Grading Kendrick Lamar’s “Euphoria” Drake Diss

We score Kendrick’s Drake diss based on bars, presentation, song quality, and overall effectiveness.

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Toward the middle of his new Drake diss track, “Euphoria,” Kendrick Lamar describes their conflict as a “friendly fade” that shouldn’t go further than a respectful sparring match. But listening to the whole song, it’s clear Kendrick isn’t interested in being cordial. 

“Euphoria” is an epic diatribe of a song that’s as scorching as it is lengthy. Over the course of six minutes, Kendrick lays bare virtually every negative thought anyone has ever had about the Toronto rapper. But you know, the internet loves to gas shit, and with Stans mucking things up, it can be difficult to tell what’s what. But we got you. 

Today, we score Kendrick’s Drake diss based on bars (10 points), presentation (10 points), song quality (10 points), and overall effectiveness (10 points).

The Bars:

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Checking in at six minutes, “Euphoria” is an exercise in saying a lot with a lot. Kendrick scoops up a full range of Drake jokes, buffet style, skillfully piling insults atop one another in a gluttonous overflow. In one section, Kendrick reminds listeners that Drake caught the fade from Diddy, a disgraced rap icon who’s almost old enough to be Drake’s father. In another, he pokes fun at rumors of Drake’s abdominal etching, threading it with slick wordplay as he takes a jab at his perceived lack of a classic album: “Yeah, my first one like my last one, it's a classic, you don't have one/ Let your core audience stomach that/ Then tell 'em where you get your abs from.” 

Elsewhere, Kendrick puts a cutting twist on otherwise flavorless ghostwriting allegations against the Toronto rapper. Citing Drake’s line about being in a “20-v-one,” he raps: “Ain't 20-v-one, it's one-v-20 if I gotta smack niggas that write with you.” It’s a barb that repurposes a Drake lyric for an epic body shot; think Goku getting Frieza to slice himself in half with his own energy disc. 

When Kendrick’s not joking about Drake’s alleged ghostwriting, he’s aiming at the Grammy winner’s imagined racial identity crises. And when he’s not doing that, he’s calling him an irresponsible culture vulture. He even takes time to throw jabs at Drake for coming at Pharrell instead of Pusha-T. While the syntax can be a tad sloppy, and some of the jokes are shamelessly sophomoric, he’s usually succinct and, given how long some of these Drake criticisms have been around, surprisingly inventive. Sure, Kendrick let off a lot of shots, and his aim wasn’t always perfect, but those aren’t problems when they hit the target in all the right spots. 

Score: 8.5/10

The Presentation:

The Disrespect:

The Song:

The Effectiveness:

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