Kendrick Lamar VS Drake: The Samples Behind the BeefKendrick Lamar VS Drake: The Samples Behind the Beef


Kendrick Lamar VS Drake: The Samples Behind the Beef

What a time to be alive. J. Cole's flex about "the big three" on Drake's 'First Person Shooter,' led to a ruthless death match between K.Dot and Drake we haven't seen the end of yet. Here are the samples and production credits for all of the diss tracks. From Aretha Franklin's "Prove It" to chords in A Minor: even the samples play a role in their fired-up beef...




June 14, 2024

The samples in 'Like That' by Metro Boomin & Future

"Motherfuck the big three, n*gga, it's just big me." Kendrick Lamar clapped back in response to J.Cole's brag on "First Person Shooter" that he's part of the big three together with Drake and K. Dot. To Kendrick, there's only one reigning ruler in the hip-hop kingdom.

Overview of the samples:

  • Rodney O & Joe Cooley - Everlasting Bass (1988)
  • Eazy-E - Eazy-Duz-It (1988)

Produced by Metro Boomin.

The samples in Kendrick Lamar's 'euphoria'

Akin to a reverse sample treatment by DJ Dahi, the intro of "euphoria" hints that "Everything they say about me is true" with a flipped line from The Wizard of Oz. The surprise drop dropped one month after "Like That" and was Kendrick Lamar's first official response to Drake's diss tracks "Push Ups" and "Taylor Made Freestyle."

Overview of the samples:

  • Teddy Pendergrass - You're My Latest, My Greatest Inspiration (1981)
  • Richard Pryor in The Wiz - The Wiz's Real Identity (1978)

Produced by Sounwave, Cardo, Kyro, Johnny Juliano, Yung Exclusive.

The sample in Kendrick Lamar's '6:16 in LA'

Kendrick Lamar's plotting and scheming goes deep. Even the sample on "6:16 in LA" is part of the diss. Drake's uncle, Mabon 'Teenie' Hodges plays guitar on the original soul record by Al Green. Family matters indeed... Even the soul legend himself responded to the release of "6:16 in LA" by sharing his 70s soul classic "What a Wonderful Thing Love Is" on X.

The sample:

  • Al Green - What a Wonderful Thing Love Is (1972)

Produced by Sounwave & Jack Antonoff.

The sample in Kendrick Lamar's 'Meet the Grahams,' produced by The Alchemist

"He didn't make the beat for the diss. He gave Kdot that beat long ago not knowing it was gonna wind up for this."

—Questlove on X/Twitter

To this date, the main sample in "Meet the Grahams" is still an unsolved mystery. However, The Alchemist did respond to the fact that Kendrick Lamar used his beat for this diss track without him knowing it. When he was asked on X if he was bothered that Questlove detailed that information, he replied with a joke: "Nah but I was extremely bothered and downright livid when I realized that all these years I did not know that Cap'n Crunch's full name is Horatio Magellan Crunch."

The sample:

  • Andrew Wartts & The Gospel Storytellers - Can You Say Yeah? (1982)

Produced by The Alchemist.

The samples in Kendrick Lamar's 'Not Like Us,' produced by DJ Mustard

As if the triple whammy of "euphoria," "6:16 in LA," and "meet the grahams" wasn't enough, the relentless drop of "Not Like Us" puts the final nail in the coffin. The DJ Mustard-produced track dropped less than 24 hours after "meet the grahams," showing no mercy to the OVO camp.

Overview of the samples:

  • Monk Higgins - I Believe to My Soul (1968)
  • YG - I'm Good (2011)
  • The Sixth Sense - I See Dead People (1999)

Produced by DJ Mustard.

The sample in Metro Boomin's 'BBL Drizzy BPM 150'

Producer Metro Boomin chimed in with "BBL Drizzy BPM 150." The title is a hilarious nod to a Brazilian butt lift, referring to a claim by Rick Ross that Drake had a nose job and a BBL. In line with that plastic nature, Metro Boomin used an AI-generated sample by comedian King Willonius. A few weeks later, Drake and Sexyy Red sampled "BBL Drizzy" in their single "U My Everything," which set a new precedent for AI sample clearances.

The sample:

  • King Willonius - BBL Drizzy

Produced by Metro Boomin.

The sample in Drake's 'Family Matters'

Things get ugly with Drake's "Family Matters." In the song, he makes claims of infidelity, the use of ghostwriters, and domestic abuse of Kendrick's wife, Whitney Alford. Even the music video is a diss by itself: it is said that Drake bought the van used in the artwork of good kid, m.A.A.d city, and had it delivered to Canada to destroy it for the music video.

Overview of the samples:

  • The Grodeck Whipperjenny - Conclusions (1970)
  • Public Enemy - Shut 'Em Down (1991)
  • Interpolation: Kendrick Lamar - The Blacker the Berry (ft. Assassin) (2015)
  • Interpolation: Drake - Rich Baby Daddy (ft. Sexyy Red & SZA) (2023)

Produced by Boi-1da, Tay Keith, Mark Ronson, Fierce, Kevin Mitchell, Dramakid, Preme, Jordan Fox.

The sample in Drake's 'The Heart Part 6

The title of this track refers to Kendrick Lamar's "The Heart Part 5," which dropped during the roll-out of Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers. Whereas "Prove It"—another smart use of the title of an original sample—flips Aretha Franklin, production trio Beach Noise turned to another soul legend for Kendrick Lamar's non-album single: Marvin Gaye.

The sample:

  • Aretha Franklin - Prove It (1967)

Produced by Boi-1da, Mark Ronson, Tay Keith, Fierce, Kevin Mitchell.

How Kendrick Lamar & Drake have used Tracklib

See how Kendrick Lamar and Drake have both used Tracklib to find and clear samples fast and affordably—through production by DJ Dahi, Sounwave, and Conductor Williams.

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