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Kendrick Lamar Has Entered the GOAT Chat

Unfolding at the intersection of spontaneity and spectacle, Kendrick’s Drake battle was one of  the highest-stakes contests in rap history. There’ve been epic rap battles, but the participants were never complete equals, so they felt more like regular season games than battles for the most dominant. By the time Jay-Z got “ethered,” Nas’ stream of lackluster albums and a comparative lack of commercial success put him closer to has-been status than a claim to the rap throne. Eminem had fun beating up on Benzino, but the Boston rapper-producer-television personality was always more famous for ruining The Source than dropping bars. Common had skills, but never approached Drizzy’s cultural ubiquity. Tupac bombed on The Notorious B.I.G. first, but Big was never interested in retaliation, and even if he had a change of heart, Tupac was killed before they could have a meaningful back-and-forth. As a diametrical opposite with massive cultural cache and similarly transcendent skills, Drake presented Kendrick with a Rap GOAT infinity stone that many rap legends had never encountered: a worthy opponent. 

While it’s become popular to dunk on Drake, he remains a generational hitmaker with the rhyme dexterity of a premier technician. Despite claims to the contrary, he, along with 40, helped popularize a muted aesthetic that helped define Toronto rap and R&B. He’s got an astounding 331 Billboard Hot 100 hits, he’s won five Grammys, and he’s got several critically acclaimed albums. In recent years, he’s been an increasingly popular pick in debates about the all-time greats. (Everyone from Jim Jones to Ice Spice to Michal B. Jordan have called him the GOAT in recent Complex interviews.) On top of sales and awards, he’s also battle-tested. He’d previously taken a loss to Pusha-T, but he took down Common and Meek Mill. With that in mind, the stage was set for a once-in-a-lifetime competition. Kendrick had the opportunity to take down an artist many have argued as the GOAT, and he did. 

By now you know how things played out. After Kendrick launched the first strike with Future & Metro Boomin’s “Like That,” Drake replied with the electric “Push Ups,” only to eventually lose out in an avalanche of pantheon diss tracks from Compton’s savior. “Euphoria” is a freeform heater that turns every 6ix God Twitter joke into a Drake roasting session. “6:16 in LA” is a sinister warning shot. “Meet The Grahams” is a devastatingly condescending rebuttal to Drake’s stellar “Family Matters.” Drake got bars off, but his scattershot approach, and the timing of Kendrick’s release—he unloaded “Meet The Grahams” less than an hour after Drake dropped “Family Matters”—rendered Drake’s response a moot point. “Euphoria” would’ve made Tupac proud, but “Meet The Grahams”’s all-around depravity would’ve made Makaveli grab some Hennessy and see how much lower he could go. And that wasn’t the end. 

View news Source: https://www.complex.com/music/a/peter-a-berry/kendrick-lamar-goat-status-opinion

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