Epic and Republic Are Being Dragged Into the Escalating Drake-Kendrick Lamar Beef, Leaked Email Shows

drake kendrick lamar beef
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drake kendrick lamar beef
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A live performance from Drake, who’s embroiled in a far-reaching dispute with Kendrick Lamar. Photo Credit: musicisentropy

The Kendrick Lamar v. Drake dispute is escalating with a fresh diss track from the former rapper and what looks to be a war of words between major label execs.

We’ve covered the intensifying and increasingly complex rap beef from the outset, including the late March debut of “Like That.” On the commercially successful effort, released by Future, Metro Boomin, and Kendrick Lamar alike, the latter’s verse took aim at both J. Cole and Drake, who’d collaborated on “First Person Shooter” last year.

Predictably, the multifaceted confrontations (and especially that involving Drake and Lamar) are far older than April of 2024 and even 2023, content creators have explained at length. In the interest of relative brevity, J. Cole initially fired back against Lamar with “7 Minute Drill” before pulling the work from streaming platforms and apologizing.

But the “Euphoria” artist Lamar and the “Push Ups” and “Taylor Made” act Drake are continuing to trade blows. Now fanning the feud’s flames is “6:16 in LA,” which Lamar dropped today.

With lyrics including “can’t ‘Toosie Slide’ up out of this one” and “I’m sorry that I live a boring life, I love peace/But war ready, if the world is ready to see you bleed,” the song rather directly references Drake and looks to reflect an intensifying dispute.

Furthermore, as mentioned at the outset, this dispute isn’t limited to Drake (who’s signed to UMG’s Republic Records) and Lamar. One social media user just recently uploaded a screenshot of what appears to be an email sent from UMG/Republic VP of business and legal affairs Corey Williams to Bekah Connolly, a longtime A&R exec at Sony Music’s Epic.

And in the concise message, which Lamar seemingly referenced in “Euphoria,” Williams claimed to Connolly that Sony Music/Epic (to which Future is signed) didn’t have the “radio rights” to release “Like That” via the medium.

“Per our conversation last week,” the message’s main body reads in full, “we are not granting radio rights for ‘Like That’. Epic does not have the right to release this song at radio. Thanks for your understanding and cooperation.”

Breaking down the exceedingly rare situation, Billboard explored the legal side of asking radio stations not to play a song, determining in more words that the move probably wouldn’t be possible despite the overlapping label interests in “Like That.”

Stepping back to end with the far-reaching commercial byproducts of the feud, on Spotify alone, “Push Ups,” “Like That,” and “Euphoria” have racked up the better part of 300 million cumulative streams.