In the midst of Jay-Z’s elevator fight with Solange Knowles, the brewing beef between Drake and Jay-Z has simmered down a bit. Though this may be a breath of fresh air for Drake, it also marks another golden opportunity lost to cement his legendary status in hip hop. Beef with the wrong artist can possibly end your career. But on the contrary, having beef with the right artists can make you legendary, win or lose.
As of now, this marks Drake’s second missed opportunity. His first was when he fell silent at Kendrick Lamar’s televised diss towards him at the BET Hip Hop awards. Drake v Kendrick Lamar could have been one of the greatest hip hop beefs of all time. This was Drakes chance to take down hip hop’s golden child, Kendrick Lamar, and prove to the world that he is, without doubt, the best rapper in the game. But for reasons unknown, Drake fell shockingly silent, giving himself and automatic “L” by default.
Drake’s second chance came around when Jay-Z called him out on Jay Electonica’s song, “We Made It [Remix]”. In the track, Jay refers to Drake as “Mrs. Drizzy”, taking a shot at the public perception of Drake being soft. Not for nothing, Jay was merely responding to alleged, off the record, comments made by Drake in which he took a stab at Jay-Z’s constant art references in his rhymes calling them “corny”. Days later, after “We Made It [Remix]” was released, Drake responded back with “Draft Day”. Unfortunately, Drake deferred to taking subliminal shots at Jay as opposed to taking a direct shot and calling Jay out by name. Responding to someone who called you out by name with a subliminal record, “Draft Day”, is the equivalent to not responding at all. Therefore leaving Drake with a beef record of 0-2.
What’s unfortunate is that Drake could have actually won both battles against the Jay-Z and Kendrick Lamar. Drake possesses the success, money and lyrical wordplay to overpower Kendrick Lamar and match Jay-Z. But to win the battle you have to step into the ring and Drake has failed to do so twice. When it’s all said and done Drake will undoubtedly be one of the most successful rappers of all time. But as it currently stands, will not be one of the all-around greatest rappers. Being commercially successful and being successful within the actually genre of hip hop are two different things. The perfect example for this is the Nas v Jay-Z argument. Clearly Jay-Z is the more successful artist of the two. But when it comes down to greatest of all time, it’s Nas who consistently makes everybody’s top 5, if not top 3 list. I’m willing to bet the Drake wants to be considered top 5 by the end of his career as well. But with a current record of 0-2, it’ll be a hard feat that may possibly be too late to attain.