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Kendrick Lamar death knells Drake with ‘Not Like Us’ video

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Kendrick Lamar released the music video for “Not Like Us” to a voracious audience on the Fourth of July, and like almost everything else the Pulitzer-winning rapper has put out since March, it’s a heavily coded collection of disses and jokes at the expense of his Canadian rival, Drake.

Lamar’s nearly six-minute video, which comes during a months-long escalation in the feud between the two rappers, topped YouTube’s music trending list with over 17 million views as of Friday afternoon. The track — in which Lamar calls Drake a “colonizer” and claims he uses “false street cred” to try to fit in with other industry rappers — had already topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart in May, when many declared Lamar the winner of the beef. He’s since celebrated his victory with a show in Inglewood, Calif., on Juneteenth, whereas Drake deleted his Instagram posts about the beef after dropping his latest diss track in early May.

But as rap fans got to work decoding Lamar’s new video, it became clear he wasn’t nearly done dunking on Drake. Here’s a guide to the references and insults tucked into the video.

Owls are a mascot of sorts for Drake, who founded the OVO Sound record label and OVO lifestyle brand. (Note how the letters look like an owl emoji.)

Unfortunately for Drake, Lamar also has access to owls, and he really put them through it for his music video.

He whacks an owl piñata with a stick until it explodes in one scene, while a disclaimer on the screen makes fun of “OVO” with an insult we can’t print here.

Then, toward the end of the video, Lamar stares at a caged owl. The background music stops as he walks off-screen and the bird turns to the camera, all alone.

Lamar’s kids and fiancée Whitney Alford make a pointed cameo

During a particularly heated point in the feud, in early May, Drake released a seven-minute diss track called “Family Matters” that included unsubstantiated claims of Lamar abusing his fiancée, Whitney Alford. The song also suggested that Dave Free, Lamar’s longtime creative collaborator, was the actual father of one of Lamar and Alford’s kids.

Lamar responded to those allegations by having Free co-direct his new music video, which included a scene where Alford, Lamar and their two young children dance in a living room to lyrics clearly aimed at Drake: “The family matter and the truth of the matter / It was God’s plan to show y’all the liar.”

Drake isn’t alone in tossing serious accusations around during the rap beef. “Not Like Us” included several lines suggesting, without citing evidence, that Drake is a pedophile. Lamar doubled down on them in the video, playing hopscotch in one scene while he raps: “Ain’t you tired? Tryna strike a chord, and it’s probably A-Minor.”

Push-ups, Tam’s Burgers and other hidden messages

Lamar was also filmed doing push-ups on cinder blocks, an apparent response to Drake’s diss track “Push Ups,” which attacked Lamar’s artistic integrity.

To add flourish, Lamar also peppered the video with nods to his Compton, Calif., roots. Compton-born NBA star DeMar DeRozan made a cameo, as did Los Angeles-raised dancer Tommy the Clown. Crowds of people and dancers in the video visit local landmarks such as the Compton Courthouse and Tam’s Burgers.

Lamar also locally sourced some of the fashion, including a hat designed by Ghetto Rodeo and Kaló Soil as well as a sweatshirt by Kaló Soil.

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