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Not Like Us


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Caleb Gottry

Album Review

Some say the conflict between Drake and Kendrick Lamar extends back to the early 2010s. But everyone can agree that it escalated this year. And according to most critics, Lamar’s song “Not Like Us” dealt a devasting blow to Drake in their very public feud.

The diss tracks released in 2024 by these two contenders aren’t pretty. They trade serious, mostly sexual, allegations against each other. But Lamar seemed unfazed, dropping two singles within 48 hours, accusing Drake of highly illegal and morally terrible things.

With “Not Like Us,” Lamar came after Drake with vengeance, digging up the dirtiest of alleged dirt. He also referenced nearly 15 other rappers, building his “army” of supporters, and flaming those who stood with Drake.

Musically, the track has been highly acclaimed among mainstream critics, with praise for its aggressive beat and cutting tone. It reached the No. 1 slot on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart for a week.  

The accompanying music video simply shows the album cover, a Google image screen grab of Drake’s estate, with 13 red markers to denote registered sex offenders and pedophiles.

Kendrick claims he and his crew are not like Drake and his entourage, but his latest single goes to some pretty explicit and profane places to explain why.


While Kendrick’s attempt to defend his friends from Drake’s attacks could be considered admirable, the language and sexual innuendo noted below are hard to look past.


Where do I start? The themes in “Not Like Us” range from mature to explicit to spiritually profane.

The track revolves around allegations that Drake is a pedophile (“Say, Drake, I hear you like ‘em young”). Likewise, Lamar also describes Drake’s associates on the latter’s record label, OVO, as being pedophiles, drug abusers, and sex traffickers (“Certified Lover Boy? Certified pedophiles”).

These euphemisms (“Tryna strike a chord and it’s probably A-Minor”) and straight-up explanations of Drake’s alleged misdeeds continue through the entire song.

It doesn’t stop there (“Rabbit hole is still deep, I can go further, I promise”).

Kendrick also accuses Drake of being a “colonizer” of black culture, comparing Drake to white slave owners (“No, you not a colleague, you a f—in’ colonizer”).

In the four-and-a-half-minute song, we hear about 45 profanities and vulgarities combined, including “a–,” “b—h,” “p—y” and “ho.” Also included in that total are one s-word, 17 n-words and 6 f-words.

And we’re still not done. Lamar rebrands OVO as “Other Vaginal Option” and says he should roll Drake up “like a fresh pack of ‘za [weed].”

Lamar also appropriates religious imagery and ideas in “Not Like Us,” criticizing what he characterizes as Drake’s betrayal of the Black community. He also says Drake is a “69 God” instead of the 6 God, or god of Toronto, as Drake claims to be.

So deep is Lamar’s antipathy here that he says he’s willing to compromise his faith to win this battle (“Beat you’re a– and hide the Bible if God watchin’”).


According to the press, the fight is over. But according to Kendrick Lamar, it’s not. He raps he’s got “One, two, three, four, five, plus five” singles in stock and ready to drop.

The feud between the two rappers now extends beyond the diss tracks. Social media posts from artists and fans alike bolster both sides and many other artists have been pushed to both sides of the divide. In addition, “Not Like Us” has allegedly been linked to fans who vandalized Drake’s OVO clothing retailer to further sully his reputation.

In the end, Lamar may be right in saying he’s not like Drake. That said, he’s hardly captured the moral high ground here.

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Caleb Gottry

Caleb Gottry is the Plugged In intern for Summer 2024. Caleb studies journalism with a minor in music at Texas Christian University, where he will be a junior in the fall. He loves playing with words, listening to and making music, and spending any spare time with friends or family.