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In the Kendrick and Drake beef, women and other abuse victims are the repeated punchline

In the Kendrick and Drake beef, women and other abuse victims are the repeated punchline
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Editor’s note: The following article is an op-ed, and the views expressed are the author’s own. Read more opinions on theGrio.

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Like everyone else, I have maintained perfect attendance throughout the Kendrick and Drake beef. 

I’ve been online for every drop, and I have participated in a lot of the discussions about it happening across social media. If you want to know my opinion, Kendrick won.

Kendrick won, but women and victims of grooming, pedophilia and domestic violence, as well as children, lost. They lost, as they always do because hip-hop doesn’t really care about victims in the grand scheme of things. 

I’m not going to bother doing a play-by-play of who said what to who because there is enough of that analysis out there, and you don’t need my help figuring it out. 

Kendrick has accused Drake multiple times of being a deadbeat father and a professional groomer who actively seeks out relationships with young girls and age-inappropriate women. 

Drake has accused Kendrick of beating his wife and playing father to a child who may not actually be his. 

All of these things were said as a means of one-upping each other. None of it was said to raise awareness or get justice for victims. None of it was said as a means of mitigating further harm to anyone. 

We shouldn’t be surprised. After all, hip-hop is famous for its rampant misogyny and flagrant disregard for women. 

Dr Dre infamously beat Dee Barnes 30 years ago in a Hollywood nightclub. The beating became a running joke and a punchline for multiple rappers including Eminem and T.I. As Dee herself said on Twitter this weekend, she has been “reduced to a punchline in a song that made millions … meanwhile, I cannot pay my rent.”

Yes, I laughed along with everyone else as Kendrick dragged Drake by the taint hairs, but at some point over the weekend, I sobered up and realized none of this was funny. 

Kendrick writing open letters to Drake’s parents and child(ren) was funny in the moment, but ultimately, what happens when that child (or children?) are old enough to consume this art for themselves and take a deep dive into the meanings behind it?

Kendrick was working to stab Drake as many times as he could, but did he stop to think about the harm that this does to that child (or those children?) as well? 

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Drake brings up domestic violence accusations against Kendrick, but is he doing so because he cares about the safety and wellbeing of Kendrick’s wife, or is he doing it because it helps him in his quest to try and make Kendrick look worse than him?

And honestly, an alleged pedophile and an alleged wife beater are both abusers, so is there truly a way for one to look better than the other? Allegedly? 

Drake making claims that one of Kendrick’s children is not his and was actually fathered by his best friend and former Top Dawg Entertainment President Dave Free is disgusting on many layers. 

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First, there’s the layer of him subtly slut-shaming Kendrick’s wife while making the allegation. Even if he didn’t say that part out loud, the implication is that not only did your wife cheat on you, but she had the other man’s baby and got you raising it like you a fool.

I want to ask why raising another man’s baby as your own is such a bad thing, but then I remember I exist in the same timeline where grown-ass men openly criticize Russell Wilson for doing that very thing. 

Still, Drake is “mad” at Kendrick. Why did Kendrick’s wife have to catch a stray? 

Women have always been the punchline and the collateral damage in hip-hop and hip-hop beefs. Think about Faith Evans. 

When Tupac wanted to piss Biggie off, he got on a record and claimed to have slept with Faith, who was married to Biggie at the time. What did Faith do to deserve that?

Every diss Kendrick has put out has accused Drake of being a pedophile and a groomer, and while that “A-minor” bar hit like hell (I have randomly found myself blurting out “A-minorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr unprovoked during the day), is Kendrick trying to help victims or is he simply shaming Drake? 

The current Diddy kerfluffle is showing us in real time that men in hip-hop have long been aware of the abuse women suffer in the culture – sexual and otherwise – and they are willing to turn a blind eye to it until it suits them to speak up. 

In this case, Kendrick and Drake are “speaking up,” but they aren’t “speaking out.”

Everyone is laughing except the women and children being used as bait. 

Everyone is having a good time except the victims. 

Things seem to have died down since Kendrick released “Not Like Us,” and honestly, I hope it stays dead because we can’t keep doing this. 

I challenge Kendrick, Drake and any other man in hip-hop to make a diss track that calls out abusers as a means of preventing further harm to victims.

I encourage Kendrick, Drake and any other man in hip-hop to hold their peers accountable, and by accountable I mean in a way that prevents them from being able to harm others – not in a way that simply gets streams on a diss track. 

I encourage everyone who is part of the culture to examine the way we participate and engage in these things.

Ultimately, the gladiators are fighting because the crowd wants blood. 

The question is, is it the blood of the combatants or the blood of their alleged victims that’s ultimately being spilled? 


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Monique Judge is a storyteller, content creator and writer living in Los Angeles. She is a word nerd who is a fan of the Oxford comma, spends way too much time on Twitter, and has more graphic t-shirts than you. Follow her on Twitter @thejournalista or check her out at moniquejudge.com.





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