Kendrick’s Not Like Us music video pits former Raptor DeMar DeRozan against Drake | CBC News

Kendrick’s Not Like Us music video pits former Raptor DeMar DeRozan against Drake | CBC News

After a period of (relative) silence, the beef between Drake and Kendrick Lamar appears to be back on. 

Late Thursday night — and months after the last official diss track from either rapper — Lamar released the music video to Not Like Us. That song reached No. 1 on the Billboard 100 when it debuted back in May, then shortly thereafter became the most streamed American hip-hop song in a single day.

The track is filled with shots at the God’s Plan musician — careening from playful jabs at his OVO company to actual allegations of criminality. But there’s one moment in the video that might be particularly tough for the Toronto musician to take.

Filmed around Lamar’s hometown of Compton, Calif., the video features a who’s-who of guest stars: from Mustard, who produced the track, wearing a customized Toronto Blue Jays baseball cap, to dancer Tommy the Clown and Top Dog Entertainment CEO Anthony (Top Dawg) Tiffith.

In a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it additional cameo, though, is a painful inclusion: NBA player DeMar DeRozan.

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While born in Compton, DeRozan played nine seasons with Drake’s beloved Toronto Raptors, before being traded in 2018 for Kawhi Leonard. The move was especially controversial as DeRozan had been the face of the franchise — once nicknamed “Mr. I Am Toronto” — and led the team to the playoffs five straight times.

In 2016, despite lucrative offers, he said his “mindset has always been Toronto” before he was suddenly jettisoned. Though he initially had harsh words for Raptors management, he seemingly came to a rocky peace with the move — and the team.

So with Drake operating as global ambassador and a sort of unofficial mascot for the franchise — often sporting their gear, regularly appearing at games and directly tying his OVO brand to the team’s training facility — DeRozan’s appearance in the video seems especially pointed.

The basketball player appears at the 2:43 mark of the video, during the line: “I’m glad DeRoz’ came home, y’all didn’t deserve him neither.”

DeRozan vs. Drake

But it’s not the first time DeRozan has taken sides in the feud. On June 19, Lamar hosted a concert at the Kia Forum in Inglewood, Calif., for his Juneteenth Pop Off concert.

That show featured a mix of up-and-coming L.A. rappers alongside established hip-hop names, including Tyler, The Creator, Steve Lacy and YG — performing in front of a crowd of 17,000 that included The Weeknd, LeBron James, Ayo Edebiri and Rick Ross.

When he took the stage himself, Lamar performed his Drake diss songs Euphoria, 6:16 in LA and Not Like Us — repeating the latter track over four full times. For the triumphant set, he was joined by Dr. Dre, Schoolboy Q, Roddy Rich, NBA star Russell Westbrook, Mustard, Tommy the Clown and — you guessed it — DeRozan.

The music video itself features a host of other taunts against Drake, including Lamar destroying an owl-shaped piñata (OVO’s logo) and caging a live barn owl.

It also bolsters defences against Drake’s taunts. in his song Family Matters, Drake accused Lamar of physically abusing his partner, Whitney Alford, and alleged that one of the couple’s children was fathered by another man.

In an obvious retort, Not Like Us feature’s Lamar’s family front and centre. It’s a rare appearance, as Lamar has largely kept his family out of the public eye, but the images contrasted against his lyrics are a clear jab back at Drake.

In the video, Lamar stands behind both his daughter, Uzi, and son, Enoch, in a black-and-white family album-type photo, before cutting to shots of Alford performing an impressive crip walk dance move alongside Lamar.

The scene pops up right as Lamar references two of Drake’s releases: “The family matter and the truth of the matter, it was God’s plan to show y’all the liar.” 

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Whether this latest shot will reignite the beef is unclear. Last month, Drake quietly deleted all Instagram posts related to the feud, weeks after he seemed to indicate he was putting Lamar behind him with a story captioned “Good times. Summer vibes up next.”

And continuing the fight wouldn’t seem to do anyone much good. Following the increased notoriety, there were several attempted break-ins of Drake’s Toronto home, while his security guard was shot outside of the estate on May 7.

It is unclear whether any of these incidents were directly tied to the beef, and neither Lamar nor Drake have commented — though the shooting occurred just days after Lamar used a Google Maps image of Drake’s mansion as his cover art for a track.  

This past weekend, a few weeks after appearing at Lamar’s Juneteenth concert, rapper Rick Ross was assaulted outside of a Vancouver concert venue following his performance. The Vancouver Police Department is reportedly looking into the attack against Ross, who was also name checked in Drake’s diss track Push Ups all the way back in April.

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