Kendrick Lamar Samples Al Green in Tense Drake Diss Track: A Music Industry Stir

Kendrick Lamar Samples Al Green in Tense Drake Diss Track: A Music Industry Stir May, 3 2024

Introduction to the Controversial Diss Track

The latest strike in the ongoing feud between two of hip-hop's titans, Kendrick Lamar and Drake, comes in the form of a meticulously crafted diss track titled '6:16 in LA'. Released on May 3, 2024, this track not only elevates the lyrical altercation but also brings into play the legacy of soul music, sampling Al Green's iconic track 'What a Wonderful Thing Love Is'. This song, a classic in its own right, adds a textured layer to the diss, linking past musical heritage to present disputes.

The Significance of Al Green's Sample

Al Green’s original song, produced by Willie Mitchell, was a significant track from his 1972 album I'm Still in Love With You. It resonated with audiences widely, peaking at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 and becoming a staple in soul music collections. The decision to sample such a notable song brings a profound depth to Kendrick’s message in '6:16 in LA', intertwining love’s complexities with the harsh realities of rap rivalries. This is not the track’s first flirtation with hip-hop; it was previously sampled by Kanye West in 2004 on his track 'Out the Game'.

The Production Team Behind the Controversy

Kendrick Lamar collaborated with Sounwave and Jack Antonoff to produce this track, ensuring a blend of diverse musical influences and high-quality production. Antonoff, known for his penetrating pop and indie sensibilities, alongside Sounwave, a cornerstone of Lamar’s signature sound, highlights the strategic musical orchestration aimed at intensifying the track’s impact.

The Stakes of Sample Clearance

The inclusion of Al Green's sample has stirred anticipation not just among fans but also regarding legal clearing aspects. While the sample’s clearance status remains in limbo, the excitement it has generated points to the crucial role such clearances play in modern music production. Fans have vigorously appealed for the clearance of the sample for commercial use, indicating a strong connection to the original work and its significance in this new context.

The Familial Connection to Drake

Adding to the track's layered meanings is Drake’s familial connection to the original 1972 song. Drake’s relative, Mabon 'Teenie' Hodges, was the guitarist on the original track, which nuances the sample choice with a personal twist, linking past personal ties to current musical battles.

Response and Reactions

The release of '6:16 in LA' follows previous interactions in the ongoing feud, signaled by tracks like 'Push Ups' and the 'Taylor Made' freestyle. The community and fans are now on edge, awaiting Drake’s musical response to this bold move by Kendrick Lamar. This scenario amplifies the track’s reception, examining how personal history, musical heritage, and competitive creativity converge in modern hip-hop narratives.


This diss track does not only serve as a testament to the turbulent dynamics between Kendrick Lamar and Drake but also as a homage to musical forefathers like Al Green. As the industry and fans watch keenly, the implications of this track will unfold, setting new precedents in the music industry's handling of legacy, creativity, and rivalry.