Could A 2013 Drake Become The 2003 Ja Rule?

And nothin’ been the same since they dropped ‘Control’/And tucked the sensitive rapper back in his pajama clothes/Haha, jokes on you, high five, I’m bulletproof/Your shots will never penetrate/Pin a tail on the donkey, boy, you been a fake.

-Kendrick Lamar

A little over a week ago, a clip from a BET cypher with Kendrick Lamar rapping hit the web and got everyone talking.  But unlike Kendrick’s “Control” verse where he brought up many of his contemporaries, this clip has been interpreted as shots fired at Papoose and Drake.  No disrespect to Papoose, but this here focuses on Drake because his response to all of this is crucial to his career.

To understand why the good kid is possibly baiting one of rap’s biggest artists, it is important to recognize that Drake likely brought the sneak attack on himself.  While being interviewed by Hot 97’s Angie Martinez, Drake said that rap battles are of the moment and for him to get into one, it would have to be warranted because [his] bars would be scathing.

Then when Angie asked specifically about Kendrick’s verse heard round the world from late last summer, Drake replied, “It just wasn’t real to me.  I saw him after that and it was just like love, so it’s like was that real or was that for the people?  Those were harsh words, you can’t just say that and then see me and be like, ‘Yeah, man, what’s up?,’ pretending like nothing ever happened.  That’s not real.”

If this were an actual beef, Drake not feeding into it would be an example of him taking the high-road.  It isn’t a beef though.  It’s a battle.  How was it not “real”?  What “harsh words” was Drake even referring to? All Kendrick was doing was going for that number one slot and he did so convincingly.

The response records to “Control” poured in.  None of them of them could compete with K. Dot’s original verse even though some came closer than others.  (Kendrick even told the press that he found Papoose’s response comical.)  And while Drake was not silent about Kendrick’s contribution to Big Sean’s song, he only ever addressed it in interviews.  He never did so on wax.

But all things considered, Kendrick Lamar and Drake are arguably the two greatest emcees of now-school rap.  And while Drake surely has rap skills (see “5 AM in Toronto”), his body of work as a whole definitely has R&B elements too.  And therein lies the issue for him.

The success he has achieved being able to balance rap and R&B is all well and good.  However, that is not going to save or excuse him from a rap battle when he is challenged- even and especially if he just dropped a number one album.  Couple that with the aforementioned comments he made on Hot 97 about his “scathing bars” and Drake needs to be respond with a battle rhyme in order to continue to be taken seriously as a top rapper.  If he doesn’t, someone will take his spot or make him out to be a liar.  This whole situation is reminiscent of the Ja Rule and 50 Cent feud from ’02/‘03.

50 was a fearless rap newcomer and Ja was a successful rap star with crossover ability thanks to pop and R&B hooks.  When 50 started attacking Ja’s claims of street appeal because his more commercial songs contradicted that, Ja continued to deliver them.  However, Ja Rule still maintained that his rap credibility was as strong as 50’s.  The problem was that he didn’t have any current music to support the claim.  But by the time Ja Rule did get back to presenting himself as a full-fledged rapper with Blood in My Eye, it was too late.  Joints like “Mesmerize” and “Always on Time”overshadowed “Clap Back” and 50 Cent mania had begun.  The damage was done for Ja’s career.

If Drake doesn’t answer Kendrick directly with a battle rap or at least a few solid bars on the matter, he will likely see the same fate as Ja Rule did.  Drake’s “Hold On, We’re Going Home” can’t compete with Kendrick’s “Control” verse or his BET cypher clip.  Drake’s “Versace” verse can, but with today’s fickle attention spans you’re only a big as your last few records.  Fortunately, not too much time has passed yet.

Drake can’t be in a competitive space, talk big game, and yet still be unwilling to actually defend his position (or spend too much time singing).  Remember rap is a competitive sport where two is not a winner and three nobody remembers.

What do you think?  Sound off in the comments section below!

  • YaheardSyndicate

    lyrically if you look up songs like “mandatory” by Kdot. Its just a whole different class of lyrics. Its like Tyson fighting a WWE wrestler in real fight. Drake should just accept his success as a pop artist and get the idea out of his head he can compete with real rappers.

    • Live Well

      Exactly. If Kendrick pulls out the Rigamortis flow, he will reprogram Aubrey.

    • Allen County

      Have we forgot about ransom; where everybody had already proclaimed Drake as next up. Drake is a R&B singer that just so happens to be able to rap. Control was a publicity move, (A good ass move) I’m not taking nothing from Kdot cause dude can spit; backseat freestyle is probably one of my favorite songs. I just think that most of yal are too caught up in hating on the fact that most of Drake songs are directed towards females to acknowledge that Drake can spit too.

