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Rap Beef Aside—Who Reigns Supreme In Fashion, Kendrick Or Drake?

Rap Beef Aside—Who Reigns Supreme In Fashion, Kendrick Or Drake?

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The internet is buzzing right now, and we have Drake and Kendrick Lamar at the center of it. Ever since their rap beef resurfaced on the internet, everyone has kept their ears to the ground eagerly awaiting the release of the next diss track. Notably, Drake and Kendrick have been involved in a rap feud since the early 2010s but it wasn’t until the release of “First Person Shooter,” a track on Drake’s “For All the Dogs” album featuring J. Cole last October, that all hell broke loose. In one verse, Cole suggested that he, Drake, and Kendrick were the “big three” of the current era of hip-hop

However, the feud escalated in March 2024 after the premiere of “Like That” by Future, Metro Boomin, and Kendrick. On this track, Kendrick ripped into Cole and Drake for suggesting they are on the same level. (Cole has since copped out of the feud). And, as expected, the fan base of Drake and Kendrick Lamar have gone above and beyond on social media, comparing the rappers to decide who reigns supreme.

 

At this point, nothing is off the table. Both rappers have gone at each other, track after track, but what particularly piqued our interest was a diss track Kendrick released on April 30, titled “Euphoria,” a possible reference to the HBO TV show of the same name where Drake is an executive producer. Here, Kendrick calls himself Drake’s “biggest hater,” before unleashing a tirade on the song. However, a lyric that particularly stood out to us was when he rapped, “…I hate the way that you dress.”

We’ve heard enough lyrical comparisons between Drake and Kendrick to last a decade! Let’s talk about their style… 

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Photo: @kendricklamarzz/Instagram
“I’m best-dressed moving forward,” Kendrick Lamar proclaimed on “The Hillbillies,” a 2023 track featuring Baby Keem. It wouldn’t normally be called into question when a rapper boasts about being stylish, but it is in the case of Kendrick, who has openly declared his hate for Drake’s style of dressing.

Although Drake has made it clear he isn’t obsessed with fashion in his song “Finesse,” in which he raps, “Fashion week is more your thing than mine,” the Canadian rapper knows how to effortlessly pull off dandy looks. The late Virgil Abloh said so himself in a 2019 interview with Vogue, “Drake is the pinnacle of contemporary artists and has the skill set to create an environment fulfilled by his set design. These characteristics support a perfect palette to create compelling new men’s silhouettes.”

Photo: Prince Williams/Wireimage
Both Drake and Kendrick are undisputed icons in the rap game. But when it comes to their wardrobes, the similarities are just as interesting as their differences. Sure, there are the core hip-hop staples that bind them, such as hoodies, graphic tees, baseball caps, and sneakers. This keeps them rooted in the genre while allowing room to showcase their unique style.

Kendrick Lamar vs. Drake: A fashion showdown

Kendrick often sports a more minimalist aesthetic, sticking to neutral colors and simple silhouettes, whereas, Drake tends to experiment with bolder prints and colors. However, they’ve both been known to rock high-end designer pieces. Kendrick has been spotted in Chanel, Gucci, and Prada, while Drake has a penchant for brands like Moncler and Burberry.

The difference in Drake’s and Kendrick’s style, however, goes beyond the superficial. One could think of Drake as a chameleon who adapts his look to stay relevant and stylish. He is more curated and trend-driven, often rocking the latest designer pieces and seeming to take inspiration from various sources, including UK grime fashion.

On the other hand, Kendrick pushes the boundaries with his intentional approach. His style feels more personal and authentic, reflecting his West Coast roots. His fashion choices seem less about chasing trends and more about expressing his personality.

The early days (2011-2015)

Started from the bottom: Drake

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Photo: Scott Legato/Getty Images
During his early years in the spotlight, Drake’s personal style was understandably not the rave among fashion critics, but it was certainly recognizable and fit the image he was cultivating as a young rapper on the rise. He captured the zeitgeist of the times, evolving his style alongside his music.

Photo: @gq/Instagram
Drake’s fashion sense was heavily influenced by the vibrant hip-hop scene in his hometown of Toronto. He embraced a streetwear aesthetic, often pairing graphic tees, hoodies, and baseball caps with dark denim and sneakers. Drake’s love for luxury brands also began to emerge during this period, as he started incorporating pieces from labels like Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Burberry into his ensembles. His collaboration with the OVO (October’s Very Own) brand, which he co-founded, also began to shape his style at this time.

Rooted in Compton: Kendrick

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Photo: Donna Ward/Getty Images
In his early appearances, coinciding with the release of his debut album “Section.80” in 2011, Kendrick’s fashion choices were ingrained in Compton’s hip-hop culture. His style embodied a laid-back West Coast vibe, featuring oversized jerseys, baggy jeans, and classic sneakers. In fact, Kendrick was already wearing Pyrex Vision hoodies weeks after Virgil Abloh introduced the brand in the early 2010s. He was dedicated to aesthetics that resonated with his commitment to authenticity. I ain’t rockin’ no more designer shit, White T’s and Nike Cortez, this red Corvette’s anonymous,” Kendrick declared on Big Sean’s 2013 track “Control.”

