Breaking down Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Euphoria’

“Euphoria” charts at 6 minutes and 24 minutes long, and is a reference to HBO’s teen drama ‘Euphoria,’ which debuted in 2019. Coincidentally, Drake was an executive producer on “Euphoria.”
“Euphoria” charts at 6 minutes and 24 minutes long, and is a reference to HBO’s teen drama ‘Euphoria,’ which debuted in 2019. Coincidentally, Drake was an executive producer on “Euphoria.”
Courtesy of Interscope Records

Kendrick Lamar has fully responded, letting his listeners know that Drake is overstepping his boundaries in the hip-hop community.

“Euphoria” is a piece that references the obscene connection between Kendrick and Drake. Unlike Drake’s “Push Ups,” Kendrick includes his track with multiple double entendres that have large meanings behind them, leaving his audience to research and connect themselves to the song. In Kendrick’s last appearance on “Like That,” which featured Future and Metro Boomin’, Kendrick mentions his hopefulness that they came with three switches, which we now know is a reference to the three beat switches in “Euphoria.”


Kendrick divides “Euphoria” into two parts, beginning the first with a reverse sample, which reads, “Everything they say about me is true.” The reverse sample originally comes from “The Wiz,” which is a remake of the original “The Wizard of Oz.” Seemingly, the late Michael Jackson was featured in “The Wiz,” which is a play on Drake’s idol, Michael Jackson. Additionally, this reversed sample is a punch towards Drake, ultimately saying that obtains a phony persona, similar to the Scarecrow’s most famous line in the movie: “I’m a phony!”

“The famous actor we once knew is lookin’ paranoid and is now spiralin’ You’re movin like a degenerate, every antic is feeling distasteful I calculate you’re not as calculated, I can even predict your angle”

Furthering past the reversed sample, Kendrick mentions Drake’s previous source of entertainment: acting. Drake was an actor on the Canadian TV show “Degrassi: The Next Generation,” which was released back in 2001. Kendrick states that Drake has lost his touch, as he is paranoid and recklessly spiraling, trying not to lose his place in the hip-hop industry. A couple of seconds later, Kendrick references that Drake is predictable, as Kendrick can see the easy intention behind every diss or bar that is made towards him.

“Fabricatin’ stories on the family front ’cause you heard Mr. Morale A pathetic master manipulator, I can smell the tales on you now You’rе not a rap artist, you a scam artist with the hopes of being accepted”

Kendrick directly responds to Drake’s line on “Push Ups, “I be with some bodyguards like Whitney.” Kendrick implies that Drake made the majority of his disses relate to him hearing his fifth studio album, “Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers,” in which Kendrick mixed his personal life with his music life, involving his family and outside experiences to many of the tracks.

A double entendre is dropped by Kendrick, where “tales” can be viewed as playful stories, and “tails” references Drake chasing validation from the women Drake has been running around with, which goes in-depth about alleged claims held against Drake.

“I make music that electrify ’em, you make music that pacify ’em I can double down on that line, but spare you this time, that’s random acts of kindness”

Kendrick attacks with another double entendre, which could pass as the most dangerous in the whole song. He stated that he will spare Drake referencing the “pacify” line, as Kendrick takes a jab at Drake’s questionable past concerning romantic relationships with people who are younger than him. Pacify could easily pass and hint towards “pacifier,” which is something used for toddlers. Ironically, Kendrick stated that he’d spare him from the embarrassment, although still silently released information without saying anything. Dangerously for Drake’s career, if Kendrick dropped a full lyric or bar about his questionable past, Drake could be in deep trouble.

“Know you a master manipulator and habitual liar too But don’t tell no lie about me and I won’t tell truths ‘bout you”

Closing off Part I, Kendrick finalizes the many disses towards Drake, stating that he’ll refute the truths against Drake if he doesn’t tell any ambiguous lies concerning Kendrick. Coincidentally, Kendrick has similar lyrics in his classic, “The Heart: Part 4,” where he states “Don’t tell a lie on me, I won’t tell the truth ‘bout you.” At the time of release, it was speculated that the lyric was more towards the rapper “Big Sean” than Drake. Now, with the release of ‘Euphoria,’ Kendrick took this opportunity to confirm that the lyric was towards Drake instead of Big Sean.


Kendrick introduces Part II with an incredible beat switch, setting the stage for him to announce and clarify certain allegations concerning him and the opposite artist, Drake. 

And I might do a show a day, once a lame, always a lame Oh, you thought the money, the power or fame would make you go away?

