The Many Explanations Behind Kendrick Lamar’s ‘6:16 In LA’ Title

Rap fans love to try to decode their favorite artists’ lyrics. With Kendrick Lamar, though, it goes way further than that, with fans scanning his album covers, release strategies, sampled songs, and even his song titles for clues to esoteric explanations that allow them to justify their view of him as one of rap’s deepest thinkers (he warned us all about that on his last album, but never let it be said rap fans actually listen to the lyrics).

That tradition continues today, with the release of his Drake diss track “6:16 In LA.” Listeners have been looking for hidden meanings behind the title — beyond the obvious taunt of hijacking Drake’s “timestamp” format — and have come up with connections ranging from nominally plausible to “put the blunt down, you’re too high.”

Here’s a breakdown:

Stealing Drake’s Timestamp Signature

The first and most obvious meaning behind the title — and the only one I will personally accept as intentional, until Kendrick Lamar says otherwise — is the clear reference to one of Drake’s signatures. For years, Drake’s defenders and detractors alike used songs like “9AM In Dallas” and “4PM In Calabasas” to argue for his lyrical talents, with the latter saying they’d prefer if he stuck to those tracks instead of genre hopping.

Kendrick’s use of the format suggests his awareness of the meme, while also seemingly declaring, “I can do your thing better than you.”

Tupac Shakur’s Birthday

The least stretchy of the fan theories behind the title, this one is reasonable because not only is 6/16 the late West Coast legend’s birthday, but Tupac has already played a part in the beef via Drake’s questionable use of AI. It’s well-known how much Kendrick looks up to Tupac; he even went so far as to deepfake his own interaction with ‘Pac on To Pimp A Butterfly, albeit with the estate’s permission. So, he would definitely perceive some disrespect in Drake faking a Tupac verse (which, to be fair, was the point). Evoking his birthday could be Kendrick’s way of reclaiming and defending his idol’s legacy.

Father’s Day

Yes, Father’s Day is on June 16 this year. Yes, Kendrick Lamar has spent more than a few bars of the beef deploring Drake’s parenting (which, come on, Drake’s never NOT with that kid — Pusha T’s “You are hiding a child” made such a great meme, the narrative stuck for six years despite not even being true). So, this one feels … kinda stretchy, but not really. It flies.

OJ Simpson Murder Trial

Here’s where things start to get goofy. This connection is likely being because with Simpson’s death last month, his name is top-of-mind for plenty of rap fans. In addition, they have never had all that great of a grasp on trial law, despite having a few to be keenly interested in. Contrary to what some have posited, though, the OJ Simpson trial did NOT start on June 16 of 1994. Rather, the initial charges were submitted that day; Simpson was formally charged on June 17. The trial started six months later, on January 24, 1995. Sorry, but this dog don’t hunt.

Euphoria Air Date

The buzzy show may have debuted on June 16, 2019, but Kendrick dropped his “Euphoria” in April. I’m just gonna say I hope you warmed up before this stretch, because otherwise, you probably pulled a muscle.

Any And All Bible Verses

Get outta here. This is why K. Dot stans are so insufferable.