Drake vs. Kid Cudi

Drake should win the beef

You were the man on the moon
Now you just go through your phases
Life of the angry and famous
Still never been on hiatus
You stay xann’d and perk’d up
So when reality set in, you don’t gotta face it
“Two Birds One Stone” – Drake

When I first heard the lyrics in “Two Birds One Stone” talking about Kid Cudi, I was surprised. It was a big shot, but I understand why Drake did it: he did it to finally put Kid Cudi in his place.

Drake says it perfectly when he says “You were the man on the moon, Now you just go through your phases.” Cudi has not been relevant since Man on the Moon. This is not debatable; “Day N’ Night” was a great song, but since then, he hasn’t put out anything that has really piqued any interest. Since his first album, each album he’s released has had a lower Metacritic score than Man on the Moon, with his most recent scoring an embarrassing 2.4 in the user score category.

Also, can we be sure that this is Kid Cudi who sent his tweet? (“@Drake Say it to face, pussy. You think it’s a game. I wanna see you say it to my face. I’ll be out soon. Promise.”) He’s in rehab right now, and likely doesn’t have access to a phone. So who’s tweeting this out for him? Perhaps it’s his manager, who tweeted out his thoughts earlier.

In any event, Drake has a history of coming out on the winning side of these things. He came out on the winning side against Tyga, basically ethering him with the line, “You need to act your age and not your girl’s age.” Drake of course destroyed Meek Mill with “Back to Back,” to the point where he still hasn’t really recovered.

Drake is essentially untouchable at this point. If he can win a beef when someone accuses him of ghostwriting, then he will easily destroy Cudi in an upcoming track. Plus, Cudi (or whoever has control of his Twitter account) has already deleted the tweet that clapped back to “Two Birds One Stone”, showing that he already regrets poking Drake.

Since Drake burst onto the scene in 2009, I don’t think there’s been another artist who has consistently put out such great tracks. Kid Cudi hasn’t released a good album since I’ve been in high school. Drake is at the top of his game right now, and it’s pretty clear that he will come out victorious in this one. – NB

Kid Cudi should win the beef

Let me start by saying that I think Drake is a better rapper than Kid Cudi.

True, both their most recent albums were disappointments — Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven was cheesy and unfocused, while Views was lazy and overstuffed — but pound for pound, Drake puts out better songs and better albums than his rival. This discussion is not about musical quality, or even vocal dexterity though. In fact, few rap beefs are.

Think about Jay Z and Nas. In 2001, the rivalry between two rappers culminated in a pair of diss tracks: “Ether” off Nas’ forgettable Stillmatic, and “Takeover” on The Blueprint, Jay’s undisputed best work.

You’d have a hard time arguing Nas was anywhere near as culturally relevant as Hov at the time: he hadn’t made a consistently good album since his legendary debut, while Jay Z had never been more popular, facing a massively public legal battle and still reaping royalties from “Big Pimpin’.” So Jay Z obviously won the battle, right? Wrong.

Not only did Nas’ body of work survive Jay’s — Illmatic is still a better album than anything Jay ever made — but he also fought harder and won bigger. “Ether” is the work of someone with something to prove. In fact, the track hit so hard that it almost shook Jay to tears during a radio session, and pushed him to rap about leaving condoms on the car seat of Nas’ kid. That’s the desperation of a man who knows he’s been beaten.

I’m not trying to say that the underdog always wins. In fact, Drake’s most famous beef disproves the theory: he consistently destroys Meek Mill, who is both a worse rapper and a worse disser.

But with Meek, Drake acted in defence. Kid Cudi, however, barely earned his diss, tweeting that Drake was using a ghostwriter — which the rapper himself has all but confirmed (sorry, Drizzy fans).

So how did Drake respond? By openly mocking Kid Cudi’s struggle with depression. Not cool, dude.

Rap beefs are nothing if not outrageous, and the most over-the-top tracks are often the best ones. But there are lines that shouldn’t be crossed. Jay shouldn’t have rapped about ejaculating in Nas’ jeep, Cam’ron shouldn’t have rapped about Stan Spit’s dead mom, and Drake shouldn’t have dissed Kid Cudi’s mental illness.

Drake lost this beef before it even began. Not only was his call-out an extremely low blow, but it further reinforced the problematic history of hip-hop refusing to acknowledge struggles with mental health. Kid Cudi may be a worse musician, but his open admission of his depression is braver than anything Drake has ever done in his life. – MJH

Want to know how this feud stacks up against some of the most legendary beefs in rap history? Check out The biggest beefs in rap history to find out!