Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Euphoria’ And All The Disses Toward Drake: A Breakdown & Explanation

Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Euphoria’ And All The Disses Toward Drake: A Breakdown & Explanation

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Seventeen days after Drake dropped “Push Ups,” his response to Kendrick Lamar’s “Like That,” Kendrick returned fire with disses of his own on his new record “Euphoria.” Kendrick’s response to Drake comes four days sooner than Drake’s own did, and the Compton rapper wasted no bars in the six-minute record. While Drake’s record took aim at Kendrick Lamar as well as took aim at names like Rick Ross, Future, Metro Boomin, Ja Morant, The Weeknd, Kendrick’s diss focuses solely on Drake. All in all, “Euphoria” is an excellently constructed response filled with double entendres that fire back at Drake in more ways than one.

Let’s break down all the disses and peel back the many layers that exist on the song:

“Euphoria” — the song title

The surface-level explanation for the song here is the feeling that Kendrick Lamar has as he puts out his response to Drake. As the artwork for the song reveals, “euphoria” is a “feeling of well-being or elation,” but it goes much deeper than that. Drake is an executive producer on Euphoria, a show centered on the experiences of high school students. Drake has been questioned by fans about his interactions with underage and young women all throughout his career. The most notable one came after Millie Bobby Brown, who was 13 at the time, gushed about her friendship with the rapper in an interview. “We just texted the other day and he was like ‘I miss you so much,’ and I was like ‘I miss you more!’” she said. Kendrick plays into these rumors and allegations with the song title.

“Everything they say about me is true…”

This line is said in reverse at the beginning of “Euphoria.” The audio is from the 1978 film The Wiz in a line said by Richard Pryor. The full line from the movie is “Everything they say about me is true, I’m a phony…” It’s the beginning of several lines in the song that question Drake’s character and authenticity.

“You not a rap artist, you a scam artist with the hopes of bеing accepted / Tommy Hilfiger stood out, but FUBU nеver had been your collection”

Kendrick continues to question Drake’s authenticity and even goes as far as to question Drake’s Blackness. Tommy Hilfilger was a prominent fashion brand in the hip-hop community during the 1990s, but by the following decade, Hilfiger was accused of being racist as he allegedly disapproved of hip-hop’s embrace of his brand. As a result, hip-hop artists dropped their support for Hilfiger in favor of supporting brands like FUBU. Kendrick casts doubt on Drake’s Blackness by alleging that Drake owned Tommy Hilfiger clothes as he believed it was needed to seem apart of the Black hip-hop community. However, as Kendrick alludes, if Drake was truly apart of the community, he also would’ve had FUBU in his closet, among other Black brands.

“How I make music that electrify ’em, you make music that pacify ’em / I can double down on that line, but spare you this time, that’s random acts of kindness”

Another reference to Drake’s interactions with underage and young women. Kendrick says his music gives people live, while Drake’s own calms people down and puts them to sleep, something a pacifier can help a child do. On the surface, this line is Kendrick’s way saying that Drake’s music is for kids, though he ackownledges a double entendre exists in the line. Despite that, Kendrick won’t go further on the topic, a moment of kindness that won’t be seen again for the rest of the diss track.

“The very first time I shot me a drac’, the homie had told me that “Aim it this way” / I didn’t point down enough, today I show you I learn from those mistakes”

Kendrick recalls the first time he shot a Draco pistol and admits that while he did not do it corrently back then, he eventually learned from those mistakes. Calling the Draco a “Drac,’” creates another double entendre, as it sounds like Kendrick is saying “Drake.” Kendrick is saying that his past jabs at Drake, weren’t good enough, but with “Euphoria,” he proved that he’s figured it all out.

Somebody had told that me you got a ring, on God, I’m ready to double the wage / I rather do that, than let a Canadian n**** make Pac turn in his grave”

Last summer, a report revealed that Drake purchased Tupac Shakur’s famed ring for the price of $1 million, three times more than the pre-sale estimate of between $200,000-$300,000. With this line, Kendrick says he ready to pay double for the ring as Drake possessing it is enough to make Tupac turn in his grave.

