Kendrick Lamar released his much-anticipated new album, Damn, late Thursday night. The Compton rapper is known for the depth of his lyrics and his willingness to take shots at his peers—a reputation that has followed him since his aggressive, name-checking verse on Big Sean’s “Control” in 2013.
Accordingly, fans reading into the lyrics of Kendrick’s new music are wondering: who’s he dissing or referencing here? Below is a catalog of subliminals from Damn that seem to be aimed at Big Sean.
“My left stroke just went viral
Right stroke put Lil Baby in a spiral"
“Humble” was released two weeks before the album and was noted for its visuals—check out the music video here. The video included a shot of Kendrick taking a left-handed swing with a golf club. The “right stroke” likely refers to Kendrick’s next swing—dropping his album.
So, who’s Lil Baby? It appears to be Big Sean. Kendrick used Sean’s signature ad-lib “lil bitch” on “The Heart Part IV,” and he appears to be ironically using "lil" to refer to Big Sean.
The apparent takeaway: Kendrick thinks the release of his album will send Big Sean into a spiral.
“I can’t fake humble just ’cause your ass is insecure"
“Pride” is the preface to “Humble," which everything seems to think is one long diss at Big Sean. This lyric also references the title of that song. It would make sense, then, that this lyric in “Pride” is also directed at the Detroit rapper.
“I'm allergic to a bitch nigga, ayy
An imaginary rich nigga, ayy"
Is Kendrick allergic to Big Sean? Twitter thinks so.
Kendrick spanked Sean on that Element jawn— Justin Davis (@OGJOHNNY5) April 13, 2017
kendrick sampled big sean on element omg— joey (@barryeegan) April 13, 2017
next level diss
The Big Sean disses are nonstop on this Kendrick album, so this is an early entry for album of the year— Branton Wandera (@ButtaDatBiscuit) April 13, 2017
The disses will likely become clearer as we spend more time with this album, but at the time of its release, Damn seems to hold venom for Big Sean.