Drake released More Life on the 18th of March, breaking streaming records in the process; Kendrick’s “Damn” album dropped fairly soon after, which is usually unappreciated by other artists; many make sure to not “conflict” with other rappers and artists.
Many beefs have begun when two albums are released within the same few weeks, one of the funnier episodes was the Kanye West vs 50 cent “beef” in 2007, when both where dominating the charts…
They had a bet on whose album would sell the most, and 50 went in, with high stakes, even “promising” to stop releasing albums!! In an interview with Rolling Stone he said:
“Mine will sell and his will still be on the shelf,” he told Rolling Stone. “He should be terrified. What do I do? Do I send flowers? Do I send my condolences?” — 50 Cent
On September the 11th, 2007, both ‘Curtis’ and ‘Graduation’ were released, both generating significant sales, though after the first week Kanye’s Graduation had a solid lead; with almost a million sales—Curtis by 50 Cent was closer to 700,000—impressive, but not making Kanye ‘cry’ as 50 had promised…
10 years on, thanks to all the streaming services and alternative ways of paying for and listening to music it's a little harder to chart out success, though not impossible… Drake and Kendrick were not beefing or even in direct competition; though they share an overlapping fan-base for sure, their styles are musically different.
Drake would be described more “radio friendly” or “pop style” and most of Kendrick Lamar’s music is your more traditional rapping—quite a few hits which are dominating the charts now—but definitely not aiming to be “pop”.
“DAMN” managed to edge out Drake’s impressive, record breaking streaming and sales of 505,000 album-equivalent units, with 226,000 pure sales on the first week; Kendrick managed to score 603,000 album-equivalent’s and 353,000 sales outright in the first week!
Many had assumed that Kendrick Lamar and Drake were ‘rivals’ or beefing, Drake put these rumours and assumptions to rest when he congratulated Kendrick on the strong sales, and appeared to be happy that hip hop and music was selling so well…
A class act, and we can expect them to work together more in the future!