Drake and Kendrick Lamar‘s relationship has been among the trickiest 2010’s rap relationships to analyze. Though they broke at roughly the same time—Drake’s So Far Gone mixtape put him over the edge in 2009, Kendrick became a national sensation in between his OD and Section.80 projects—Drake’s ascent was decisively more rapid, and Kendrick opened for Drizzy in 2011 on Drake’s Club Paradise Tour, leading to him making an appearance on Drake’s multi-platinum Take Care album.
Since then, however, Kendrick has become a global superstar and a Grammy machine. His knack to create commercially successful anthems and dig deeply into the country’s socioeconomic and racial issues has made him one of the biggest draws in Hip Hop, and he released his second #1 album in as many years this March. Along the way, K. Dot and Drake have rubbed shoulders, most notably in 2013, when Kendrick’s verse on Big Sean‘s “Control” name-dropped Drake and several other rappers. The line was meant to be a declaration that Kendrick both respects the artists and sees them as competition, but Drake took the line personally, and challenged Kendrick publicly to be consistent album-wise.
Outside of a few other snide interview remarks, Drake and Kendrick’s beef never escalated further, and on stage at his OVO Fest show in 2014, Drake referred to Kendrick fondly as his brother, and has since spoken positively about the Compton rapper, putting to rest the possibility that they’re currently at odds.
However, according to ESPN’s Marcellus Wiley, host of the Max & Marcellus show, things could’ve gone way left. Wiley had this to say about a moment he witnessed in the past, a moment that could have apparently drastically changed the trajectory of Drake and Kendrick’s relationship.
All I know is there was a beef, and all I know is I was witness to when the beef would have ignited to proportions we have not seen since Ja Rule/50, maybe even Ice Cube/N.W.A. Like it went there. But that was destroyed from everyone’s property. That was destroyed, that interview, that moment was destroyed. That’s all I’m gonna say. But I was there and I heard the shots fired.
Wiley wasn’t specific about whose remarks were destroyed, but he did go on to say that it was one of the rappers’ publicist that made sure the comments were never published. He also wasn’t every specific about where the moment took place, but it likely took place in ESPN’s studios, where Wiley has worked since 2010.
Who would have guessed that such a pivotal moment would take place on a sports show?