The track, which circulated on social media on Thursday (September 7), appears to be an unreleased version of “Pandemic,” from TDE’s 2018 Black Panther soundtrack, and hears K. Dot pulling no punches as he calls out the aforementioned trio by name.
“Fuck subliminals, I put you on the roll call/ French Montana speaking on me in interviews/ Very cynical, dry hating something I don’t approve/ Jay Electronica put silencers on my Grammy night/ Another dead prophet hoping the God’ll give him life,” he raps on the song.
“Big Sean keep sneak dissin,’ I let it slide/ I think his false confidence got him inspired/ I can’t make them respect you, baby, it’s not my job/ You finally famous for who you date, not how you rhyme (boy).”
He adds: “Cute-ass raps, get your puberty up/ Then make you a classic album before you come at us/ Drake and Meek Mill beef might got you gassed up/ But I’m a whole ‘nother beast, I really fuck you up.”
The original version of Kendrick Lamar’s ELEMENT. has leaked, including a scrapped verse in which he takes direct shots at the likes of Drake, Big Sean, French Montana, Meek Mill and Jay Electronica 🤯 pic.twitter.com/z17z48U34C
— RRT 🧊 (@SaVichTakes) September 7, 2023
Kendrick Lamar’s vicious rhymes reference French Montana’s 2016 interview with The Breakfast Club, in which he claimed that K. Dot was inadvertently devaluing street rap.
“Because they position [Kendrick], like how they did at the Grammys, as the new music,” he said. “It’s not that it’s not the right thing to do, but I just feel like they… You see the whole thing was, like, Kendrick night.
“That album [To Pimp a Butterfly] don’t sound like nothing that’s out. The whole Hip Hop game don’t sound like that. He took that one step to the left. That’s not what you listen to all the time, right?”
He added: “They put him on that platform so they could shift music towards that direction.”
Jay Electronica, meanwhile, dissed Kendrick Lamar during a Periscope livestream in February 2016 — the same month the then-TDE rapper won five Grammys — by claiming, “Kendrick wishes he could be me.”
“Look, I like the one Kendrick song with Gunplay, ‘Cartoons and Cereal,’ but other than that we don’t know what n-gga talking about,” the Roc Nation lyricist said at the time. “Kendrick is my son. Kendrick is my baby. Kendrick wishes he could be me.”
As for Big Sean, the Detroit rapper was embroiled in a subliminal war of words with Kendrick in the mid 2010s, during which the pair threw thinly-veiled shots at each other on wax.
“And I’m just not impressed by you n-ggas rapping fast/ Who sound like one big asthma attack but trash when I’m rapping it back/ Who you put in your top five and claim they the savior of rap,” he spit on 2016’s “No More Interviews.”
Some believe that Kendrick was addressing Sean on his 2017 hit “HUMBLE.,” which contained scathing lines like: “My fans can’t wait for me to son your punk-ass/ And crush your whole lil shit/ I’ll Big Pun your punk-ass, you a scared lil’ bitch.”
The “Control” collaborators eventually patched things up in 2019 following the tragic death of their mutual friend Nipsey Hussle, as Sean revealed on his Detroit 2 song “Deep Reverence.”
“After what happened to Nipsey, I reached out to Kendrick/ It wasn’t even no real issues there to begin with/ Lack of communication and wrong information from people fueled by their ego,” he rapped.
The former G.O.O.D. Music MC spoke in more depth about him and Kendrick burying the hatchet during an interview with Sway in the Morning later that year.
“The situation was, he thought that people around him were telling him something, people around me were telling me something, and it just really wasn’t the case,” he explained.
“So, when we were able to talk, it was a good reconciliation and it was a good mutual respect. Even when he heard ‘Deep Reverence,’ he hit me and was like ‘Yo, I appreciate you showing that love. I appreciate that love in the verse. You and Nip went crazy. Y’all gassed on it.’”
He added: “It was good to get that response from your brother because on that record, I just was keeping it open and honest and real. I wasn’t trying to hold back. It was not out of disrespect, either. It was out of respect for myself and the things I’ve learned along the way.”
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