On his newest song (“The Heat Part 4”), rapper Kendrick Lamar takes the role of Russell Westbrook with an allusion to Drake as Kevin Durant.
If you’re a sports fan, you likely know all about the troubles between Westbrook and Durant since KD left the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Golden State Warriors.
But you may not be as familiar with why Kendrick and Drake have drama. In fact, Marcellus Wiley once hinted on ESPN that the two almost had a huge fight.
While they have collaborated in the past, the two hip-hop megastars are not exactly on the same page these days.
Here is a transcription of the most recent development from last night, in which Kendrick compares himself to Westbrook:
“Tables turned, lesson learned, my best look
You jumped sides on me, now you ’bout to meet Westbrook
Go celebrate with your team and let victory vouch you
Just know the next game played, I might slap the s*** out you
Technical foul, I’m flagrant, I’m foul
They throwin’ me out, you throw in the towel.”
His “tables turned, lesson learned” is a direct reference to lyrics from Drake on his song “Pound Cake” from 2013.
For folks who are both sports and music nerds, this is a dream come true. Two of the best rappers in the game are comparing themselves to two of the best NBA players?
Take the first song on the recent Drake playlist More Life (“Free Smoke”), which has a shoutout to the Golden State Warriors and Durant:
“I took the team play from Oracle
Mama never used to cook much
Used to chef KD
Now me and Chef KD”
Later on More Life, Drake says that he’s a “top two” rapper. That’s oddly reminiscent of how Durant has said he’s No. 2 in everything. On his new song, Kendrick said that he is the greatest rapper alive. Westbrook has called himself the greatest point guard in the NBA.
While Drake and Kevin Durant have squabbled publicly in the past, it seemed to be more of a joke than anything else. Keep in mind that the KD-Drake relationship has blossomed recently. Recall that the Toronto-born rapper brought KD out during a show at Oracle Arena in September.
Drake also gave Durant a shout out on “Weston Road Flows” on his album Views last year.
“Shout out to KD, we relate, we get the same attention
It’s rainin’ money, Oklahoma City Thunder.”
That lyric ended up being fairly awkward, considering Durant left Oklahoma City about two months later to join the Golden State Warriors.
This new song offers a more updated version of the song with Durant on his actual team.
Durant was pretty thrilled with the first mention that Drake had for him (via For The Win):
“When your favorite rapper puts your name in a song it makes you feel like you made it, no matter what you’ve done. So yeah, it was pretty cool.”
Drake calls Durant a friend. Durant calls Drake his favorite rapper. It’s a wonderful bromance.
Looking back at the history of disagreements between Drake and Kendrick, however, there’s a lot of material to dig from.
Both Kendrick and Westbrook put up mesmerizing highlights, regardless of whether we are talking about insane freestyle or remarkable alley-oops. And Drake and Durant constantly produce big numbers, whether it be record sales or wins.
On his album To Pimp A Butterfly in 2015, Kendrick talked about rappers with a ghostwriter. Many believed that to be a not-so-subtle jab at Drake, who has been accused of having a ghostwriter for his lyrics.
He also called out Drake on the song “Control” — which was considered the most important rap song of 2013 according to Shea Serrano’s The Rap Year Book.
This is a debate that many sports and music fans have had for years. While Kendrick has seemingly claimed Westbrook and Drake has claimed KD, we can speculate about some other comparisons.
For example, YG and James Harden are from the same area in Los Angeles: Compton.
There are obvious fashion comparisons, including YG’s shoe choice, which you can see in the tweet above.
YG raps about how he is the “only one who made it out the west without Dre” — which is reminiscent of how Harden is having a successful season without another superstar on his squad.
Another great comparison for NBA players and hip-hop stars is Chance the Rapper and Stephen Curry.
The two are very close friends and are some of the most exciting people in their respective field right now.
Chance and Curry are outspoken about their religious views. They also both have younger brothers who are also really talented in the same industry.
Seth Curry has had a very impressive season for the Dallas Mavericks and Chance’s brother Taylor Bennett is one of the top young rappers in the game right now.