“Yeah, Cole and Aubrey know I’m a selfish n**** / The crown is heavy, huh / I pray they my real friends, if not, I’m YNW Melly”

Kendrick doesn’t want to share rap’s crown, and being that Drake and J. Cole have been atop the rap game beside him for years, Kendrick says his hip-hop counterparts are aware of his selfishness. In the end, Kendrick hopes Drake and Cole are his real friends, because if they aren’t, he’ll have to do away with them both as YNW Melly allegedly did to his two friends.

“I don’t like you poppin’ sh*t at Pharrell, for him, I inherit the beef / Yeah, f*ck all that pushin’ P, let me see you push a T / You better off spinnin’ again on him, you think about pushin’ me? / He’s Terrence Thornton, I’m Terence Crawford, yeah, I’m whoopin’ feet”

Kendrick wasn’t a fan of Drake dissing Pharrell on “Meltdown,” so he’s stepping in to respond for Pharrell. Kendrick doesn’t want Drake to diss Pharrell, he’d rather see him deliver his long-awaited response to Pusha T. Furthermore, Kendrick thinks it would be better for Drake to diss Pusha instead of him. Pusha T is Terrence Thornton (his birth name), but Kendrick is like undefeated boxing champion Terence Crawford, whose record is 40-0 (could be a sly reference to Drake’s longtime producer OVO 40). Kendrick will be “whoppin’ feet,” LA slang for beating up someone out of their shoes, in his battle with Drake.

“I know some sh*t about n**** that make Gunna Wunna look like a saint”

Kendrick essentially says if you think Gunna is a snitch in the YSL RICO case, wait till I tell you what I know about Drake and others.

I hate the way that you walk, the way that you talk / I hate the way that you dress / I hate the way you sneak diss, if I catch flight, it’s gon’ be direct / We hate the b*tches you fuck, ’cause they confuse themselves with real women / And notice, I said “We”, it’s not just me, I’m what the culture feelin’”

Kendrick hates everything about Drake: the way he walks, talks, dresses, and sneak disses other artists. Kendrick also hates the woman Drake’s has sexual interactions with because they are not “real women.” This could be another jab at Drake’s alleged affinity for underage/young women as a “real woman” could be defined as a woman over 21 years of age. Kendrick then says that it’s not only him who believes it, but the rest of hip-hop or music culture.

You gon’ make a n**** bring back Puff, let me see if Chubbs really crash somethin’

Kendrick recalls the 2014 club incident where Diddy allegedly punched Drake during a fight in LIV Miami. Kendrick considers bringing Diddy into the battle to really strike fear into Drake. This would mean that Chubbs, Drake’s bodyguard, would have to step in and defend Drake. The Chubbs mention is also a response to him calling Kendrick a “little boy.” In a post to his Instagram Story in response to a rumored Drake diss from Kendrick at that time, Chubbs wrote, “Tell That Little Boy Drop!!! But He Won’t.” Well. He did.

Yeah, my first one like my last one, it’s a classic, you don’t have one / Let your core audience stomach that / Didn’t tell ’em where you get your abs from”

Kendrick brags about having classic albums, something he says Drake does not have. He goes on to say that Drake’s fans need to stomach, or accept, the fact Drake doesn’t have a classic album. As if that wasn’t enough, Kendrick then mocks Drake for allegedly getting liposuction surgery in order to have a six-pack core, a fact he seemingly tries to keep hidden.

“Headshot for the year, you better walk around like Daft Punk”

An amazing double entendre!! Kendrick says his bars on “Euphoria” are the equivalent of Drake receiving a gunshot to the head. The head injuries will force Drake to hide his wounds and “walk around like Daft Punk,” the French electronic music duo known for wearing robot-lie helmets. Kendrick is also saying the “headshot” diss make Drake a “daft punk” dur to his brain injuries. Daft by definition is “silly; foolish” while punk means “a worthless person.” Thanks to “Euphoria,” Drake is now a silly, foolish, and worthless person according to Kendrick.

Surprised you wanted that feature request / You know that we got some sh*t to address

Kendrick suggests that Drake reached out to him for a guest verse (allegedly for “First Person Shooter“) despite their ongoing beef, a request that shocked Kendrick.

I’m knowin’ they call you The Boy, but where is a man? ‘Cause I ain’t see him yet

Kendrick is back to questioning Drake’s character, using the Toronto rapper’s nickname as “The Boy” to point to Drake’s inability to be a man.

