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Japanese MCs jump on the Kendrick Lamar-Drake rap beef – and pick a favorite

It’s rare that a music story becomes so big that people in Japan feel the need to participate. Still, the ongoing rap battle between Kendrick Lamar and Drake (real name Aubrey Graham) has prompted artists here to comment — and in its own way , reflecting the tensions long felt in Japanese hip-hop.

For those not glued to social media or anxiously awaiting the next sonic uppercut, this feud between two of rap’s biggest names has been simmering for years, but came to a boil last month when Lamar took a swipe at Drake on fellow rapper Future’s song “Like that.” From therethe two traded diss tracks, mainly focused on their respective critical and commercial success (including Drake to claim that he is “big in Japan” and is responsible for Lamar and other rap artists being booked outside of North America, a dubious claim given that Lamar has headlined multiple festivals in Japan while Drake has never performed here).

However, the argument escalated last weekend, when both rappers started photographing each other more and more personally. Among other claims, Drake so-called Lamar attacked his fiancée, and Lamar Drake accused of being a pedophile. The intensifying war of words fascinated followers around the world – and subsequently American producer Metro Boomin (the man behind the song that started it all) shared an instrumentaland invites everyone to jump on and diss Drake.

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