With the rise of artificial intelligence infiltrating almost every industry, there is something inherently off-putting about Drake’s utilization of AI in his Kendrick Lamar diss track.

By Abigail Chang

NEW YORK— For fans of ‘The Big Three’ (aka J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, and Drake), the past weeks of direct jabs, sneak disses, and outright diss tracks have been entertaining, to say the least. However, with Drake’s introduction of AI into the battle royale, fans found themselves left divided, conflicted, and somewhat uncomfortable

On April 19th, around 11:00 p.m. EST, Drake made a bold move by releasing” Taylor Made Freestyle,” via an Instagram post with the caption “While we wait on you I guess.” Listeners were treated to almost 4 minutes of bars delivered through the AI-generated voices of Hip Hop legends Snoop Dogg and the late Tupac Shakur.

The diss track was released in response to the ongoing tension sparked by Kendrick Lamar’s call-out in “WE DON’T TRUST YOU,” a 17-song album by rapper Future and Producer Metro Boomin. In the track titled “Like That,” Kendrick directly refers to J. Cole and Drake’s track ‘First Person Shooter.’ The song endears Kendrick, as J. Cole proclaims himself, Drake, and Kendrick as ‘The Big 3’ of Hip Hop—Kendrick obviously disagrees.


Like That

“F*** the big three, it’s just big me.” 

-Kendrick Lamar

It took about two weeks for Drake to respond to the initial diss, and since his first diss, “Push Ups,” was leaked, Drake has been applying pressure to Kendrick, Metro Boomin, Future, Rick Ross, Travis Scott, and anyone else who wants the smoke. The beef seemingly presents a “20 v 1,” in Drake’s words, with Ross and Drizzy taking social media shots at each other back and forth almost daily in the past week. In addition to Kendrick’s several-day silence since the release of ‘Push Ups,’ the involvement of AI voices has only raised the stakes higher.

A Unique Perspective 

Drake uses the voices of some of Kendrick’s hip-hop favorites to antagonize him into a quicker response. On the track, he even goes as far as to self-deprecate in a facetious way. In the voice of Tupac, he raps, “You seem a little nervous about all the publicity, F*** this Canadian lightskin, Dot–We need an undebated west coast victory.” The voice of Snoop Dogg adds, “But still you gotta show this f***ing owl who’s boss on the West, Now’s a time to really make a power move, ’cause right now it’s looking like you writing out the gameplan on how to lose.” Drake’s prominent flow and cadence can easily be recognized in both AI-verses.

In the song, Drake pressures Kendrick into a rapid response, claiming that his bad record deal and the intimidation of Taylor Swift’s anticipated album release prohibited him from responding to Drake any sooner. Fans deem this hypocritical, as it took Drake more than a week to respond to the initial diss. Fans are divided, with half tweeting that Drake’s use of AI was inappropriate and immature. Others celebrated the creativity in his antagonistic approach.

The Controversy Through Expression

In the past, Drake has repeatedly admitted to struggling with being received in the hip-hop community. Although he stands firm in his identity and his music, he continuously expresses the sentiment of rejection for not being “black enough” and thus “not being hip-hop enough.” Coupled with his Canadian upbringing and biracial identity, Drake self-identifies as Black. However, in his initial debut in the early 2010s, he was often rejected from hip-hop radio due to his softer R&B demeanor, nationality, and style of music.

In an interview with Rap Radar, he states, “I’ve been in a lot of rooms where I’ve felt judgment and racial judgment sometimes, like being light-skinned, being Canadian – having people that I look up to and respect tell me that I can’t identify with what’s going on.” He adds, “You know, granted I’m also not the most outspoken person when it comes to political issues.”

He goes on to solidify his perspective on being excluded from the recognition of his peers, saying, “Sometimes I don’t feel celebrated when people say… Drake is the artist of the decade – I don’t think anybody says ‘wow, a black artist is the artist of the decade,'” he said. Despite achieving 5 Grammy Awards, 6 American Music Awards, 39 Billboard Music Awards, sold-out shows, and surpassing the Beatles, for Drake, it’s still not enough.

It’s evident that Drake harbors this traumatic rejection.

Diplomatic Immunity 

Scary Hours 


Billboard awards, I claimed 13 out in Vegas like Sureños

Black excellence, but I guess when it comes to me it’s not the same though, all goodie

That just pushed me to do the things we all couldn’t


Drake seems to sympathize more with the perceptions of his light-skinned stereotypes, as opposed to empathizing with his light-skinned privileges, which are just as real and arguably more beneficial than the vices.

The majority of Drake’s contemporaries, including the other two of the Big Three, J Cole and Kendrick, have their music rooted in the Black experience. Hip-hop itself was birthed through the roots of Black struggle and artistic expression. Hip-hop icons like Pac, Snoop Dogg, Biggie, and Jay Z have all rapped and written about their Blackness through a political lens, something Drake has yet to do in a progressive way that doesn’t condemn his own culture.

In Drake’s “30 For 30 Freestyle,” the rapper conveys being reprimanded for not speaking up sooner about two men who were shot dead at an afterparty hosted by himself. Gun violence is something that has unfortunately plagued the culture of hip-hop, so speaking out about it should be expected and condemned, especially given the circumstances.

What A Time To Be Alive

30 For 30 Freestyle 

But I got bigger fish to fry

I’m talkin’ bigger shit than you and I

Kids are losin’ lives, got me scared of losin’ mine

And if I hold my tongue about it, I get crucified


Desire to be Celebrated 

Drake’s ultimate goal was to troll Kendrick – and that he did. But in a desperate and almost poetic way, through this track, he grasped for his contender’s attention by attempting to incite conflict, while simultaneously chastising him with the voices of his biggest inspirations. Drake meticulously sought to exacerbate Kendrick’s anger by deliberately curating the song’s composition to mirror that of Kendrick’s signature sound and style.

The diss encompasses clever jabs that supposedly come from someone Kendrick looks up to, implying that these voices were needed to compel Kendrick to take the content and his opponent more seriously. Still, listeners can’t help but feel that this is a projection of how Drake truly perceives himself and further underscores his perception of how Kendrick is respected by their peers, in contrast to how he regards his own standing.

Taylor Made Freestyle

Nephew, what the f*** you really ’bout to do?

We passed you the torch at the House of Blues

And now you gotta do some dirty work, you know how to move, right? Right?”

I know you never been to jail or wore jumpsuits and shower shoes

Never shot nobody, never stabbed nobody

Never did nothing violent to no one, it’s the homies that empower you

–AI Snoop Dogg (Drake)

Drake hides behind the personas of iconic rap figures, projecting an image that he, and others, feel he may never truly embody.

In reality, what we hear is a very bothered Drake, engaging in an introspective dialogue he believes would fair Kendricks prowess. By facetiously encouraging Kendrick, Drake not-so-subtly exposes his own insecurities, seeking validation from these revered figures. 

Maybe this was his way of meeting Kendrick where he’s at, or an ironic play of opinion. Either way, it does not make him look as cool as he might think it did. Or maybe it does; perhaps AI is more useful in the music industry than we thought.