J. Cole Hits Back at Kendrick Lamar with Surprise New “7 Minute Drill”: Here’s What It Means

When Kendrick Lamar attacked Drake and J. Cole during his guest verse on Future and Metro Boomin’s track “Like That,” the music world lit up with the possibility of an old-school rap beef.

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How would Drake and J. Cole respond? On Friday (April 5), J. Cole hit back with “7 Minute Drill” from his surprise new album, Might Delete Later.  

A Recap of the Simmering Battle

To catch you up to speed, here’s how Lamar went after his fellow hip-hop titans.

In response to Drake and Cole’s “First Person Shooter” from Drake’s 2023 album For All the Dogs, Lamar raps on “Like That”:

F–k sneak dissin’, first-person shooter
I hope they came with three switches
I crash out, like, “F–k rap,” diss Melle Mel, if I had to

Aiming for hip-hop-level blasphemy, Lamar said he’d disrespect Melle Mel from Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five if he had to. In “First Person Shooter,” Cole referred to himself, Drake, and Lamar as the Big Three.

Love when they argue the hardest MC
Is it K. Dot? Is it Aubrey? Or me?
We the Big Three, like we started a league 
But right now, I feel like Muhammed Ali

However, regarding the Big Three, Lamar responded: “It’s just me.”

Then he digs in further with a dismissive shot at Cole. Lamar compares himself and Drake to Prince and Michael Jackson, essentially reducing the Big Three to the Big Two and leaving Cole as an afterthought.

Lamar’s blistering rap helped “Like That” reach No. 1 on the Billboard 100, and many wondered how Cole might respond.

“I Will Humble Him”

The last song on Might Delete Later is “7 Minute Drill,” where Cole replies to Lamar’s taunts. He begins by addressing calls he received after Lamar’s cutting verse appeared on Future and Metro Boomin’s new No. 1 album, We Don’t Trust You.  

I got a phone call, they say that somebody dissing
You want some attention, it come with extensions

Lamar had blasted Cole’s best work as “a light pack.” Cole hit back, attacking Lamar’s work as inconsistent and audaciously referring to Lamar’s last album, Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers, as “tragic.”

The Simpsons

Furthermore, Cole compares Lamar to The Simpsons, a once-great TV show that lingers past its expiration date.

I came up in the ’Ville, so I’m good when it’s tension
He still doin’ shows, but fell off like the Simpsons

Your first s–t was classic, your last s–t was tragic

He praises good kid, m.A.A.d city. But the album, which Cole said put people to sleep, is the widely-acclaimed To Pimp a Butterfly (2015), though Cole acknowledges the hype behind the album. Lamar’s 2017 album, DAMN, Cole admits, was massive but also maintains it’s where Lamar peaked.

Moreover, Cole said about Lamar, “If he wasn’t dissing, then we wouldn’t be discussing nothin’.” Referencing Lamar’s DAMN hit, “HUMBLE,” Cole said:

But push come to shove
On this mic, I will humble him

Though Drake hasn’t officially responded, fans on X speculate Cole sampled Drake’s “Energy” for the second movement of “7 Minute Drill.”

A Cold War Between Kendrick Lamar and Drake

Drake and Lamar’s rivalry has been developing for nearly a decade. Frazier Tharpe at GQ detailed the background to the growing feud. In 2011, as Lamar’s buzz grew, Drake gave him an interlude on his album Take Care. Meanwhile, Drake invited Lamar on the Club Paradise Tour to support Take Care. However, Lamar admitted his frustration with Drake’s success in the “Buried Alive” interlude when he said, “It made me even more rude and impatient.”

When Lamar released his brilliant good kid, m.A.A.d city, he collaborated with Drake on “Poetic Justice.” But when Lamar appeared on Big Sean’s 2013 song “Control,” the goodwill ended when he name-dropped a long list of hip-hop legends, including Drake and J. Cole.

At the 2013 BET Hip-Hop Awards, Lamar rapped about “Control” and said nothing’s been the same since they “tucked the sensitive rapper (Drake) back in his pajama clothes.”

For his part, Drake pushed back in interviews. He told Billboard, “It just sounded like an ambitious thought to me. That’s all it was. I know good and well that [he’s] not murdering me, at all, in any platform. So when that day presents itself, I guess we can revisit the topic.”

In 2015, Lamar went further in his song “King Kunta” and accused Drake of using a ghostwriter before removing the gloves on “Like That.”

J. Cole responded forcefully with “7 Minute Drill.” Now the world awaits Drake’s answer.

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Photo by Mindy Small/WireImage

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