Kendrick Lamar Targets Drake, Jay Electronica, and More, on Leaked 'DAMN.' Demo

Kendrick Lamar performing in 2022.

Photo by Money Mick for Okayplayer

Kendrick Lamar Targets Drake, Jay Electronica, and More, on Leaked 'DAMN.' Demo

Drake, Meek Mill, Jay Electronica, Big Sean, and French Montana are all on the hit list.

Though his latest album, Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers, is a mostly internal survey, Kendrick Lamar fans will recall an era in which the rapper was far more likely to retaliate to perceived slights against him (case in point, that "Control" verse.) But a more recent example also exists in the form of an early version of the DAMN. song, "ELEMENT.," which surfaced, in part, back in 2019.

Today, however, the mostly full version of the DAMN. demo has been unearthed. And it's brimming with barbs directed at rap's former and current elite.

Over a murky beat that would eventually find a home on the Black Panthersoundtrack as SOBxRBE's "Paramedic!," the Compton rapper sends strays at Drake and Meek Mill, but goes directly for Big Sean, Jay Electronica, and French Montana, all of which either directly or subtly mentioned the rapper in interviews and rhymes around the time of DAMN.'s recording. "French Montana speaking on me in interviews, very cynical, dry hating something I don’t approve," Lamar says on the shelved verse. "Jay Electronica threw silencers on my GRAMMY night, another dead prophet hoping the God’ll give ’em life," the rapper continues. The verse closes with words for Sean ("I think his false confidence got him inspired, I can’t make ’em respect you, baby, it’s not my job,") and a mention of Drake and Meek's brief, but damaging spat.

Snippets of the track are heavily circulating across socials at the moment, leading some to believe the verse was generated by A.I. But you don't have to be too tech-savvy to find the whole song or the original leak from a few years back.

At the time of publishing, none of those named in the verse had responded. But if we're to take anything from the fully demonstrated pettiness of some of the men on the hit list, that could change pretty soon.