Was Kendrick Lamar Dissed On Drake & J. Cole’s ‘First Person Shooter?

In case you’re just logging on and wondering what all the fuss is about, it looks like one of rap’s longest-running cold wars heated back up today. Drake and Kendrick Lamar have had a somewhat icy relationship for years (seriously, I wrote about this way back when I first started at Uproxx) and although it seemed as though they might be warming up to each other in recent years, fans think they might have put the thought of peace talks to the side on their most recent releases, starting with Drake’s J. Cole collab, “First Person Shooter.”

In Kendrick Lamar’s verse on Future and Metro Boomin’s newly released album We Don’t Trust You. The verse, which appears on the song “Like That,” finds Kendrick Lamar throwing some really obvious shots at Drake while refuting the concept of a “Big Three” in hip-hop. “It’s just big me,” he declares.

While some fans thought this attack came unprovoked and out-of-the-blue, others detected provocation on Drake’s part tucked inside his verse on “First Person Shooter.” “Hate how the game got away from the bars, man, this shit like a prison escape,” he rhymes. “Everybody steppers? Well, f*ck it, then everybody breakfast and I’m ’bout to clear up my plate” Some have interpreted this line to be a reference to Kendrick Lamar’s 2022 album Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers — which, for the record, received “mixed” reviews from fans and critics — and concluded that Kendrick’s verse on “Like That” is a response to that.

While it remains to be seen if Drake or J. Cole will respond to Kendrick’s outright declaration of hostilities, those of us who remember when all three actually made engaging music look forward to the releases of J. Cole’s long-awaited album The Fall Off and Kendrick’s rumored joint project with Baby Keem to see if any of them still have that old magic or if we’re just checking for them out of habit.