Kendrick Lamar may have been deemed by many as the victor in his feud with Drake, but he has drawn criticism from Michael Eric Dyson for the way he went about dismantling the 6 God.

The cultural critic has made it clear that he is not happy that Drizzy’s racial identity was used against him in the rap battle, which spawned a string of explosive diss tracks but now appears to have fizzled out.



Speaking to Stephen A. Smith over the weekend, Dyson discussed his column in The Philadelphia Citizen in which he offered his thoughts on the beef.

Dyson wrote in the article: “The astonishing and deflating speed with which Drake was tarred and feathered as inauthentically Black says less about him and more about the reactionary nativism of cults of pure identity that police the boundaries of Blackness like a rogue and racist cop.”

He added: “In a single spurious stroke of Kendrick’s claustrophobic Blackness, Drake went from a brilliant embodiment of rap’s genius to a cultural carpetbagger who must prove that he deserves to be called Black when a white supremacist culture sees him as little else.”

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During his chat with Smith, Dyson expanded on his comments, saying: “I’m pissed that Drake gets dismissed, off the scene, when he’s been Drake for 15 years and you act like you didn’t know that. Now he’s not really Black?

“Challenging his racial identity and saying he’s a culture vulture when he’s a Black man? ‘He’s from Canada, he ain’t real!’ Idris Elba is from the UK; people still love him on The Wire! So why is it that being from outside of our nationality raises suspicions about Drake.”

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He continued: “Kendrick Lamar is a brilliant rapper and a formidable foe. But so is Drake. And what he’s done to expand the horizon of Hip Hop is underestimated, even artistically […] We have to stop this narrow, punishing, pernicious, limited viewpoint about Blackness.”

Dyson further defended Drake, whose father is Black and mother is Jewish, by comparing him to former president Barack Obama, who also comes from a mixed-race background.



Kendrick Lamar took numerous shots at Drizzy’s ethnicity throughout their hotly-contested feud, including on “Euphoria” where he rapped: “I even hate when you say the word ‘n-gga'” and “we don’t wanna hear you say ‘n-gga’ no more.”

He also called the Toronto native a “colonizer” on his chart-topping diss song “Not Like Us.”