“When I see you stand by Sexyy Red, I believe you see two bad bitches / I believe you don’t like women, that’s real competition, you might pop ass with ’em”

In recent months, Drake has been spotted with Sexyy Red on multiple occasions. Kendrick believes Drake wants to be like Sexyy Red and other female rappers. A line later, Kendrick goes on to say that Drake doesn’t like women and sees them as competition, enough to shake ass as some do in their videos, performances, and social media posts.

“Let’s speak on percentage, show me your splits / I make sure I double back with you / You was signed to a n**** that’s signed to a n**** that said he was signed to that n**** / Try cease and desist on the ‘Like That’ record / Hoe, what? You ain’t like that record?”

Kendrick responds to Drake’s claim that Kendrick was being extorted in his previous record deal with TDE and reminds Drake that once signed to Young Money under Cash Money Records which is under Universal Music Group. The “that n****” may be Birdman who was sued by Lil Wayne and accused of withholding profits and refusing to release his Tha Carter V album. Next, Kendrick accusses Drake of sending a cease and desist letter for Future & Metro Boomin’s “Like That,” which Kendrick appears on and used to diss Drake in his verse. This isn’t the first time Drake was accused of sending a cease and desist letter to another rapper.

“‘Back To Back’, I like that record / I’ma get back to that for the record / Why would I call around tryna get dirt on n****s? / Y’all think all of my life is rap?
That’s hoe sh*t, I got a son to raise, but I can see you know nothin’ ’bout that / Wakin’ them up, know nothin’ ’bout that / And tell ’em to pray, know nothin’ ’bout that / And givin’ ’em tools to walk through life like day by day, know nothin’ ’bout that / Teachin’ the morals, and take all the discipline, listen man, you don’t know nothin’ ’bout that / Speakin’ the truth and consider what God’s considerin’, you don’t know nothin’ ’bout that”

Kendrick shows love to Drake’s “Back To Back” record, which the Toronto rapper released in 2016 in response to Meek Mill’s ghostwriter claims against him, but explaining why he would never go on a search for dirt on Drake. Kendrick says fatherhood — something he believes Drake is failing at in multiple ways — occpuies too much of his time, making it impossible for him to find the dirt that would be useful for a diss. “Euphoria” proves that Kendrick didn’t need that dirt.

“Ain’t twenty-v-one, it’s one-v-twenty if I gotta smack n****s that write with you”

Since Meek Mill’s ghostwriting accusations against Drake in 2016, the Torono rapper has been unable to shake off claims that he does not write all of his music. So in response to Drake’s “What the f*ck is this, a twenty-v-one, n****?” line on “Push-Ups,” Kendrick corrects Drake and says it will actually be him against Drake and his ghostwriters if things get more violent.

“Am I battlin’ ghost or AI? N**** feelin’ like Joel Osteen / Funny, he was in a film called ‘AI’ /And my sixth sense tellin’ me to off him”

Kendrick responds to Drake’s “Taylor Made Freestyle” which featured AI verses by Snoop Dogg and Tupac from Drake, by asking if he’s battling AI or a ghost, instead of a real-life rapper. He then likens himself to Joel Osteen, though he actually meant Haley Joel Osment, the child actor who starred in the films The Sixth Sense and AI: Artificial Intelligence. Our own Aaron Williams dove into the connection to Haley Joel Osment in his ranking of the disses on “Euphoria.”

“Yeah, OVO n****s is d*ck riders / Tell ’em run to America to imitate heritage, they can’t imitate this violence”

Kendrick disses Drake’s OVO crew and suggest that they all left Canadian and came to the US to appropriate the culture in the states. Probablem is, as Kendrick says, they’re unable imitate everything including Kendrick’s level of aggression and violence on “Euphoria.”

“Don’t speak on the family, crodie / It can get deep in the family, crodie / Talk about me and my family, crodie? / Someone go bleed in your family, crodie”

Kendrick warns Drake about dissing his loved ones as things will get violent if the Toronto native decides to ignore his warning. Kendrick also mocks Drake by using a Toronto accent and the word “crodie,” a crip variation of “brodie” that Toronto rapper and member of the crip Wassa gang, in these bars.

“Whoever that’s f*ckin’ with him, f*ck you n****s, and f*ck the industry too”

Drake’s friends and the overall industry won’t stop Kendrick from going to war, and he’s ready to battle anyone who wants to stand beside Drake.

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