A secret daughter, Taylor Swift, and an AI Tupac: Explaining the diss tracks between Drake and Kendrick Lamar

The long-gestating rap beef between the two hip-hop titans reached its climax this weekend across a number of scathing songs.

It's been a busy, verbally abusive few days for the rap game.

Two of its biggest stars — the commercially unstoppable Drake and the critically acclaimed Kendrick Lamar — went for each other's jugulars in competing diss tracks, dropping them like so many double entendres.

Along the way, they've dragged each other's kids, families, partners, other rappers (dead and alive), and even Taylor Swift into their beef, so that no one is safe from their lyrical acrimony.

<p>Jason Koerner/Getty; Prince Williams/Wireimage</p> Kendrick Lamar, Drake

Jason Koerner/Getty; Prince Williams/Wireimage

Kendrick Lamar, Drake

While Drake and Lamar were once mutually respectful colleagues, collaborating on such modern-day classics as "Poetic Justice" and "F---in' Problems," things have taken quite the turn. Though their relationship cooled down over the years, it turned downright chilly with the release of "First Person Shooter" in October 2023, a duet between Drake and fellow contender for greatest rapper alive J. Cole.

Cole had the audacity to name himself, Drake, and Lamar as "The Big Three," leading Lamar to take umbrage, then take off the gloves and come out swinging on "Like That" with Future and Metro Boomin from late March: "Motherf--- the big three, n---a, it's just me," he rapped.

Cole initially responded with a diss track of his own, "7 Minute Drill," in early April, only to bow out of the beef, apologizing to Lamar, and finding peace in being a grown ass man. Bless.

Drake didn't seem like he was going to enter the fray, only to release "Push Ups" on April 19. On it, the Canadian emcee came for Lamar's short stature and teeny little feet as well as Lamar's bid for mainstream acceptance on the backs of white artists:  "Maroon 5 need a verse, you better make it witty / Then we need a verse for the Swifties."

<p>Rich Fury/Getty; Stefanie Keenan/Getty</p> Drake and Kendrick Lamar

Rich Fury/Getty; Stefanie Keenan/Getty

Drake and Kendrick Lamar

The same day, Drake released "Taylor Made Freestyle," utilizing AI to mimic the voices of Tupac Shakur and Snoop Dogg, only for the former's estate to threaten legal action if Drake didn't remove it from the internet. The song itself references Taylor Swift, not just in its punny title, but Drake also insinuates that Lamar will delay his response track so as not to compete with Swift: "But now we gotta wait a f---in' week 'cause Taylor Swift is your new Top / And if you 'bout to drop, she gotta approve."

Drake then shouts out Swift himself, calling her the "biggest gangster in the music game right now," and acknowledging that he moved his album to avoid any and all Swiftie smoke. Well, Drake may have asked for more than he bargained for as Lamar blocked out this week in his calendar to exclusively s--- all over Aubrey Drake Graham.

On April 30, he released the six-minute-plus "Euphoria," on which the Compton native takes some very personal shots at his rival, accusing him of cultural appropriation and misogyny, criticizing his parenting skills, and name-checking Haley Joel Osment and/or Joel Osteen.

Then, with the dust still unsettled, Lamar released "6:16 in LA," co-produced by Taylor Swift bestie/collaborator Jack Antonoff, on May 3. This time around, Lamar insinuated that Drake's OVO record label camp has a mole in it who's working for the 17-time Grammy winner.

Drake fired back, also on May 3, with "Family Matters," claiming that Lamar was physically abusive to his fiancée Whitney Alford and that she had a baby with their bodyguard Dave Free. That apparently crossed the line that Lamar was waiting for, as he dropped "Meet the Grahams" some 20 minutes after Drake released "Family Matters."

Lamar aimed squarely beneath the belt, directly addressing Drake's (previously secret) son Adonis, his mother, and an alleged secret 11-year-old daughter. Lamar also rapped that Drake has had numerous plastic surgeries, has gambling and pill addictions, that he has other hidden children, and alleges that he's running a sex trafficking ring out of his mansion, and that his camp is rife with pedophiles.

Drake playfully denied having a secret daughter on instagram, writing in a since-expired Story, "Hold on can someone find my hidden daughter pls and send her to me ... these guys are in shambles."

But as if that wasn't enough, Lamar landed his coup de grace with "Not Like Us," his fourth diss track in five days, released on May 4. In it, Lamar doubles down on his pedophilia allegations, this time leveling them directly at Drake, in addition to his OVO camp.

So that escalated quickly.

Where do we go from here? The ball, it seems, is in Drake's court, but Kendrick Lamar is clearly trying to draw blood with some serious allegations and has him on his toes and possibly on the ropes.

UPDATE *cue airhorn noise*: Drake released his rebuttal with "The Heart Part 6," a play on Lamar's "Heart" song series. Drake denies the pedophile allegations: "I never been with no one underage, but now I understand why this the angle that you really mess with / Just for clarity, I feel disgusted, I'm too respected / If I was f---ing young girls, I promise I'd have been arrested / I'm way too famous for this s--- you just suggested."

Drake then goes on to accuse the Compton lyricist of being a bigger deadbeat dad than him and reveals that he planted the secret 11-year-old daughter story in order to goad Lamar into rapping about it.

Meanwhile, amid this escalating feud, a security guard working outside of Drake's mansion in Toronto was shot Tuesday morning, though the motive behind the shooting is unclear.

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Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.