(July 7, 2024).  If there was any doubt about who the victor was in this year’s rap battle between Kendrick Lamar and his arch-nemesis Drake, it might have been erased with the release of K.Dot’s video for “Not Like Us,” the song that effectively KO’d the Canadian superstar upon its debut (along with Drake’s failed attempt at a game-changing rebuttal) in May.  

The release of the new six-minute video (linked below), filled with visuals refuting nearly every claim Drake made in his own diss tracks — along with last month’s “Pop Out” concert in Inglewood where Kendrick performed “Not Like Us” an unheard-of five times — combine to pound the nail in the proverbial coffin for Drake who’s been mostly silent since his last track, “The Heart Part 6,” dropped two months ago.  This has now moved from rap battle to a sort-of bullying by Kendrick.  It definitely has the feel of a man being kicked while he’s truly down.

Kendrick essentially ends Drake in this video for “Not Like Us.”

But just how “down” is Drake?  Has this epic battle between two of hip-hop’s true titans really rendered the Champagne Papi a casualty?  Or is it all just hip-hop hyperbole… a media-hyped conflict to give this generation’s rap fans — particularly Kendrick’s — something to crow about while the Compton King keeps this now one-sided battle in the headlines while running victory laps in his home court of C-town?

Well, DJROBBLOG did an analysis of Drake’s chart numbers in the three months since Compton Kenny’s first grenade was launched with his featured spot on Future & Metro Boomin’s “Like That.”  And while there has been a noticeable Drake demise, the real proof of this battle’s impact lies in a comparison of these past three months’ numbers with similar periods of dormancy following the releases of Drake’s earlier albums this decade.

As a refresher, fans will recall that Drake’s last album, For All The Dogs — the one we’ll alternately refer to as FATD and whose lead single “First Person Shooter” initially triggered Kendrick — was released nine months ago in October 2023.  It was roughly six months later — in April 2024 — when the two rappers put on their sparring gloves and began duking it out on tape, culminating in each artist’s last diss track during the first week of May.

So, fittingly, the blog’s analysis focuses on the chart performance of Drake’s album catalogue between April and July of this year when the beef’s impact took hold… or between six and nine months after FATD was unleashed.

Then, for comparison purposes, the blog looked at similar six-to-nine-month transitions following the releases of Drake’s other albums this decade — five in total, including FATD — to eliminate the possibility that this year’s drop was merely the result of normal attrition as his albums experience natural burnout.

Scorpion is just one of the many Drake albums to see declines over the past three months.

The results of the analysis were compelling: Drake’s falloff since the rap beef started is clearly evident.  And, most importantly, it’s significantly more than the natural ebbing that occurred in similar periods as his older albums experienced normal burn.

The following table shows Drake’s presence in the top half of the Billboard 200 album chart at the six- and nine-month points following the releases of all five of his albums this decade, beginning with FATD and working backwards chronologically.

Album (Release Date)6 months later:  Albums remaining in top 100 and their positions9 months later: Albums remaining in top 100 and their positions 
For All The Dogs (Oct. 2023)April 6, 2024: FATD (12), Take Care (47), Scorpion (62), Certified Lover Boy (68), Her Loss (74), Views (80), July 6, 2024: FATD (44), Take Care (80), Scorpion (98)
Her Loss (w/ 21 Savage (Nov. 2022)May 4, 2023: Her Loss (15), CLB (31), Take Care (65), Scorpion (68), Views (78), More Life (100)Aug. 4, 2023: Her Loss (25), CLB (38), Take Care (44), Scorpion (53), Views (60), More Life (85)
Honestly, Nevermind (June 2022)*Dec. 17, 2022: Her Loss (3), CLB (46), Take Care (87) (*this coincided with the Christmas holiday albums’ annual chart blitz)March 17, 2023: Her Loss (10), CLB (26), Scorpion (51), Take Care (53), Views (65), 
Certified Lover Boy (Sept. 2021)March 3, 2022: CLB (7), Take Care (58), Scorpion (63), Views (93)June 3, 2022: CLB (11), Take Care (42), Scorpion (57), Views (75), 
Dark Lane Demo Tapes (May 2020)Nov. 1, 2020: Scorpion (48), DLDT (52), Take Care (86)Feb. 1, 2021: Scorpion (52), DLDT (75), Take Care (85), Views 96), 
Data based on the Billboard 200 album charts from Nov. 2020 – July 2024

As shown above, Drake had six albums in the top 100 just before the beef started, led by For All the Dogs at No. 12.  On the latest Billboard 200 (dated July 6), FATD rests at No. 44 and is joined by only two other Drake albums — Take Care and Scorpion — at Nos. 80 and 98, respectively.  All three of those albums have dropped at least 30 positions since April, while Views, Certified Lover Boy and Her Loss have all exited the top 100 (Her Loss has dropped all the way to No. 168 on the latest chart from No. 74 three months ago).

That represents a significant decline in Drizzy’s chart presence and sizable loss of revenue for albums that, before now, had shown unprecedented resilience on the charts. They collectively represent a drop in sales that is precipitously steeper than the six-to-nine-month transitions following the “69 God’s” other releases this decade.

In the same six-to-nine-month window following his prior release, Her Loss (with 21 Savage), Drizzy maintained a six-album presence in the top 100 with some of his LPs actually improving in performance at the 9-month mark.  

In the six-to-nine month period following the June 2022 release of However, Nevermind, the data also supports this narrative but is asterisked by the six-month point coinciding with the Christmas holiday frenzy.  As a result, in December 2022, Drake only had three albums in the top 100 (but seven in the overall top 200) as perennial holiday fare pushed his and other artists’ non-holiday themed albums down the chart   But Drake’s top 100 number improved to five LPs in March 2023.  It’s also important to note that Her Loss was released within six months of However, Nevermind, further complicating this particular data point. 

Drake, however, saw similar periods of stability or even improvement between six and nine months after his first two albums this decade — Certified Lover Boy and Dark Lane Demo Tapes — were released. 

In the six-to-nine-month transition after CLB, Drake maintained a four-album presence in the top 100, while during the same window after DLDT, his top 100 entries actually increased from three at the six-month mark to four at the nine-month point, and that was without an intervening new album release.

It would be easy to continue researching Drake’s earlier chart history to see if this pattern holds up as Drake’s career took off in the ‘10s, but his catalog becomes increasingly smaller as we go back in time, making the number of albums available to populate the chart fewer and fewer.

So suffice it to say that Drake’s latest knockdown appears to be real, or at least it’s manifesting itself on the Billboard charts where there is a clear and convincing reduction in his catalog’s presence and rankings.

But I would never count a man of his stature out for long, and it’s certainly not time for Drake to be reconsidering his career choices.  As the artist with the most Hot 100 entries in chart history and the most No. 1 albums of any artist since 2010, it would be foolish to do so.

And as Drake once said, he started from the bottom now he’s here.  After Kung Fu Kenny’s bludgeoning sword, Drake may not be rock bottom, but he clearly has a steeper climb to the top than he did before April 2024.


DJRob (he/him) is a freelance music blogger from the East Coast who covers R&B, hip-hop, disco, pop, rock and country genres – plus lots of music news and current stuff!  You can follow him on X (formerly Twitter) at @djrobblog and on Meta’s Threads.

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