Kendrick Goes Back-to-Back Like He Promised

Photo: Christopher Polk/Billboard via Getty Images

J. Cole might’ve embarrassed himself when he tapped out of the Diss Wars with an apology in one hand and a tepid track that will never again see the light of Spotify in the other. Events of late prove him right: Cole sensed the beginnings of a violent future and decided that he wanted no quarrel with Kendrick Lamar, who eats hate for breakfast. Drake, however, did not escape in time. At the literal crack of dawn on May 3, K.Dot dropped yet another Drake diss, “6:16 in LA,” his third round of downright nasty lashings after the release of “Euphoria” three days ago and “Like That” last month. The violence arrived as many on the West Coast were still unwashed with teeth unbrushed and unfortunately uncaffeinated.

The track delivers on Kendrick’s promise in “Euphoria” to go “back-to-back.” The Sounwave and Jack Antonoff beat samples Al Green in this new, groovier diss that rumbles with psychedelically celestial synths, giving the impression he’s come from some imagined Black, yacht-filled utopia to deliver his anti-Drake sermon. The bombs dropped are fueled by his endless reserves of rancor. “Are you finally ready to play ‘have you ever’? Let’s see / Have you ever thought that OVO was workin’ for me?” he raps in the new joint. “Fake bully, I hate bullies, you must be a terrible person / Everyone inside your team is whispering that you deserve it.” DJ Akademiks, who sided with Drake in the scuffle, also gets whacked in the new one. “But the industry’s cooked as I pick the carcass apart,” the Compton rapper laments. “Yeah, somebody’s lyin’, I could see the vibes on Ak’.” Elsewhere on the record, he says Drake’s entourage is only around to hustle him, playing dirty with Twitter bots, hiding behind the internet and memes. “Now live in your purpose,” Lamar urges. Kicking a dog while he’s down shouldn’t be this funny.

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