The Student News Site of Elmwood Park High School

The Tiger

The Student News Site of Elmwood Park High School

The Tiger

The Student News Site of Elmwood Park High School

The Tiger

Kendrick Lamar & J. Cole’s “Beef”


Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole are two of the most successful rappers of this generation. Recently, Kendrick Lamar took aim at fellow rappers Drake and J. Cole during his feature on the song ‘Like That’ with Metro Boomin and Future. Kendrick, J. Cole, and Drake, who are objectively three of the most famous hip-hop artists, have caught the attention of many. A potential clash between these titans of rap seems to be brewing. This article will delve into Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole’s ‘beef’ and how it unfolded.


J. Cole, born Jermaine Cole on January 28, 1985, at a military base in Frankfurt, Germany, discovered his passion for rapping at the age of 12. Initially, his style leaned towards indie rap, but he later embraced a wider range of hip-hop influences. Eminem, 2Pac, Biggie, and Jay-Z are among his biggest inspirations. His breakthrough mixtape, The Warm Up, garnered attention, particularly from Jay-Z, who played a pivotal role in elevating his career. Some of his most renowned tracks include “Power Trip”, “Middle Child”, “Work Out”, “Wet Dreamz” and “No Role Modelz”.


Kendrick Lamar, born on June 17, 1987, in Compton, California, a city notorious for its gang violence and poverty, made his debut in 2004 at the age of 16 with his first mixtape under the moniker K-Dot. This venture earned him a record deal with Top Dawg Entertainment (T.D.E), a label that has also signed notable artists such as SZA and Jay Rock. On July 2, 2011, Kendrick released his debut studio album, Section.80, which received widespread acclaim. Among the notable artists he has collaborated with are Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, and Jay-Z. Some of his most recognized tracks include “Money Trees”, “Alright”, “DNA”, “Humble”, and “Swimming Pools”.




The Beef

The recent beef began in Kendrick’s feature on “Like That”. He primarily called out Drake but J. Cole took some strays too. “Say it’s a lot of goofies with a check” is likely referencing Drake having a sponsorship with Nike. Kendrick’s next diss line: “[Dudes] clicking up but cannot be legit” is referencing Drake and J. Cole, as they were “clicking up” a lot after the release of their song “First Person Shooter” which gets into the next part of Kendrick’s diss. “Ah, yeah, huh, yeah, get up with me / Sneak dissin’, first person shooter I hope they came with three switches”. This is the most blatant call-out as Kendrick called them out through their song title. “Think I won’t drop the location? I still got PTSD. The big three, [dudes], it’s just big me [dude] bum”. In “First Person Shooter”, J. Cole referenced Kendrick, Drake, and him as the big three. “Is it K-Dot? Is it Aubrey? Or me? We the big three like we started a league”. Kendrick’s final shots at Drake are in the lines “Prince outlived Mike Jack, bum,” Drake has been known to compare himself to Michael Jackson, and Kendrick more with Prince. Kendrick’s final diss is when he says “for all your dogs gettin’ buried / That’s a K with all these nines, he gon’ see Pet Sematary ”. Kendrick references Drake’s latest album For All The Dogs.

About 2 weeks later, J. Cole responded with the song “7 Minute Drill” on his newest album Might Delete Later.

“My dog likes / Say the word,” he on [bullcrap], he itchin’ / Done put in so much work in these streets, he got pension I told him chill out, how I look havin’ henchmen? / If shots get to poppin’, I’m the one doin’ the clenchin'” This line is a direct reference to Kendrick’s “2TEEZ” line in his diss. Kendrick’s 2TEEZ are security guards, so J.Cole is saying he doesn’t need other people doing his work for him. “He still doin’ shows, but fell off like The Simpsons / Your first [stuff] was classic, your last [stuff] was tragic / Your second [stuff] put [people] to sleep, but they gassed it / Your third [stuff] was massive”. Cole basically just said Kendrick fell off since he hasn’t made much music recently, he still makes some like the Simpsons still make episodes but nobody really watches the newer ones. J. Cole said Kendrick’s Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City album was great, but his second To Pimp A Butterfly album wasn’t good but they hyped it up because he’s Kendrick. His third album DAMN. was definitely Kendrick’s best album and J. Cole credits him for that but then says that his latest album Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers was tragic. “and that was your prime I was trailin’ right behind and I just now hit mine / Now I’m front of the line with a comfortable lead / How ironic, soon as I got it, now he want somethin’ with me”. Here, J. Cole is basically just saying that Kendrick was becoming irrelevant and now that J. Cole is in the spotlight Kendrick is trying to diss him to get attention. “Well, he caught me at the perfect time, jump up and see” Making fun of Kendrick’s height since he’s 5’4. “He averagin’ one hard verse like every thirty months or somethin’ / If he wasn’t dissin’, then we wouldn’t be discussin’ him” Kendrick hasn’t released much in the past 7 years, J. Cole’s 30 line references that. “Lord, don’t make me have to smoke this [dude] ’cause I [mess] with him”, Cole and Kendrick have been known to be friends for a while, they came up in the industry together, so J. Cole says he doesn’t want to smoke Kendrick, “But push come to shove, on this mic, I will humble him”. J. Cole used Kendrick’s “HUMBLE” song name as a sneaky diss saying he will humble him if he has to.

Undoubtedly, J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar are some of the biggest names in rap music. It’s unclear if their beef will continue, but if it does, we can anticipate some compelling songs. After listening to both diss tracks, whose side are you on in this debate?

Works Cited:

Future, Metro Boomin, Kendrick Lamar (2024). We Don’t Trust You [Album]. Freebandz.

J Cole. (2024). Might Delete Later [Album]. Dreamville Records.

The Rise of J Cole | Mini Documentary (2022, December 2). Youtube. Retrieved April 14, 2024, from

The Rise of Kendrick Lamar (Documentary) (2022, October 27). Youtube. Retrieved April 14, 2024, from

Donate to The Tiger

Your donation will support the student journalists of Elmwood Park High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Braylen Carvajal
Braylen Carvajal, Staff Reporter
Hey! My name is Braylen Carvajal. I’m a senior at Elmwood Park High School. I plan on attending a four-year university to pursue a career in Computer Science.
Donate to The Tiger