Not Like Us – Kendrick Lamar

The simmering feud between rap titans and Drake exploded once again in May 2024 with the release of Kendrick Lamar's “Not Like Us.” This scathing diss track, the fifth installment in their ongoing war of words, launched a fresh wave of controversy and speculation within the hip-hop community. “Not Like Us” is a lyrical firestorm, filled with accusations, personal attacks, and Lamar's signature wordplay, solidifying its place as a potential contender for diss track of the year.

A Relentless Attack:

“Not Like Us” picks up where Lamar left off with his previous diss track, “Meet the Grahams.” He wastes no time launching into a relentless attack on Drake, doubling down on previous accusations of pedophilia and sexual misconduct. Lamar weaves a narrative portraying Drake as a predator, exploiting young women for his own gratification. Lines like “Prey on these rappers, tryna control the youth / You a vulture, picking on rappers in they youth” leave little room for interpretation, showcasing the venomous nature of the lyrical assault.

Deeper Than Just Insults:

While “Not Like Us” is undeniably packed with insults and accusations, Lamar delves deeper than just personal attacks. He criticizes Drake's alleged inauthenticity, accusing him of cultural appropriation and exploiting Atlanta's rap scene for financial gain. Lines like “Took Atlanta flow and watered it down / You a tourist, man, get out of my town” highlight the tension between established artists and those seen as outsiders capitalizing on a specific sound.

West Coast vs. East Coast Revisited?

The lyrical content of “Not Like Us” reignites the age-old debate of West Coast versus East Coast rap supremacy. While Lamar and Drake aren't geographically bound to these regions, their musical styles and perceived cultural affiliations rekindle this historic rivalry. Lamar's use of a West Coast hyphy-influenced beat and his lyrical references to the region's rap scene can be seen as a statement of dominance and a way to reclaim cultural ownership.

Production with a Purpose:

The production of “Not Like Us” is anything but playful. The hyphy-influenced beat, characterized by a prominent bassline and lively brass instruments, creates a sense of urgency and aggression that perfectly complements Lamar's scathing lyrics. The use of rhythmic finger snaps adds a layer of nervous energy, further amplifying the song's intensity.

This choice of production style is a stark contrast to the smooth and often introspective soundscapes that Drake often utilizes. Lamar's production choices serve as a deliberate attempt to differentiate himself from his rival and establish a distinct musical identity.

The Impact and Legacy:

The release of “Not Like Us” has sent shockwaves through the hip-hop world. Fans are dissecting Lamar's lyrics, analyzing every line for hidden meanings and potential future developments in the feud. Critics are praising the song's lyrical complexity and raw energy, while acknowledging its controversial content.

The song's impact extends beyond music. The accusations against Drake have sparked discussions about accountability and the power dynamics within the music industry. Whether Drake will respond with a diss track of his own remains to be seen, but “Not Like Us” has undoubtedly reignited the feud and left a lasting mark on the hip-hop landscape.

Questions and Speculation:

“Not Like Us” raises several questions about the future of the Drake-Lamar feud and the state of hip-hop:

Will Drake respond with a diss track, further escalating the war of words?
How will this feud impact the careers of both artists?
Does “Not Like Us” signal a shift in the direction of Lamar's music?
Will this diss track be remembered as a classic in the long history of hip-hop beefs?
A Testament to Lyrical Prowess:

Despite the controversy surrounding its content, “Not Like Us” is a testament to Kendrick Lamar's lyrical prowess. His ability to weave complex rhymes, scathing insults, and social commentary into a cohesive track is undeniable. Whether you agree with the message or not, there's no denying the raw power and energy that Lamar unleashes in this diss track.

The Future of Hip-Hop Beefs:

“Not Like Us” also raises questions about the role of diss tracks in hip-hop. While they can generate excitement and discussion, they can also lead to negativity and overshadow the music itself. The future of hip-hop beefs will likely involve a delicate balance between artistic expression and responsible use of platforms.

A Song with Layers:

“Not Like Us” is more than just a diss track; it's a complex and layered song that sparks conversation about a range of issues, from celebrity culture and accountability to cultural appropriation and regional identity within hip-hop. It's a song that will be dissected and debated for years to come, solidifying its place as a significant moment in the ongoing rivalry between Kendrick Lamar and Drake.

Beyond the Beef: Lamar's Artistic Evolution

While “Not Like Us” reignited a feud, it's important to consider the song within the context of Lamar's artistic evolution. Throughout his career, Lamar has tackled complex social issues and experimented with different sounds. “Not Like Us” showcases his ability to address personal conflicts while still maintaining a focus on social commentary.

Potential for Further Exploration:

The song's title, “Not Like Us,” is open to interpretation. On the surface, it can be seen as a direct attack on Drake, separating Lamar from someone he views as inauthentic. However, it could also be interpreted as a broader commentary on the disconnect between celebrities and the everyday struggles of ordinary people.

This ambiguity allows listeners to draw their own conclusions, adding another layer of depth to the song. Further exploration of the song's title and its potential meanings could lead to a richer understanding of Lamar's message.

The Legacy of “Not Like Us”

Whether “Not Like Us” marks the final chapter in the Drake-Lamar feud or simply another salvo in a long-running battle remains to be seen. However, the song's impact on hip-hop is undeniable. It has sparked conversation, challenged conventions, and showcased the power of Lamar's lyrical talents.

