Russell Westbrook has to be MVP. Kendrick Lamar said so.
K-Dot doesn’t explicitly make this declaration, but he compares himself to Westbrook in a song where he calls himself the king of rap. Since we know that rappers want to be ballers and ballers want to be rappers, and the king of the NBA would be the MVP.
It’s an easy translation to make. The conversation is over, give Westbrook his crown.
Russell Westbrook appears to be a fan of Kendrick Lamar's new song: pic.twitter.com/rg92vaBUzz— Royce Young (@royceyoung) March 24, 2017
Before the world could properly get their merengue on to Drake’s new album “More Life,” Kendrick decided to put an end to the riddim. Mad ting! Babylon ting!
The Compton born rapper recently dropped a song called “The Heart Part 4,” in which he warns other rappers: “Y’all got ’til April the 7th to get y’all shit together.”
In the song, Kendrick has some harsh words for a mysterious friend turned adversary. The hurt was so deep that he had to reference the breakup of Kevin Durant and Westbrook:
Tables turned, lesson learned, my best look/You jumped sides on me, now you 'bout to meet Westbrook/Go celebrate with your team and let victory vouch you/
Just know the next game played, I might slap the s... out you/
There’s been speculation that the fellow rapper in question is Hedwig’s very own, Drake, who the diminutive West Coast rapper has had problems with over the years. Some have said that it is Big Sean instead, but we’re not going to waste time with someone who once rapped: “I was so cold on the motha... eggs, they called me Young Eggs, mane.”
Anyways, Kendrick called out Drake by name on his infamous “Control” verse and Drake responded with several subliminal shots on songs like “The Language,” and “6PM In New York.” A tactic similar to Durant’s stinging quotes of playing with more unselfish players when he moved to Golden State.
The “tables turned, lesson learned…” line could very well be a response to Drake’s own “tables turn, bridges burn, you live and learn” line on “Pound Cake,” a song in which Jay Z advises Toronto’s Sean Paul against beefing. Coincidentally, Kendrick also brought up Jay Z in the song: “You making him nervous, the music is loud/ H.., Jay Z Hall of Fame, sit your punk ass down.” Jay Z is a well-known supporter of Kendrick.
For the purpose of this article, Jay Z has also often claimed to be the Michael Jordan of rap, and lest we forget, Michael Jordan was the person who inducted Westbrook into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.
As far as the Westbrook/Durant connection, beyond the fact that both Westbrook and Kendrick are both from LA, Drake claimed comparison to Durant on his song “Weston Road Flows,” from his 2016 album that had a photoshopped picture of Drake sitting on a city monument: “Shout out to KD, we relate, we get the same attention.”
And in his new album, he references Durant again on “Free Smoke,” the first song of the album:
I took the team play from Oracle/Mama never used to cook much/Used to chef KD/Now me and Chef KD/
Just like Durant and Westbrook, Kendrick and Drake were once cool with each other. Drake featured on Kendrick’s debut album, Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, on the song “Poetic Justice.” And they were both on that one A$ap Rocky song that we won’t talk about. I refuse. Rocky hates that song and I have to respect the wishes of the young French Braids.
So what we have now is that Kendrick Lamar is Russell Westbrook and Drake is Kevin Durant. A fractured relationship at its boiling point.
This is the biggest connection in basketball history since Jay Z decided to retire but promised to come back wearing the 4-5 — a Jordan reference. Or that time Kanye shouted out Derrick Rose and the quality of both of their works took a nose dive right after.
James Harden, for all of his talents and accomplishments, has only been referenced in a handful of rap songs and the two most prominent times have been by ... Drake. “H-town my second home like I'm James Harden,” on “No New Friends.” And the very cringy “They should call me James/ Cause I’m goin' hard in this bitch” on the “My Way (remix). His other two appearances are on a song by Kanye West Jr/Travis Scott and Mr. Cash4Gold/Trinidad James.
And no one has ever used Kawhi Leonard’s name in a song. No one. None.
So we all agree: the MVP discussion is over — Harden and Leonard don’t have a good case musically and Westbrook should definitely win after this song. The bigger issue is the simple question of whether you are Team Westbrook or Team Durant in their beef? Are you for Kendrick or are you for Drake?
Do you prefer a good album that will have you doing the bachata with the nearest person of Caribbean descent or the type of vicious raps that makes suburban helicopter parents concerned that their child is being radicalized? Do you want instagram captions or verbal threats? Are you more inclined to sending out heartbroken texts on late nights or jumping on couches at house parties? Do you like Durant’s unbrushed hair or Westbrook’s inclination to try and destroy everything that stands before him?
This is a choice that can change the complexion of basketball and rap forever.