Drake and Kendrick Lamar’s Ongoing Rap Saga Continues with “Push Ups”

Drake and Kendrick Lamar’s Ongoing Rap Saga Continues with “Push Ups”

In the intricate and ever-evolving landscape of hip-hop rivalries, an intriguing development has unfolded this past April. Following Kendrick Lamar’s explicit callout of Drake and J. Cole on the track “Like That” from Metro Boomin and Future’s collaboration, the internet was set abuzz with the emergence of a new diss track that points directly back at Lamar. Released on Saturday, April 13, and shrouded in a cloud of mystery and speculation, a song presumed to be Drake’s retort made its way through the digital ether, entitled “Push Ups.”

A Track Leaked and Confusion Ensued

Early in the day, a purported four-minute song by Drake was “leaked” across social channels, prompting debates over its authenticity. Initial reactions suggested it might be an A.I.-generated track, primarily due to its raw, unmixed quality, and its unmistakable interpolation of Junior M.A.F.I.A.’s “Get Money.” However, a cleaned-up version sporting a different beat later surfaced, further complicating matters.

Adding to the intrigue, Power 105, one of the major urban radio stations, and its parent iHeartRadio platform, presented what they claimed was official artwork for the song, depicting Kendrick Lamar doing push-ups. Despite these bold claims, Drake’s camp remained silent, offering no confirmation regarding the song’s legitimacy.

Drake’s Alleged Confirmation

In what many perceive as an acknowledgment of the track’s existence, Drake later shared an Instagram post featuring Uma Thurman as “The Bride” from Kill Bill, slyly responding to the day’s rampant speculation and lending credence to “Push Ups.”

Inside “Push Ups”: Drake’s Lyrical Retaliation?

As listeners delved into the lyrics, it became clear that Drake intended to spar verbosely with Lamar, J. Cole, and surprisingly, even some of his collaborators like the Weeknd and Metro Boomin. Straight off the bat, Drake taunts Lamar with lines that scoff at his stature and perceived shortcomings, while also accusing Lamar of coasting on his label’s, Top Dawg Entertainment, achievements and demands. He does not stop there, as the song is peppered with jabs at Lamar’s commercial collaborations and a snide commentary on the sharing of his earnings.

Drake doesn’t spare J. Cole either, referencing Cole’s hurried release and subsequent retraction of his Lamar-diss, “7 Minute Drill,” after expressing regret over the move. The track also levies criticism against Metro Boomin regarding past tensions and tosses an unexpected barb at Rick Ross.

The Weeknd’s recent laugh-off to the controversies, depicted through a popcorn-munching Instagram story, indicates the ripples Drake’s “Push Ups” has created within the sphere of collaborators turned competitors.

Looking Back at Lamar’s Inciting “Like That” Verse

All of this stems back to March 25, when Lamar boldly differentiated himself from Drake and Cole on a fiery verse within “Like That,” marking a confrontational upping of stakes in the rap game. Cole’s “7 Minute Drill” sought to respond but was swiftly reeled back, following a self-critique that airing it was an error, showcasing the intricate dynamics between these celebrated rap icons.


In the realm of hip-hop, where the personal and the performative intricately intertwine, “Push Ups” represents another chapter in the long-standing tradition of lyrical one-upmanship. While the authenticity of the diss remains officially unconfirmed by Drake’s camp, the song, with its slew of accusatory and competitive lyrics, undeniably adds fuel to an already blazing lyrical feud among some of rap’s most prominent figures. Whether these tracks will lead to further escalations or eventually fizzle out in the grand tradition of rap rivalries resembles a saga that only time will unravel.


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