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Taylor Swift caught in the middle of Drake, Kendrick Lamar rap feud


Taylor Swift last Friday released her highly anticipated 11th studio album “Tortured Poets Department,” an album she announced at the 2024 Grammys while accepting the award for best pop vocal album and album of the year, “Midnights.”

The album received mixed reviews.

The Associated Press’ Maria Sherman wrote, “In moments, her 11th album feels like a bloodletting: A cathartic purge after a major heartbreak delivered through an ascendant vocal run, an elegiac verse, or mobile, synthesized productions that underscore the powers of Swift’s storytelling.”

However, Olivia Horn at Pitchfork wrote, “Swift’s writing is, at best, playfully unbridled and, at worst, conspicuously wanting for an editor. The winking title track—a joke about its subjects’ self-seriousness—makes fun of the performance of creative labor, which is funny, given the show that Swift is putting on herself.” Still, the “Queen of Pop” splashed unsurprisingly on Billboard 200. Also, Spotify announced “Tortured Poets Department” broke the records for the most pre-saved album and most streamed album in a single day on the platform (breaking the previous record set by “Midnights”).

What is more unusual is that the pop star has been the focus of Drake’s diss tracks against critically acclaimed rapper Kendrick Lamar.

The controversy between the two rappers began when Lamar was featured on the song “Like That,” released on March 26. Lamar’s pugnacious verse implied Drake and J. Cole were “goofies with a check” and that their best musical works were “light pack,” which is to say “mediocre.” The verse ended with Lamar taking one last swipe at Drake by saying:

“’Fore all your dogs gettin’ buried
That’s a K with all these nines, he gon’ see Pet Sematary.”

A reference to Drake’s most recent album, “For All The Dogs,” and StephenKing’s horror novel, “Pet Sematary.”

In response, Drake leaked the diss track “Push Ups” on April 13, calling Lamar a “pipsqueak” and hurled Lamar’s collaboration with Maroon 5 and Swift as insults:

"Maroon 5 needs a verse, you better make it witty.
Then we need a verse for the Swifties."

According to Genius Lyrics, “Drake clowns Kendrick Lamar for catering to the mainstream by making reference to his features on ‘Bad Blood (Remix)’ and ‘Don’t Wanna Know’ by mainstream pop acts Taylor Swift and Maroon 5 respectively.”

Lamar has not responded.

Lamar’s silence regarding “Push Ups” led Drake to double down and release another diss track on April 19, “Taylor Made Freestyle” (as in “tailor” made), this time implying Lamar’s silence was to avoid challenging Swift’s “Tortured Poets Department.”

"But now we gotta wait a (*)— week ‘cause Taylor Swift is your new Top
And if you ‘bout to drop, she gotta approve
This girl really ‘bout to make you act like you not in a feud
She tailor-made your schedule with Ant, you out of the loop"

Finally, Drake ended “Taylor Made Freestyle” with one last swipe on Lamar in the song’s tongue-in-cheek outro:

"Yeah, shout out to Taylor Swift Biggest gangster in the music game right now You know, I moved my album when she dropped, I said that already."