HomePoliticsKendrick-Drake beef reaches Congress: 'I am going to support the American'

Kendrick-Drake beef reaches Congress: ‘I am going to support the American’

They hold national hearings and draft legislation. They represent millions of voters across the country and are among the largest decision makers in the world.

This week, they voted on whether to vote to oust the administration official second only to the presidency.

But even members of Congress say they are closely following the bitter battle between the two countries Kendrick Lamar and Drake in their spare time.

“There is no doubt that Kendrick is the victor,” said Rep. Jamaal Bowman (DN.Y.) told The Hill on Wednesday. “I mean, he’s the better artist overall. He is a pillar of the culture.”

Bowman founded the Congressional Hip Hop Power and Justice Task Force earlier this year with a coalition of Democrats.

The task force wasn’t structured to deal with rap bugs, as Bowman noted in an interview, but he called it “a platform and an avenue for policy discussions” that people in the community care about.

“Hopefully it inspires others to keep the culture going as best they can,” Bowman said of the rap battle, which he said also “brings attention to the culture” and “showcases the creative genius of emcees.”

The battle between Kendrick and Drake, which originated in 2013, came to a head in recent weeks, shortly after the release of Future and Metro Boomin’s “Like That,” which saw Lamar take aim at Drake and fellow rapper J. Cole. rejecting the idea that they are the “Big Three” of rap.

Drake and Cole were also on the list of artists Lamar mentioned in his verse on Big Sean’s 2013 song “Control,” along with Big KRIT; Pusha T; Jay Electronics; Tyler, the Creator; Mac Molenaar; Meek mill; and others.

Lamar later commented on the firestorm caused by that verse — in which he figuratively said he wanted to “kill” his rivals and make sure their fans “never heard of them” — and emphasized that those bars were written for ‘the fun’ and in the competitive spirit of hip hop.

“I mean, this is a big part of hip-hop that hasn’t been around for a while,” Rep. said. Maxwell Frost (D-Fla.), the first member of Generation Z to join Congress, said in an interview. Frost said he thinks Lamar “made the first attempt to bring back hip-hop culture.”

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“I think they both took it to hell, and I think it went somewhere maybe it shouldn’t have. But that’s part of the nature of this: they can go so low. So I think this is a good time to end,” Frost said.

As for the winner, Frost says, there’s no doubt about it.

“I’m going to support the American, as a member of Congress,” Frost said of Lamar, adding that Toronto-born Drake has “waved the white flag” as Lamar’s latest diss track, “Not Like Us,” tops the streaming charts climbs. .

Rep. Delia Ramirez (D-Ill.), another member of the hip-hop task force, said Tuesday that while she wasn’t completely on board, she was leaning toward Lamar’s side even though she is a Drake fan. She also noted that her colleagues have come up to her on the House floor to ask her who she is siding with, while fans around the world are still shouting back and forth.

“This also reminds us, I think, of the power of communication through music and why hip-hop is so important, right?” Speaking to The Hill on Tuesday, Ramirez noted how the hip-hip discourse has dominated social media in the aftermath of the battle.

“You have members of Congress at some point, when we’re fighting so many things, where we really wonder, ‘Who’s right? Is it Kendrick Lamar, or is it Drake?’”

While the congressional debate over the rappers may be just getting started, diehard fans of Lamar and Drake have been arguing for more than a decade over who is the true “GOAT” — the “greatest of all time” — of the genre.

Fans have long pitted the two against each other based on lyricism, hitmaking and overall commercial success.

Drake was also known for his acting skills before releasing his debut album ‘Thank Me Later’ in 2010. Furthermore, his 2009 mixtape, ‘So Far Gone’ had also seen action on the charts. “Section.80”, Lamar’s first studio album, released in 2011.

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The accolades have only increased over the years for both artists.

Drake, 37, has released eight studio albums, won five Grammys, had 13 songs hit number one in the country and more than 70 songs reached the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Lamar, 36, has released four studio albums and has also had three No. 1 hits on the charts, 13 songs in the Top 10, won 17 Grammys and a Pulitzer Prize in 2018 for one of his critically acclaimed albums, “Damn.”

In 2016, even then-President Barack Obama had spoken out about the long-running debate over the two, after being pressed in an interview with Adande Thorne, a YouTuber known as Swoozie, for his thoughts on which rapper would win in a hypothetical competition. -upwards.

“I have to go with Kendrick,” Obama said at the time. “I think Drake is an excellent entertainer. But Kendrick, his lyrics.”

And while Obama has yet to speak out publicly about the fight, recirculated clips of his response have racked up thousands of likes and millions of views in recent weeks, as many fans argue his years-long assessment has held up now that the smoke has cleared.

President Biden’s camp has also made an appearance. This week, his campaign capitalized on some of the buzz surrounding the fight with a video that grilled former President Trump on issues like immigration and abortion rights while featuring one of Lamar’s diss tracks, “Euphoria.” on the background.

With rap beefs now reaching the highest levels of government, the formation of a hip-hop task force in Congress may seem obvious to some.

Hip-hop, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last August, has often been a political tool for black and brown Americans to spotlight issues of racial injustice and economic inequality. At its launch in February, the task force’s founders said they wanted to continue using hip-hop as a tool to advance current efforts in Congress.

“Especially right now, if you look at the Black Lives Matter movement as the movement for a ceasefire and the struggle that continues for freedom, justice and equality – now is the time to build political power at a level that has never been achieved before,” Bowman said at the time.

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But the current feud between Lamar and Drake has pushed the conversation in other directions, like who gets to claim black culture — and which parts of the culture — and how misogyny plagues the genre.

While the recent battle between Lamar and Drake has certainly reached new heights and brought in big numbers on the streaming front, fans have expressed concern over allegations of child molestation and domestic violence that the two have leveled at each other through their songs.

The authenticity of the allegations remains in question, and there is a history of rappers exaggerating claims in rap battles to hurt their opponents.

In the past, conflict between artists has also become dangerous, with the murders of Tupac Shakur and Notorious BIG in the 1990s both highlighting how a song’s violence can sometimes translate into personal violence.

Fans expressed some concerns this week after a shooting outside Drake’s mansion in Toronto left a security guard injured.

Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), probably the highest-ranking hip-hop enthusiast in the House of Representatives, would not say Tuesday who he was siding with, but emphasized the importance of keeping the fight “within the four corners of lyricism and lyricism remains’. music.”

Jeffries, whose district covers much of Biggie’s home borough of Brooklyn, has paid tribute to the House floor rapper in the past and referenced his lyrics during Trump’s 2020 impeachment trial.

“We have seen rap battles in the past – most tragically as it relates to the conflict between Death Row and Bad Boy – outside the musical landscape and on the streets,” Jeffries said, referring to Tupac and Biggie’s record labels, respectively. .

“That’s not something we ever want to see happen again.”

For the latest news, weather, sports and streaming video, visit The Hill.

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