But still I got enemies giving me energy / I wanna fight now."

Did Lamar call out Drake for ghostwriting?

Kendrick Lamar made some major accusations when he appeared to call out Drake for not writing his own songs. Amidst their various back-and-forth diss tracks, the "Alright" artist took things a step further when he brought up ghostwriting in 2015.

Lamar dropped his single, "King Kunta," that year, which included the lyric: "I can dig rapping, but a rapper with a ghostwriter? / What the f*** happened?" While the "DNA." rapper didn't name names, fans made their own assumptions after Meek Mill accused Drake of using a ghostwriter that same year during an epic rant on X (via the Los Angeles Times). "Stop comparing drake to me too.... He don't write his own raps! That's why he ain't tweet my album because we found out!" Mill tweeted at the time.

Fans connected the dots and determined that Lamar's mysterious ghostwriting lyric was about the Toronto native. Mill backtracked, however, and later apologized to Drake over the accusations. As for Drake, the rapper defended his artistry, telling Rap Radar, "Anybody that knows me knows that my strongest talent is writing ... I'm not a great singer. I'm a good performer, I've grown into a great performer. But my greatest talent is writing."

Drake reignited the feud after teaming up with J. Cole

Drake and Kendrick Lamar's beef went quiet for years following their traded diss tracks throughout 2015 and 2016. While some thought the hatred had ended, it had only taken an intermission. The "One Dance" singer came back for more in 2023 when he collaborated with J. Cole on the single, "First Person Shooter."

The rappers joined forces for their first track together since 2013's "Jodeci Freestyle." It proved successful, as the single soared to the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. "First Person Shooter" did more than just attract listeners, however, as it reignited the simmered flames of Drake and Lamar's beef. In the track, J. Cole name-dropped Lamar, rapping, "Love when they argue the hardest MC / Is it K.Dot? Is it Aubrey? Or me? / We the big three like we started a league."

Lamar seemingly disapproved of this acknowledgement, clapping back in 2024 on Future and Metro Boomin's song, "Like That." In the track, Lamar called out Drake and J. Cole, rapping, "F*** sneak dissin', first-person shooter, I hope they came with three switches." He also threw shade at J. Cole's mention of a "big three," responding with the line: "Mother*** the big three, n***a, it's just big me." Lamar also took aim at Drake's album, "For All the Dogs," spitting the line, "'Fore all your dogs gettin' buried / That's a K with all these nines, he gon' see Pet Sematary."

Drake and Lamar dropped several back-to-back diss tracks

After Kendrick Lamar responded to Drake and J. Cole's "First Person Shooter," the beef between the rappers was officially back on. Drake gave fans insight into his feelings during a tour stop a few days after "Like That" dropped. "I got my head up high, my back straight, I'm 10 f***ing toes down in Florida or anywhere else I go, and I know that no matter what, there's not a n***a on this earth that could ever f*** with me in my life," he said onstage during his Florida stop on the "It's All A Blur" tour (via TMZ).

Following "Like That," Drake released the diss track "Push Ups" in April 2024, mocking Lamar for his smaller frame. "How the f*** you big-steppin' with a size-seven men's on?" he rapped in the song. That same month, he released his second song targeting Lamar, titled "Taylor Made Freestyle." In it, he complained about Lamar remaining quiet, rapping, "Kendrick, we need ya, the West Coast savior."

Lamar clapped back with two back-to-back diss tracks of his own, a six-minute tirade titled "Euphoria" and "6:16 in LA," the latter being released just a few days after. He doubled down, calling Drake a "scam artist," "master manipulator," and a "habitual liar." In "6:16 in LA," he makes fun of Drake's track "Toosie Slide," rapping, "You must be a terrible person / Everyone inside your team is whispering that you deserve it / Can't Toosie Slide up out of this one, it's just gon' resurface."

Lamar accused Drake and his camp of being sex offenders

Drake responded to Kendrick Lamar's "6:16 in LA" just 14 hours later with yet another diss track titled "Family Matters." He went hard on his enemy's love life in the single, attacking his relationship with his high school sweetheart and fiancée, Whitney Alford. "You the Black messiah wifin' up a mixed queen / And hit vanilla cream to help out with your self-esteem / On some Bobby s***, I wanna know what Whitney need," Drake rapped in the song. 

Lamar responded with even darker lyrics directed at Drake, releasing his track, "Meet the Grahams," a day after "Family Matters" dropped. In the song, the California native addressed Drake's son, Adonis — who Drake originally claimed wasn't his son before a paternity test revealed the truth — and also alleged Drake had a daughter the public doesn't know about. 

The rapper also accused Drake and members of the OVO team of being sexual predators. "Say, Drake, I hear you like 'em young," he raps in his diss track "Not Like Us" released the same day as "Meet the Grahams." He called Drake and his team, "Certified pedophiles," with the song's cover art being an aerial image of the rapper's mansion alongside multiple red sex offender symbols. The "Summer Sixteen" artist dropped his rebuttal "The Heart Pt. 6" the following day, alleging he purposefully "fed" Lamar the information about a potential daughter and accusing Lamar's fiancée of infidelity.

Drake's security guard was shot amidst the rappers' beef

Things took a dark turn in May 2024 when shots were fired at Drake's Toronto home. Suspects in a vehicle shot the rapper's security guard multiple times outside his Park Lane Circle mansion around 2 a.m. The victim sustained several gunshot wounds and was taken to the hospital in serious condition. While Drake is currently at major odds with fellow rapper Kendrick Lamar, there's no evidence suggesting the feud was a motive for the incident as of the time of writing. 

It's unknown whether or not the rapper was inside his home at the time of the shooting, or whether the shots were intended for him. "We are in contact with [Drake's] team and they are cooperating," said inspector Paul Krawczyk following the shooting (via the BBC).

The timing remains questionable, as Lamar's artwork for "Not Like Us" featured an aerial shot of the rapper's home where the shooting occurred. Fans have pointed to a potential connection with The Weeknd, however, who has been on the outs with Drake after seemingly calling out the rapper on the 2024 track, "All to Myself." The Weeknd co-founded XO Records with his Canadian business partner and music executive, Cash XO. In April 2024, a security guard was shot outside Cash XO's Los Angeles home just a week before the incident involving Drake's security guard occurred. As of the time of writing, no suspects have been arrested in either incident.