Does Drake Need To Respond To Kendrick? Industry Experts Weigh In

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By Sean Lynch

Are we witnessing the beginning of hip-hop’s next feud? Following the taping of the BET Hip-Hop Awards this past weekend, much of the chatter seemed to be surrounding Kendrick Lamar’s verse in TDE’s cypher. For the most part surprisingly, social media kept the context of the verse a mystery. That was until late Wednesday night when a short clip leaked online, via AllHipHop, which featured Kendrick taking apparent shots at Drake.

"Yeah, and nothing's been the same since they dropped 'Control'/ And tucked a sensitive rapper back in his pajama clothes/ Haha, jokes on you, high-five, I'm bulletproof," Kendrick spit.

The clip left many taken back, as this would mark Kendrick’s second direct shot at fellow emcees in the last month or so. You may remember the uproar surrounding the now infamous “Control” verse, that led to a number of artists taking aim at Kendrick, most notably Meek Mill.

Drake opted to not address it on wax, instead the OVO general stated, "It just sounded like an ambitious thought to me,” in an interview with Billboard. “I know good and well that Kendrick's not murdering me, at all, in any platform. So when that day presents itself, I guess we can revisit the topic."

Seems like everyone thinks that time is now. Or do they?

TDE’s President, Terrence "Punch" Henderson, understands K.Dot’s competitive nature. “Kendrick’s target is to be the best period. He’s a student of the game and this “game” is very competitive,” he tells RapFix. When asked about the cypher, Punch alluded to BET’s marketing angles. “It’s hard to judge the context of a full freestyle based on a 14-second clip. The clip was edited to spark controversy. BET has smart marketing people over there.”

Founder and Editor of TheStashed, Kazeem Famuyide, thinks Drake will eventually deliver some type of response. “I think Drake is going to respond in Drake fashion,” explains Famuyide. “He never misses anything but he responds on his time and he always keeps his composure, I feel like he's going to strike back when he feels it is the perfect time for him and nobody else.” For those overlooking Drake in retaliation mode, Famuyide also points out a key factor, “The same way he tagged Common and Kanye and The Weeknd when he had to, Drake is a master sneak disser.”

Former fansite administrator and friend of Drake, Karla Hustlegrl Moy, doesn’t expect a response anytime soon. “I don't think Drake will go out of his way to respond to Kendrick,” says Moy. “If he's put in a situation where he can respond to Kendrick's jabs, then he will but Kendrick Lamar isn't a threat to him.” Diss or not Moy is confident in Drake’s sales, “Drake will still go platinum.”

HBO’s "Entourage" music supervisor, Scott Vener has a different outlook on the situation. “As a fan of both I’d love to hear it,” says Vener, founder of the Musaic App. “Especially if the worst case scenario in all of this would be Drake ending up at a sweet 16 of Kendrick’s choice. Vener, is referring to Drake and Kanye making up on stage at this years OVO Festival. Drake would later perform at Kylie Jenner’s sweet 16.

Time will tell whether or not Drake will feel the need to respond. One thing is for sure this only fuels the good kid, m.A.A.d city vs. Nothing Was The Same debates. The 2013 BET Hip Hop Awards airs Tuesday, October 15 at 8pm EST hosted by Uncle Snoop.