24 May 2024

KENDRICK VS. DRAKE BEEF: the do's and don'ts of using AI in a creative process

For anyone that’s been online the past few weeks, there’s been a lot of activity surrounding the boiling over of a beef that’s been stewing for almost a decade.

For those not caught up, wondering about the intricacies of the beef and how it evolved, read more here.

The winner has been widely proclaimed to be Kendrick Lamar. His latest track “Not Like Us” is already being deemed a summer anthem and surpassing every record previously held by Drake. Ironically, in the song which many see as the official start of the beef, Push Ups, Drake raps:

Numbers wise, I'm out of here, you not f*ckin creepin up.

That did not age well.

We’re here to discuss where else Drake went wrong and what it has to do with AI.


Use AI to summarise and help you understand lyrics

Drake tragically misunderstood the contents of a song released in Lamar’s 2022 Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers, resulting in the widely dismissed claims in The Heart pt. 6, namely that Lamar had been sexually abused as a child. A quick check-in with chat gpt shows the song in question Drake refers to, Mother I Sober, instead is a metaphorical exploration of systematic abuse and generational trauma endured by the Black community in the US. Oops.

Screenshot 2024-05-16 at 09.40.28

[1.5 million dislikes & counting]

[My mom came over today, and I was like, "Mother, I—

Mother, I—, mother—," ahh, wait a second

That's that one record where you say you got m*lested

Aw, f*ck me, I just made the whole connection

This about to get so depressin'

This is trauma from your own confessions

This when your father leave you home alone with no protection, so neglected]

Drake’s making a connection, but it’s the wrong one. People are angry because Drake went through Kendrick’s catalogue, hears Mother I Sober, misunderstands it, and still tries to poke fun at what he interprets as Lamar being abused. Lamar’s previous verse detailing his lack of understanding of metaphors in Meet the Grahams is proven correct:

But truthfully, I don't have a hatin' bone in my body

This supposed to be a good exhibition within the game

But you f*cked up the moment you called out my family's name

Why you had to stoop so low to discredit some decent people?

Guess integrity is lost when the metaphors doesn't reach you

Moving on, DO use Aeterna’s proprietary data to place your message to the right audience. Our dev team’s PromptStream uses an unsupervised model to pick up on trending topics, like this one and those more under the radar, too.

NOTE: unlike other providers, we DON’T target segments including minors, something we suggest Drake’s publicists might do in the future (as per his popularity amongst and seeming interest in teens, also heavily referenced in the rap battle.)

don’ts we endorse:

DON’T, like in Drake’s now retracted Taylor Made Freestyle, use AI to resuscitate deceased rap icon Tupac Shakur, having his ghost spew disses targeted at the rapper widely seen as his successor in the west coast rap scene. Especially in the context of multiple of his peers having already accused him of being a culture vulture, just rap as yourself.

The track was retracted largely because Shakur’s estate threatened a lawsuit over the verse.

And, as an extension:

DON’T Use AI to create a ghost of a rapper that is still alive, allegedly without said person’s permission (especially when that person is Snoop Dogg). It’s not just unethical and a clear breach of intellectual property, it’s disrespectful. More recently, Scarlett Johansson has flagged a similar issue to Sam Altman of OpenAI. After rejecting an offer from the company to voice the system’s Sky, they have seemingly released it anyway, still sounding eerily a lot like her. Read more here.

The same reason that OpenAI is taking heat now is why Drake’s Taylor Made Freestyle is no longer available on official channels.

This fumble, among many others, including Drake’s unwillingness to focus on Lamar himself, instead rambling about other beefs and rappers he has taken issue with, can be seen as the main missteps made that ultimately lost him not just a good chunk of his reputation in the rap game but, more tangibly, cost him all the records he used to hold.

The best track he was able to release, Family Matters, got overshadowed by Kendrick posting the darkest, spookiest track of the exchange, Meet the Grahams only 45 minutes later.

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What’s for sure is we’re witnessing history in more ways than one, this being the first rap battle with AI not just mentioned but directly involved, to the detriment of the person using it. It seems like, for now, AI is best left on the sidelines of rap battles.

While we agree with the public’s verdict that Drake got bodied by the strategy and lyricism of Lamar’s output, as music fans we have to address the simple excitement of getting to listen to new music.

Here’s some of our favourite bars on both sides of the battle:

Off Pushups:

Metro, shut your h* *ss up and make some drums, n*gga

[metro then released instant fitness anthem BBL Drizzy in response, referencing Drake’s plastic surgery – yay! More music!]


I hate when a rapper talk about guns, then somebody die, they turn into nuns

Then hop online like "Pray for my city," he fakin' for likes and digital hugs

Am I battlin' ghost or AI?

N*gga feelin' like Joel Osteen

Funny, he was in a film called A.I.

And my sixth sense tellin' me to off him

Family Matters

Kendrick just opened his mouth, someone go hand him a Grammy right now

Not Like Us

Why you trollin' like a b*tch? Ain't you tired?

Tryna strike a chord and it's probably A minor

You run to Atlanta when you need a few dollars

No, you not a colleague, you a f*ckin' colonizer

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