Kendrick Lamar’s Drake diss track debuts at number one in the US

Kendrick Lamar’s Drake diss track debuts at number one in the US

Kendrick Lamar has won the culture-consuming rap beef with Drake, at least as far as Billboard hits are concerned, as his diss track Not Like Us debuted at No 1 on the US Hot 100.

The scathing track, which alleges that the Canadian hit-maker is a “certified pedophile”, is Lamar’s fourth No 1 song, after a feature on Future and Metro Boomin’s Like That earlier this year, 2017’s Humble and his verse on Taylor Swift’s 2015 track Bad Blood.

Another one of his tracks in the rapid-fire, increasingly acrimonious rap beef with Drake, Euphoria, reached number three after debuting last week at 11. Family Matters, one of Drake’s several responses as the feud escalated in the past two weeks, currently sits at seven on the singles chart.

The chart win is the latest notch for Lamar in the headline-grabbing feud, which over the last month expanded from long-simmering tension between two of world’s most famous artists into all-out lyrical war, engulfing other artists such as Rick Ross and The Weeknd.

The current spat dates back to Lamar’s verse on Like That in late March, and has produced a bevy of diss tracks in rapid succession – Euphoria, 6:16 in LA, Meet the Grahams and Not Like Us from Lamar, and Push Ups, Taylor Made Freestyle, Family Matter and The Heart Part 6 from Drake.

The beef grew increasingly personal in the last two weeks, with both artists taking shots at the other’s lifestyle and family. Drake, born Aubrey Graham, claimed that Lamar, a Pulitzer prize winner for his 2017 album Damn, physically abused his partner; Lamar claimed that Drake engaged in underage sex and concealed a child from public view, marking a dramatic escalation of public rancor. “Say Drake, I hear you like ’em young / You better not have to go to Cell Block One,” he raps in Not Like Us, a single whose cover art depicts Drake’s Toronto mansion doctored to appear labeled as “registered sex offender”. The track led Drake to publicly deny allegations of underage sex and harbouring a secret daughter.

The lyrical sparring has also been connected to actual violence, after one of Drake’s security guards was shot and seriously injured outside the rapper’s Toronto home last Tuesday. A man was later arrested after trying to break into Drake’s home in a separate incident, one of several trespassing attempts.

This is the second time a rap beef has launched a number one song this year, according to Billboard. In February, Megan Thee Stallion scored her first solo No 1 song with Hiss, part of a long-running feud with Nicki Minaj.