Bill Maher Asks “Where’s The Beef” About Reasons For Kendrick Lamar/Drake Feud

TV

Forget the wars in the Middle East and Ukraine. Bill Maher spent the first segment of Friday’s Real Time asking about a cultural battle – the feud between rappers Drake and Kendrick Lamar.

To explain the war of words, Maher brought in Michael Eric Dyson, a professor at Vanderbilt University and author of the book Unequal: A Story of America.

Dyson blamed the feud on a personality clash. “Kendrick Lamar didn’t like the fact that Drake was who he was,” a resentment dating back years. It kept brewing until it “blew up in one particular song,” which was Like That, a 2024 collaboration by Future, Metro Boomin, and Lamar.

Dyson said verbal battles are not unusual in the Black community. He pointed out that Drake, a Canadian, has been accused of being a “culture vulture” who is not socially conscious. “So his Blackness was put into question,” Dyson said.

Dyson was also asked to comment on the shocking video of music mogul P. Diddy assaulting his girlfriend in a hotel.

“We live in a culture of vitriol toward women,” said Dyson, but said that shouldn’t be conflated with the misogyny present in some hip-hop. He condemned the Diddy action, and said it represents the inability to see someone as a human being.

The panel portion of the show featured Nellie Bowles, author of the new book Morning After the Revolution: Dispatches from the Wrong Side of History, and a founder of The Free Press, and Pamela Paul, author and opinion columnist at The New York Times.

The conversation started with the upcoming June debate between President Joe Biden and Donald Trump. Maher marveled at a June debate in the race, taking it as a sign that Biden is losing.

Paul jumped in: “But they’re not getting any younger.”

Bowles advocated for pre-debate drug testing, while Maher noted that it should be a contest about which elderly candidate can hold out longest before needing a bathroom break.

Maher brought up a recent college speech by Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker, who became “the greatest monster in history” by advocating for women to consider motherhood and a family as well as a career.

“I can’t express how much he’s not like me,” said Maher, but added, “I don’t see what the big crime is.”

Bowles said that it’s upsetting because “there aren’t great positive masculine role models within liberalism.”

Maher said that he finds it ironic that the same college kids who find Butker’s speech abhorrent are demonstrating for Hamas, which advocates enforcement of traditional gender roles.

Social media came into blame for that lack of understanding of Harrison’s speech. Paul said the divide between men and women is caused because with women, social media advocates victimization, while with men, it’s about power and fighting back and winning. “The right is good at stoking that,” she said, but “liberals aren’t taking about how to empower boys and men.”

Maher’s New Rules editorial focused on how historians of the future will view today’s society, riven as it is by separation on so many issues.

“Historians will disagree – they won’t see red on one side and blue on another,” Maher said. “Historians see the character of a people as a whole.” That means bridging the gulf where each side in America now considers the other an existential threat.

“How hard is it to meet in the middle and not to be stupid about shit,” Maher said, getting in a plug. “That’s what my book is about!”

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