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Kendrick Lamar vs Drake: Explaining Their Beef From a Copywriting Perspective

This will probably be one of my least “evergreen” emails because of the nature of rap beefs—and how long they typically last in the zeitgeist. 


But it still illustrates a timeless lesson, which is why I’m bucking the mostly evergreen strategy of my 564+ email autoresponder you find yourself trapped in. 


But first, lemme explain what happened (even though rap as a genre has taken quite the steep fall on my music listening habits): 

A few weeks back from the time I’m writing this, producer Metro Boomin teamed up with Future for a collab album. On that album, there was a hidden verse from Kendrick Lamar in which he disses J. Cole and Drake. 


J. Cole responded for half a second, then deleted his diss song. But there’s been a beef brewing between Kendrick and Drake for mayhap a decade. 


The beef brewing simply means Drake would sometimes throw subtle jabs at Kendrick—and vice versa. But Kendrick called out Drake by name in a few songs. 

Well, after this Metro & Future album came out, the hip hop world went wild. Then, a week later, Metro and Future came out with another album, this time featuring a bunch of different rappers and artists who would throw their towel in the ring by also dissing Drake. 


Well, few days ago, Drake responded. While most of his diss was dedicated to Kendrick, he answered all the shots from any other rapper who dissed him. 


And now, for the past few days (at the time of writing this), the entire world is waiting for a Kendrick response—which I’m assuming will drop soon. 


Even as someone who primarily listens to jam rock… I found myself getting interested in this beef. Hip hop is the most competitive genre, and two of the genre’s best going at it is naturally exciting. 


And that, my cully, brings me to the timeless lesson embedded in this beef:


Drama is king. 


Too many brands and copywriters shy away from controversial copy, topics, and subject matter. They think they’ll get judged. Their clients will jump ship to their competitor. Or they’ll get “exposed” for how inadequate they are (which doesn't actually happen, but Imposter Syndrome will make you think it will). 


But the truth is… Nothing is more captivating, exciting, and engaging than negativity, drama, and beef. 


This is why even I’m interested in this rap beef that’s been 10 years and counting. 


That’s why reality TV shows which are chock-full of drama not only still exist, but still dominate the ratings. 


That’s why Donald Trump was elected president. And why he won every debate with anyone outside of Joe Biden (who Trump would talk shyt to and try to get in Biden’s head, until he realized that not even Joe Biden is in Joe Biden’s head). 


And that’s why this rap beef, however long it lasts, can become an evergreen source of profits for your business. 


But there’s also been a key mistake made by some YouTubers trying to use this beef for engagement. At the time of my writing this, Kendrick has not responded to the Drake diss. But there’s been a trend of YouTubers posting obvious AI renditions of what Kendrick’s response could sound like—and it’s not fooling anyone. AI as music can be quite convincing, but it’s still leagues away from replacing rappers (let alone musicians). 


Now, there’s one important distinction to make before I send you on your way: 


Starting beefs with other brands just for engagement bait is lame. You may dupe a few people, but over time, it’ll make you look weak and desperate. But if you have a real beef that you deeply believe in, then, well, it could just become a source of lots of content and sales. 


Why?


Because drama is king, negativity is his queen, and beefs are the prince destined to become great kings. 


Sometimes, you got to take off the gloves and throw a few haymakers to keep your audience and your competitors on their toes. 


(And if you get haters, which you probably will if you do it right, you can turn those haters in cash money just like Drake did with his response to the entire industry coming at him.) 


Anywho:


If you need help being more controversial and profitable in your emails, hit reply, and let’s chat. 


John

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