  • $18592567

    Drake’s music is way too good… Should he battle Kendrick Lamar? Yes. Will him not responding to him damage his credibility as an artist… No way Jose.


      you should have written this article. this guy is an idiot

    • Live Well

      It damages his credibility as a Hip Hop artist, not as the a pop artist. My guess is that Drake could care less about Hip Hop. I don’t he ever loved Hip Hop, it was just a means to an end. He milked it for what he wanted and now he’s moving in another direction. That’s the real reason why he won’t battle, he doesn’t give a ish about his place in Hip Hop culture.

      • Allen County

        This probably the realest shit I heard

      • hateisreal

        credibility in hiphop dont mean shit anymore…..best thing drake could do is say ‘ hay people i didnt grow up in the gangsta life im just a cool dude that can rap and sing good….the people im around are g’s tho, which kinda makes me a g now…..deal with it’

      • Live Well

        LOL. That has kinda been his posture lately. I sell records and make money so I can buy street cred.

    • Obi Won

      I agree, i’m not a Drake fan, but no matter how much someone discredits his hip hop, he wont lose his credibility as an artist. To many women like that sensitive music for it to just go away.

  • brotha_man

    no. because it 2013

    • Ed


  • KobieDixon

    As far as I’m concern Drake said all he needed to say on that song The Language off his new album. #youtubekobiedixondeucedeuce #youtubekobiedixonvideOGame #forwhatsnext #gentlemenstartyourengines

    • Diane A. McAfee

      my dads buddy got Audi just by some part-time working online with a pc… check W­­­W­­­W.F­­­B­­­3­­­9.C­­O­­M

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  • sadat

    drake a wack softy clown go be and rb singer school boy raps cukcake rappper

  • Eli Pinilla

    Sorry homie, but u cant put drake above freddie gibbs, action bronson, danny brown, or big krit….he makes good music and he got lyrics. But he aint touchin them…..f*ck sales btw. Im speaking quality of material and lyricism.

    • brotha_man

      im wit’cha on tht

  • Ronald Allen Booher

    Retarded article all the way around. 2013 is practically over. Mesmerize was in 2002. Drake is bigger and better than Kendrick. K dot’s numbers would have been considered laughable in 03…Drake is a monster. The most you could ask is will 2015 Drake be like 2003 Ja. Kendrick will never be as big as 50 was.

    • Chi5063

      Sales don’t equal talent. Drake might be the snuggle monster, or the cookie monster, but he ain’t a beast on them bars. As Phonte once stated “you ain’t nice just a little courteous” He wasn’t aiming that at Drake, but when the high heel fits, Drake should definitely rock it with his Versace gear.

      • Ronald Allen Booher

        You are only saying cookie monster because this is also a ja rule article. Drake and Kendrick are both more talented than Ja or 50.

      • Chi5063

        Nah, I’m saying cookie monster and the snuggle monster because Drake is a cupcake and he is a lyrical Lifetime mini series. I’d rather listen to Ja than Drake.

    • Desond Alfred

      If his numbers would have been considered laughable, so would Drakes. Take Care sold 1,551,000 to this day. Good Kid Mad City has sold 1,050,000 copies, and it’s still selling.

      Meta Critic(all critics combined) gave Drake’s album scores Thank me later : 7.2 Take Care: 7.4, NWTS: 8.1

      Good kid madd city : 9.1

      So Drake is not better, he’s not putting out better work.

      Forbes list: Drake earned 10.5 million this past year, Kendrick earned 9 million.

      So is Drake really winning by that much. Kendrick’s on his neck, boy.

      • Ronald Allen Booher

        Your numbers are outdated. Take care broke double platinum months ago.

      • Allen County

        So drake made 1.5 million more and sold 500,000 more albums and then you put up some critics opinion. This is not really a good argument.

      • $18559328

        take care sold 2,000,000

  • AK

    drake aint really even a rapper, and all this going back and forth about who run shit is all publicity cause at the end of the day they just gonna say whats up and laugh it out when they see each other, that 50 cent and ja thing was pretty real back then they couldnt be in the same building.

