07-5-2024, 5:38 PM

Amid the Drake controversy, Kendrick Lamar releases the music video for "Not Like Us"

Kendrick Lamar - Video Screenshot

With the release of the music video for his smash song "Not Like Us," which mocked the Canadian rapper Drake, Kendrick Lamar ended his months-long rivalry with the rapper.

Since their May feud began, both Kendrick and Drake have dropped a number of diss singles. Nonetheless, many think Lamar has triumphed because "Not Like Us" is currently number one on the Billboard Hot 100. With its abundance of inside jokes and cultural allusions, the video makes a clear statement about the ongoing rivalry.

Lamar released the video on Independence Day, following his explosive “The Pop Out” concert, where he performed “Not Like Us” six times in a row. Co-directed by Lamar and Dave Free, the video features numerous West Coast hip-hop icons, including Mustard, who produced the track and makes a notable appearance wearing a Toronto Blue Jays cap, a clear jab at Drake.

Cameos from figures such as Tommy the Clown, Compton-born NBA star DeMar DeRozan, and Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith, CEO of Top Dawg Entertainment, add to the video’s star power. The opening scene sets the tone with Lamar doing push-ups on cinder blocks, referencing Drake’s song “Push Ups” and a photo of Lamar that Drake had previously mocked.

Personal elements also take center stage. Lamar’s partner Whitney Alford and their two children appear, dancing together in a scene. This is a pointed rebuttal to Drake’s “Family Matters,” which controversially suggested that co-director Free fathered one of Lamar’s children with Alford.

The video is rich in symbolism, featuring numerous references to owls, the mascot of Drake’s OVO label. Owls appear throughout the video, including one resting on Lamar’s arm, another in a cage, and a piñata being smashed. The message is underscored with a cheeky disclaimer: “no OVHoes were harmed during the making of this video.”

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