Sticking by his word, Kendrick’s looks typically steered away from big brand logos or ostentatious pieces from luxury houses. For instance, the outfit he wore for the premiere of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a testament to this: a Levi’s denim T-shirt, jeans, a New York Yankees baseball cap, and of course, a pair of all-white Chuck Taylor’s, keeping his style true to the West Coast.

Photo: Getty Images
With time passing, Kendrick began incorporating bucket hats and Champion apparel, in addition to the influence of the California gangster aesthetic. However, following the release of “To Pimp a Butterfly” in 2015, his fashion evolved. He embraced Afrofuturism, often incorporating African prints, blazers with dashikis, and other eclectic elements into his wardrobe.

Rise to stardom (2016-2020)

Style freestyle: Drake

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Photo; @upscalehype/Instagram
Undeniably, Drake loves to experiment with a wide range of looks until he finds what works. This approach allows him to embrace a more diverse range of styles, including athleisure fits, vintage finds, and high-fashion suits. Take Drake at the 2019 Grammys, where he accepted the award for Best Rap Song, donning a custom Tom Ford that included a grey windowpane suit, a retro turtleneck, and a diamond necklace.

Following the release of his critically acclaimed album “Views,” Drake continued his love affair with streetwear, but with an elevated touch. He replaced basic tees and hoodies with high-end labels like Off-White and Stone Island. But he didn’t stop there. He collaborated with Jordan Brand for the OVOXO x Jordan collection to create exclusive pieces that showcased his personal style and love for fashion.

Threads of rebellion: Kendrick

Photo: Erika Goldring/Getty Images
Gone are the baggy clothes of Kendrick’s earlier years. With a focus on the emerging Black designers at the time, Kendrick adopted graphic tees with relaxed tailoring. His fashion choices mirrored the rebellious spirit of his critically acclaimed album “DAMN.” This period marked a shift towards a more laid-back yet sophisticated look, reflecting his artistic maturity and evolving personality.

Additionally, Kendrick’s involvement in the “Black Panther” soundtrack of 2018 brought forth a new dimension to his fashion style. Influenced by the regal and Afrofuturistic themes of the movie, he incorporated royal headwear and cultural references into his attire.

A contender for the style crown (2021-Present)

Drake’s style

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Photo: @champagnepapi/Instagram
From his early days to date, Drake has consistently demonstrated his impeccable taste in fashion. He has transitioned from beaming ear-to-ear in bar mitzvah to donning high-end denim and luxury coordination. Today, Drake is known to rock puffer coats and shearling jackets by major fashion houses like Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and most especially Tom Ford.

“For Drake, Tom Ford has become a second skin,” says Drake’s stylist Mellany Sanchez about his 2019 Grammys look. “It is a brand he wears more often than he wears sportswear, more often than he wears anything else. It is a brand that he lives in.”

Photo: @champagnepapi/Instagram
Lately, Drake has developed an affinity for the baggy look. This is not surprising since he is known for notoriously hopping on fashion trends as they pop on his radar. He has equally been spotted experimenting with stacks of jewelry.

Kendrick’s style

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Photo: FilmMagic
While Kendrick isn’t typically put into the same spotlight when it comes to fashion, compared to artists like Tyler, the Creator and Playboi Carti, he has pulled off some great fits within the past decade. At the 60th Annual Grammy Awards, Kendrick performed wearing an archival Craig Green jacket from the British designer’s Spring/Summer 2015 collection.

Photo: Courtesy of Louis Vuitton
In addition, at the Pepsi Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show in 2022, he arrived in a Louis Vuitton suit from Virgil Abloh’s Fall/Winter 2022 collection, paired with jewelry from Tiffany & Co. This wasn’t the first time Tiffany & Co. came through for Kendrick. For his “Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers” album, the jewelry company made him a crown of thorns, embellished with 8000 diamonds. It was, and still is, Kendrick’s most iconic fashion statement.

Photo: @tiffanyandco/Instagram
We would be remiss not to mention Kendrick’s go-to designers who he name-drops on “The Hillbillies”: Grace Wales Bonner (I ain’t even gotta fact check, all I’m wearing is Wales Bonner) and Martine Rose (Wear Martine when I board jets). Any true fan of Kendrick would know he loves wearing Martin Rose. The London-based label was largely responsible for the fits he opted for in the Hillbillies music video.

Kings in their own right

drake-kendrick-lamar-fashion Drake and Kendrick Lamar represent two distinct ends of the hip-hop fashion spectrum. Drake, the trendsetter, drips in designer labels. Whereas, Kendrick, the conscious artist, prioritizes comfort and purpose over flash. Yet, both deserve recognition as kings in their respective realms. Drake’s influence on mainstream fashion is undeniable, while Kendrick uses clothing as a powerful tool for social commentary.

So, who is the king of fashion? The answer lies in your perspective. Do you value trendsetting swagger or purposeful expression? Ultimately, Drake and Kendrick Lamar remind us that fashion, like music, is a form of personal expression. They may rule different kingdoms, but both reign supreme in their own sphere.


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