“Not Like Us” will likely be remembered as a landmark diss track, a song that pushed boundaries and forced listeners to confront uncomfortable truths about the music industry and the culture of celebrity.

Looking Ahead:

The release of “Not Like Us” has set the stage for the next chapter in the Drake-Lamar saga. Will there be a response? How will this impact their respective careers? These are just some of the questions that remain unanswered.

One thing is certain: “Not Like Us” has left an indelible mark on the landscape of hip-hop. It's a song that will be studied, debated, and celebrated for years to come, solidifying its place as a significant moment in music history.

[Intro]
Psst, I see dead people
(Mustard on the beat, ho)

[Verse 1]
Ayy, Mustard on the beat, ho
Deebo any rap nigga, he a free throw
Man down, call an amberlamps, tell him, “Breathe, bro”
Nail a nigga to the cross, he walk around like Teezo
What's up with these jabroni-ass niggas tryna see Compton?
The industry can hate me, fuck 'em all and they mama
How many opps you really got? I mean, it's too many options
I'm finna pass on this body, I'm John Stockton
Beat your ass and hide the Bible if God watchin'
Sometimes you gotta pop out and show niggas
Certified boogeyman, I'm the one that up the score with 'em
Walk him down, whole time, I know he got some ho in him
Pole on him, extort shit, bully Death Row on him
Say, Drake, I hear you like 'em young
You better not ever go to cell block one
To any bitch that talk to him and they in love
Just make sure you hide your lil' sister from him
They tell me Chubbs the only one that get your hand-me-downs
And Party at the party playin' with his nose now
And Baka got a weird case, why is he around?
Certified Lover Boy? Certified pedophiles
Wop, wop, wop, wop, wop, Dot, fuck 'em up
Wop, wop, wop, wop, wop, I'ma do my stuff
Why you trollin' like a bitch? Ain't you tired?
Tryna strike a chord and it's probably A minor
See rap shows near Novi Sad
Get tickets as low as $30

[Chorus]
They not like us, they not like us, they not like us
They not like us, they not like us, they not like us

[Verse 2]
You think the Bay gon' let you disrespect Pac, nigga?
I think that Oakland show gon' be your last stop, nigga
Did Cole fouI, I don't know why you still pretendin'
What is the owl? Bird niggas and bird bitches, go
The audience not dumb
Shape the stories how you want, hey, Drake, they're not slow
Rabbit hole is still deep, I can go further, I promise
Ain't that somethin'? B-Rad stands for bitch and you Malibu most wanted
Ain't no law, boy, you ball boy, fetch Gatorade or somethin'
Since 2009, I had this bitch jumpin'
You niggas'll get a wedgie, be flipped over your boxers
What OVO for? The “Other Vaginal Option”? Pussy
Nigga better straighten they posture, got famous all up in Compton
Might write this for the doctorate, tell the pop star quit hidin'
Fuck a caption, want action, no accident
And I'm hands-on, he fuck around, get polished
Fucked on Wayne girl while he was in jail, that's connivin'
Then get his face tatted like a bitch apologizin'
I'm glad DeRoz' came home, y'all didn't deserve him neither
From Alondra down to Central, nigga better not speak on Serena
And your homeboy need subpoena, that predator move in flocks
That name gotta be registered and placed on neighborhood watch
I lean on you niggas like another line of Wock'
Yeah, it's all eyes on me, and I'ma send it up to Pac, ayy
Put the wrong label on me, I'ma get 'em dropped, ayy
Sweet Chin Music and I won't pass the aux, ayy
How many stocks do I really have in stock? Ayy
One, two, three, four, five, plus five, ayy
Devil is a lie, he a 69 God, ayy
Freaky-ass niggas need to stay they ass inside, ayy
Roll they ass up like a fresh pack of ‘za, ayy
City is back up, it's a must, we outside, ayy

[Chorus]
They not like us, they not like us, they not like us
They not like us, they not like us, they not like us

[Verse 3]
Once upon a time, all of us was in chains
Homie still doubled down callin' us some slaves
Atlanta was the Mecca, buildin' railroads and trains
Bear with me for a second, let me put y'all on game
The settlers was usin' townfolk to make 'em richer
Fast-forward, 2024, you got the same agenda
You run to Atlanta when you need a check balance
Let me break it down for you, this the real nigga challenge
You called Future when you didn't see the club (Ayy, what?)
helped you get your lingo up (What?)
21 gave you false street cred
Thug made you feel like you a slime in your head (Ayy, what?)
said you can be from Northside (What?)
2 Chainz say you good, but he lied
You run to Atlanta when you need a few dollars
No, you not a colleague, you a fuckin' colonizer
The family matter and the truth of the matter
It was God's plan to show y'all the liar

[Bridge]
Mm
Mm-mm
He a fan, he a fan, he a fan (Mm)
He a fan, he a fan, he a
Freaky-ass nigga, he a 69 God
Freaky-ass nigga, he a 69 God
Hey, hey, hey, hey, run for your life
Hey, hey, hey, hey, run for your life
Freaky-ass nigga, he a 69 God
Freaky-ass nigga, he a 69 God
Hey, hey, hey, hey, run for your life
Hey, hey, hey, hey, run for your life
Let me hear you say, “OV-ho” (OV-ho)
Say, “OV-ho” (OV-ho)
Then step this way, step that way
Then step this way, step that way

[Outro]
Are you my friend?
Are we locked in?
Then step this way, step that way
Then step this way, step that way

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