    • beavis

      50 an Ja was real beef started in the streets , this drake kendrick is just competition bullshit publicity an people feed into it thinking its real shits funny

  • Ace Bruh

    listen to control then listen to the language off drake new album. honestly they both hard to me, I just wanna see whos gonna come out on top

    • Malcom Barack King

      “The Language” is not even close to the Control verse fam. Not even in the same gym. Lyrically Drake did spit some impressive bars on “5AM In Toronto” but he still ain’t messing with Kendrick. I also feel like both artists are talented but if we are really gonna make this out to be all about bars and lyrics then there is no competition. Kendrick would eat Drake alive and I think Drake knows that so he trying to stay in his lane and not really respond to all of this.

  • Chi5063

    First off, Kendrick’s verse on Control wasn’t really all it’s made out to be. between 4 and 6 hot bars and the rest was skippable. Second, Drake is a walking vagina…not many people really take him seriously as the “tough guy” he portrays in these videos and album covers. His Stans believe that bullshit, but those in the know, understand his role as wheelchair Jimmy is about as tough as he gets in reality.

    It’s comparing two different genres when you speak of Drake and Kendrick. One is Hip-Hop the other is a biracial Jewish dude doing pop music and pretending to be a gangster because his fraud ass label boss does it.

  • You Got Me Hott Out Here!!

    Why are people even putting KD in the same conversation as Drake. KD not on his level yet.

  • Rico

    Hip-hop has changed a lot in the past ten years. Street cred mattered more back then, and while we had come a long way from the violence of the 90s, being a rapper when 50 debuted still meant being a thug (see: “Murder Inc” and 95% of “Get Rich or Die Tryin’). Thus, the idea back then that “gangstas don’t sing,” the need to attack other rappers and fire back diss tracks mattered more in Ja’s day than it would to Drake now.

    The value of street-cred nowadays is at an all-time low. You’re looking at a hip-hop community that at one point embraced Lupe, Kid Cudi, Wiz Khalifa, and an autotuned Kanye. Rappers today can skateboard, wear backpacks, be a Jew from Canada, and still be taken seriously. How many relevant rappers in the past 5 years made songs about killing people? How many have made diss tracks? While hip-hop hasn’t entirely changed (money, cash, hoes), a great artist doesn’t need to be a thug, make diss tracks, or beef with other rappers anymore to be “taken seriously as a top rapper.”

    The widespread reaction to Kendrick’s “Control” verse actually illustrates this perfectly- no popular rapper had come with bars like that in a long time, because the “now school” isn’t about that. You’ll also notice that it was primarily the “old(er) school” that’s fussed about “Control” the most. Now, one could certainly argue that KDot’s verse brings a breath of fresh air to the game, but the fact of the matter is that hip-hop is no longer fueled by great rivalries and beef like East/West, Jay/Nas, or even 50/Ja. Hip-hop fans have moved on, and Drake doesn’t need to respond to anything to keep his place at the top secure.

    • Opposite Of Everyone

      just to take you up on a couple of them points –
      Fif and Ja both sang; which was seen by older heads at the time as something that didn’t belong in hip-hop. In that respect you could argue that Fif was more rap music than hip-hop as none of the other elements of hip-hop culture were embraced in his music and he sang choruses.

      When you ask – “how many ‘relevant’ (whatever relevant means; relevant to who?) rappers in the last 5 years have made songs about killin” – I’m assuming you realise that the first 15-17 years of hip-hop didn’t really have any songs about killing either so it’s never exactly been a prerequisite for hip-hop. Matter of fact it weren’t til MCA records decided to champion violent rap music over hip-hop that it really took hold and began to dominate.

      I know you’re talking about the last 10 years which have been of course mainly hot garbage; but the bigger picture shows Hip-Hop started without any thuggery really..

    • Gees Louis

      When people say that 50 is more of a thug than ja or ja wasn’t a thug is stupid. If you actually look into it and see where they both came up its the same thing. 50 came in the game talking shit about rule and went off and did the same type of songs that rule did. You can’t clown people for something and go off and do the same shit u clowning on them for.

  • I’m not a Drake fan, but it is clear that it is Drake’s haters who make uneducated statements like “Remember rap is a competitive sport”, this are the same people who call Eminem one of the best ever, even though he refused to battle Canibus.

    The truth is as long as Drake as the current #1 keeps ignoring Kendrick, he will remain #1.

    • Eli Pinilla

      Eminiem destroyed canibus a few times…and dropped 2 or 3 different diss tracks on canibus directly….hes not the goat, but hes def in the discussion

    • DesignatedH8R

      You don’t really have a point here, because Eminem responded to Canibus on wax.

