‘Toy Story’ Legend Tom Hanks Joins Kendrick Lamar/Drake Controversy

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A composite image featuring three individuals. On the left, a man holding a microphone performs on stage. In the center, a different man in a suit looks directly at the camera. On the right, another individual with a microphone performs on stage, wearing sunglasses and a cap reminiscent of Kendrick Lamar's style.

Credit: Inside the Magic

“This town ain’t big enough for the two of us”, is a line that Tom Hanks famously performed in Toy Story as Woody, and now, it lends quite perfectly to the ongoing Kendrick Lamar/Drake controversy that has been sweeping the internet for weeks.

Woody (Tom Hanks) and Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) looking shocked in 'Toy Story 4'
Credit: Disney / Pixar

The hip-hop world has been captivated by a fiery and escalating conflict between two of its modern titans: Kendrick Lamar and Drake. The catalyst for this war of words was Lamar’s song “Not Like Us,” released on May 4th, 2024. In it, Lamar makes a serious but unsubstantiated accusation about Drake’s conduct with young women, a claim that has resonated globally. Drake, one of music’s biggest stars, vehemently denies the allegation.

“Not Like Us” is just one piece of a complex puzzle, a nine-track saga of escalating accusations and denials. The lyrical battleground spans topics as diverse as domestic violence, hidden children, and even pedophilia with Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown, with none of the allegations backed by concrete evidence. The sheer speed of the back-and-forth has left some observers struggling to keep up.

The feud’s origins trace back to Lamar’s verse on “Like That” by Future and Metro Boomin. Drake fired back with “Push Ups,” a track that belittles Lamar’s accomplishments and legendary status within the rap community. This track has since garnered over 70 million streams on Spotify.

Drake’s controversial “Taylor Made Freestyle” further stoked the flames. This song utilized AI-generated voices of two of Lamar’s revered figures – Snoop Dogg and the late Tupac Shakur – to taunt Lamar into a response.

Additionally, Drake suggested Lamar’s hesitance to reply stemmed from a fear of disrupting Taylor Swift’s new album release, implying that Lamar’s career decisions were dictated by his label head. The message was clear: Drake held Lamar, widely considered a rap legend, in low regard.

Credit: CNN, X

Related: Emergency Report: Millie Bobby Brown in Danger Following Drake Pedophile Allegation, Shooting Confirmed

Anticipation for Lamar’s response hung heavy in the air, with some fans questioning his commitment to the fight given his silence. He finally countered with “Euphoria,” a track that casts doubt on Drake’s parenting skills, questions rumors of plastic surgery, and criticizes his use of AI.

The raw emotion fueling Lamar’s delivery resonated with fans, with lines like “I hate the way that you walk, the way that you talk, I hate the way that you dress” highlighting the depth of his disdain towards Drake. The song’s impact was such that it was even incorporated into a TikTok video for President Biden’s re-election campaign.

Lamar’s follow-up, “6:16 In LA,” introduced a new tactic: suspicion within Drake’s own camp. He ponders the possibility that Drake’s label, OVO, is secretly working for him, suggesting a web of internal dissent aimed at undermining Drake’s reputation. This one-two punch from Lamar had fans fearing that Drake might be cornered.

However, Drake refused to back down. His response, “Family Matters,” took a dark turn, attacking Lamar’s family unit. Specifically, Drake claimed that Lamar’s son was actually fathered by his creative partner, Dave Free, and alluded to Lamar being physically abusive towards his wife, Whitney Alford.

The lyrics, referencing Lamar’s height difference compared to his wife, were particularly unsettling. Drake’s tactic of bringing Lamar’s family into the fray pushed the boundaries of what many considered acceptable in a rap battle.

Drake in the music video for "Hotline Bling"
Credit: Cash Money/Young Money/Republic

While the genre traditionally embraces lyrical confrontation with few limitations, some felt that Drake’s latest salvo crossed a line. Despite Lamar’s denial of the abuse allegation, the feud had entered a territory that made many observers feel uneasy.

Lamar’s response, “Meet The Grahams,” directly addressed Drake’s son Adonis, his mother Sandra, his father Dennis, and a rumored secret daughter (denied by Drake). In a surprisingly calm and almost therapeutic tone, Lamar accuses Drake of gambling problems, excessive drinking, pill dependence, and extravagant spending.

He also highlights Drake’s alleged use of the diabetic medication Ozempic for weight loss. Here, Lamar paints a picture of Drake being a deeply troubled individual who is far from the image he cultivates.

Later that same day, Lamar dropped “Not Like Us,” the song that ignited the entire feud. This track is packed with explosive accusations, including calling Drake a “certified pedophile” and suggesting he would be targeted for violence in prison. Despite the inflammatory nature of the song, it captured the world’s attention and soared to the number-one spot on Spotify’s global chart, with over 57 million streams within days of its release.

“Not Like Us” may be the final chapter in this saga, as Drake’s subsequent “The Heart Part 6” appears to be his last rebuttal. Both rappers seem ready to move on.

Naturally, the battle lines have been drawn by fans, each proclaiming their favorite artist as the victor. Many celebrate the lyrical prowess showcased throughout the feud.

tom hanks in saving private ryan
Credit: DreamWorks Pictures

So, what does Mr. Tom Hanks have to do with it all?

Tom Hanks is a powerhouse in the acting world, renowned for his ability to bring both comedic and dramatic characters to life. He’s captivated audiences in films like Forrest Gump (winning the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of the endearingly simple man), Philadelphia (another Best Actor win for his role as a lawyer battling AIDS discrimination), and Saving Private Ryan (where he led a WWII rescue mission).

Hanks’ voice acting is legendary too, having given life to the beloved Woody in the Toy Story franchise. He’s also faced challenges like surviving on a deserted island in Cast Away and navigating a near-space disaster in Apollo 13. Throughout his career, Hanks has amassed an impressive collection of awards, including two Academy Awards for Best Actor, solidifying his place as one of Hollywood’s most respected and decorated actors.

Hanks has recently had his text messages with his son Chet Hanks go viral. Film Updates shared the texts

Chet’s enthusiasm for the rap feud was evident in his lengthy explanation, a true testament to his inner rap nerd. However, Tom’s response (“Holy cow! These are fighting words. People taking sides?? Who’s winning??”) suggests Chet might have gotten a little carried away, perhaps losing sight of the bigger picture.

To that, Chet simply said … “Did you not just read what I said” — which seems to suggest to people Kendrick is winning or won the battle, in his opinion.

Chet Hanks, the 33-year-old son of Hollywood power couple Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, is no stranger to the spotlight. While he acknowledges the privilege of his upbringing (“very blessed”), he’s also spoken openly about the challenges of growing up in the shadow of such famous parents (“double-edged sword”).

Chet has carved his own path in the entertainment industry, pursuing careers in both music and acting. However, his journey hasn’t been without controversy. In 2021, he faced criticism for downplaying the seriousness of COVID-19, a virus that personally impacted his parents. Additionally, his use of a Jamaican Patois accent has drawn scrutiny, particularly during a 2022 interview with comedian Ziwe.

Tom Hanks will soon return to the role of Woody in Toy Story 5, which is set to release June 19, 2026.

Who do you think won the battle? Kendrick or Drake?

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