In “Push Ups,” Drake closes out by stating, “This ain’t everything I know, don’t wake the demon up.” Kendrick, using his prestige lyricism skills, makes a play on the bar, especially the word ‘demon.’ Future, another artist battling Drake, has the middle name ‘DeMun.’ Ironically, Future has a song called ‘Throwaway,’ which was originally released in 2014. Furthering this lyric, Kendrick references that Drake was ultimately tough until he was ‘chipped’ or hurt on the song “Like That,” which had Kendrick, Future, and Metro Boomin’ all working together on it. Consequently, all of those artists are Drake’s enemies at the moment of this song’s release.

Somebody had told me that you got a ring, on God, I’m ready to double the wage I’d rather do that than let a Canadian make Pac turn in his grave

This lyric is an obvious hint to Drake’s biggest purchase of 2023: Tupac’s custom diamond and ruby ring. The ring was auctioned off for an overwhelming amount of $1,016,000, and Drake ended up purchasing it. Kendrick says he’d rather double the wage than have a legend’s ring in the hands of Drake, as his having it is seemingly disrespecting Pac’s legacy.

It’s three G.O.A.T.s left, and I seen two of them kissin’ and huggin’ on stage I love ’em to death, and in eight bars, I’ll explain that phrase, huh

Eight bars later, Kendrick follows up with: “I pray they my real friends, if not, I’m YNW Melly.” YNW Melly, a rapper from Florida, was charged with the double murder of his two friends in 2019. Ultimately, Kendrick references that he will eliminate them both from the rap game, only if they are not respectful and real with him.

Later in the first verse, Kendrick rants about how he is the most passionate Drake hater, as he states: “I hate the way that you walk, the way that you talk / I hate the way that you dress / I hate the way that you sneak diss, if I catch flight, it’s gon be direct.” Kendrick talks about how the community often disregards Drake’s presence in the game, as he is seen as not respected in the African-American community. Kendrick even takes a jab at Drake’s discography, similar to how Drake did in “Push Ups.” Kendrick says Drake has zero classics, previously mentioning that despite all the features and songs that he makes with the most respected in the hip-hop community, he will never be seen as “black enough,” to the industry.

Thankfully, not everything Kendrick says is negative towards Drake, like him saying that he likes him with the melodies. Kendrick quickly doubles back on this and states that he also hates him when he acts tough. Closing out the first verse, Kendrick continuously makes hints and references to Drake’s identity.


Kendrick punches out with another beat switch, sounding more chilling than the others, confusing listeners. 

Verse II, being weaker than Verse I, still has heavy hitters, as Kendrick starts by doubling down on his previous mentions about hating everything about Drake. Kendrick has a softer tone than before but is not to be confused by his future lines that diminish and eliminate ties between Drake and Kendrick if they had any.

I’m knowin’ they call you The Boy, but where is a man? ‘Cause I ain’t seen him yet Matter fact, I ain’t even bleed him yet, can I bleed him? Bet

Kendrick marks this line as a turning point, as he is seen to get significantly more disrespectful than previously.

“Mr. Morale and The Big Steppers” went into a deep spiral about Kendrick’s life, with him explaining the build-up to his having a child. Drake, on the other hand, is rumored to have a hard time keeping up and raising his only son, with him seemingly running around with multiple women instead of teaching him life lessons. 

Kendrick continues after this bar by stating multiple things that Drake and his son know “nothing about,” furthering the disrespect and digging the hole even deeper than before.

Don’t speak on the family, crodie It can get deep in the family, crodie Talk about me and my family, crodie?

Crodie is hinting at Toronto slang, where Drake is originally from. In these lyrics, Kendrick is seen to just be mocking Drake’s slang, and where his slang originates from.

Ending the whole song, similarly to Drake, Kendrick flaunts hidden information about Drake, sending a warning message if he tries to retaliate. With this lyric being one of the last words on ‘Euphoria,’ leaves Drake with an option to either respond or fall back from the ultimate hole that he put himself in.


‘Euphoria’ is a 6-minute and 24-second track; of course, not everything could be covered. ‘Euphoria’ leaves Kendrick up one, and Drake with a lot of thinking to do. Although heavily rumored on social media, Drake already has another diss track brewing that could drop sometime next week. Until then, the hip-hop community is waiting for more.

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    CherylMay 11, 2024 at 4:43 pm METEA MEDIA Pick

    Very insightful & well written. ThankS