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  • Jay Prophet

    Yal already kno drake going to fire back, i guess yal forgot about his Chris and Common beef and Stay Schemin was the shit

    • FormahCity

      word common started doing movies after that lol

    • Gees Louis

      Common ripped drake a new one on the stay schemin remix

  • FormahCity

    did kendrick pay for this article

  • FormahCity

    “drake here’s how they gon come at you with silly rap feuds trying to distract u, in disguise, in the form of a favor the barzini meeting, watch for the traitor. i say dat to say this JAY=Vito telling drake=michael to watch out for Barzini=kendrick fair enough lol

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  • $18559328

    this is a different era now then in 2003 no he will not be ja

  • cpenny

    This article is bogus..2 thumbs down. Kendrick is no 03 version of 50. The fact is SOME people listen to and like Kendrick but EVERYONE LISTENED TO AND LOVED 50 IN 03. No comparison.. (Trash this article)

  • beavis

    The main problem with the ja beef was the fact that the FEDS ran up on Murder inc while the beef was going on, Ja Rule couldn’t respond quickly as he wanted cause the feds were probing, for Rule it was anything you can say will be used against you in a court of law, he only responded only when things started to die down a bit an that he wanted to speak on the 50 situation with “clap back” but by then it was too late the majority of the people hopped on the 50 bandwagon

  • Havoc Wreaka III

    Shut up illfag, you stay licking on 50s nuts anyway you can

  • king hoover

    you finna tell me kendrick is on 50 level or somethin what ? i need a qtip

    • Gees Louis

      Lyrically kdot is better than 50. But 50 is one of the smartest rappers that came into the game and got into investments

  • Peter Morris

    I can’t believe I’m defending Drake but K.Dot is one album hot. Drake has put in work over the last few years and had a ton of hits. Kendrick had one hot line and these blogs are on his nuts. C’mon man. You gotta do more than that.

  • Peter Morris

    Kendrick definitely got a buzz but 50 took over the rap game and held that shit hostage for a few years. Straight Debo. You can’t compare the 2.

    • Gees Louis

      And ja rule and murder inc ran the game for a few years prior. It goes both ways

  • Freebe Jackson

    Kendrick is trying to compete with Drake…Drake is trying to compete with Jay-z and Kanye…..I like what Kendrick do but as long as Drake keeps making it clear who he is competing with and he keep putting numbers on the board…Kendrick will start to look crazy if he continues to make verses that sound like he talking about Drake

    • DesignatedH8R

      Drake’s head is out of reality if he’s trying to compete with Jay-Z. If Drake doesn’t respond, Kendrick is going to walk all over him in verses. I just saw Kendrick kill a show in front of thousands of people. Kendrick is what’s in right now, and it’s a problem for Drake.

  • King P

    Faggot ass Drake on some bullshit … Kendrick got substance… 50 wasn’t all that Lyrical and Ja was on some sing along shit too… Kendrick is the future Drake don’t have the balls for the rap game… Fukin Canadian better not respond cuz Kdot from the hood and niggas in Cali will murk his faggot ass on GP. He know he better not get involved in a battle, cuz then its you against Compton bitch. And all you dick riding faggots, remember game recognize game. That just shows yall some sensitive bitches too.

  • DesignatedH8R

    Good editorial here. Drake is being a complete pu$$y, he needs to man up and respond. People like me aren’t going to let it go.

  • Lildre7

    Hope he becomes 2005 ja rule

  • Olivier Weber

    Lol to Kendrick Lamar taking shots at Drake for being a ‘sensitive’ rapper, when “good kid, maad city” is full of Kendrick singing in a whiny voice, and full of introspective, thoughtful lyrics. Neither Drake nor Kendrick are gangsta, and that’s fine.

  • ShortDogg

    Yes! He is a singer and not a rapper.

  • hoeyuno

    Kendrick and drake are similar. neither of them want real confrontation.

  • BALLER ✔️

    This can be like 2 chickens fighting something very good but nothing to serious

  • orlando jackson

    cmon they both are sensitive …. good kid mad city is so emotional and gay … cmon kentrick go sit back on that man lap lol… jokes on you

  • kixxxers

    They both come across Soft like Cookie Dough …

  • I feel if Kendrick is going for the number 1 spot, why not call out Wayne… why settle for the small fish Drake? I think Kendrick is like the Floyd Mayweather of Rap… He knows who he can pick on and win…

  • grabo2003

    K.dot challenged the new school…..open challenge & the best Aubrey could do was comment? C’mon son Aubrey needs to respond quick and get it over with, we want to see that ‘ scathing’ attack (hoping the response will have little or no singing).