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So The Drake-Kendrick Beef Is Over… Right?

After the most explosive month arguably in hip-hop history, have we heard the last of modern rap's Biggie vs. Tupac?

If you’re someone who has lamented the death of the monoculture in the 21st century, nothing could’ve prepared you for the inescapability of the Drake-Kendrick beef. A feud that now spans over 30 minutes of individual material and stretches back more than a decade. A topic so massive in scale that Joe Biden’s team used Lamar’s “Euphoria” to take shots at Donald Trump. Considering last Friday’s back-and-forth, which saw the release of not one, not two, but three diss tracks, it just seemed like things were at a fever pitch. One shogunate-era Instagram story from Drake later, though, it seemed like things screeched to a halt. But have we heard the last of this topic?

The Most Recent Shots in Drake vs. Kendrick

A recap of each flare-up seems like a fool’s errand, both because it’d eclipse the volume of Music Daily’s to-date published articles and because, truly, who doesn’t know by now? Suffice to say, the Drake-Kendrick beef so far has ratcheted up in intensity at a breakneck speed, going from coy subliminals, to “Ether” style traditional disses, to whatever level you’d assign to the horrific dissection of “Meet The Grahams.”

The past two songs from either side, “The Heart Pt. 6” and “Not Like Us,” are illustrative in taking a state of affairs. While still plenty incendiary, there wasn’t much new information on either song, seemingly a prerequisite in every diss track this side of “The Story of Adidon.” More simply, with the sheer quantity of music released, either MC would have to have the patience of a saint to bite their tongue given the respective allegations put on the table.

The two artists pictured together, taken sometime during Lamar’s opening stint on Drake’s Club Paradise Tour.

Will There Be Another “Not Like Us” Track?

So, though this is a feud that saw nearly three weeks elapse on both sides between responses, the silence over the past week and change seems all but guaranteed to hold. With how incendiary in tone and massive in scale the conflict ended up being, it’s fair to wonder where both artists, and hip-hop in general, go from here.

Two genre-defining artists in most cases would cross paths eventually, a la Jay-Z & Nas or Dr. Dre & Ice Cube. However, Drake famously doesn’t enjoy the same love from the various awards academies that Kendrick does, and as such hasn’t attended a major one in a number of years. Strike that off the board. Save for a few shared collaborators who haven’t publicly acknowledged the spat (SZA and Travis Scott both come to mind), both artists’ most storied musical partners have spoken out in ways that’d likely rule them out from sharing a studio space, even by chance.

This leaves us back at square one, anticipating the next drop of two of the proverbial “Big Three.” Following Drake’s highly publicized beef with Pusha T, Scorpion spent much of its runtime on the defense, dispelling the “you are hiding a child” vitriol that the G.O.O.D. Music label head lobbed his way. In subsequent projects, the odd subliminal has threatened to reignite the hostilities. Most recently, he dedicated an interlude/skit on For All The Dogs’ “Calling For You” entirely to poke fun at Pusha T’s airline troubles. As silly as that premise sounds (read: it was), Pusha T vs. Drake lives on in Drizzy’s discography some six years after its start, and it’s a lock that this feud will be relitigated in whatever he has planned next.

The Supposedly Upcoming KL6

Lamar’s status as a “wise older brother” figure in the scene is a decade old at this point, but his “Candyman” claims proved warranted. While his on-wax references to therapy in his tracks allow that vaunted status to (somewhat) credibly hold up, there’s no denying that he put concerted effort into some certifiably nasty mudslinging. Even for the most dedicated K-Dot fan out there, it’s hard to project how this affects his future music. All four of his major label albums have been true concept albums, odes to weighty subjects like infidelity, survivor’s guilt and institutional racism. Is there space within the bounds of his fifth to send a potshot across the border? With most giving K-Dot a win in this feud, it seems unlikely that there’s anything left to gain by reigniting these tensions, with one major exception. If Drake revisits the topic, Kendrick has proved he’ll respond.

So, despite just how hard it is to avoid discussion of the Drake-Kendrick beef and how many actors were looped into it, things might have ended as quickly as they started. In other words, even if no major shots are fired, this isn’t the end. Much the same way as Drizzy and Dot fired loose single subliminals and BET cyphers for a decade, this storyline doesn’t end here, for better or for worse.

You can find all of Drake & Kendrick Lamar’s music wherever you stream your music—if you somehow haven’t already.

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So The Drake-Kendrick Beef Is Over… Right?