7 PR Lessons We Can Learn From The Drake And Meek Mill Beef
Unless you've been living under a rock for the past week, I'm fully confident you're aware of the recent rap feud that sent the Internet into a frenzy.
Just in case you were living under the aforementioned rock, here's a quick recap of everything that happened.
Last Wednesday, Meek Mill accused Drizzy of using ghostwriters via Twitter:
This tweet was in response to Meek being upset over Drake not promoting Meek's recent album, Dreams Worth More Than Money.
Drake later responded with a diss track titled, "Charged Up." Meek didn't respond.
Drake then dropped another diss track, "Back To Back." This caused an onslaught of memes, and many already declared Drake the winner at this point. But, the Internet (read: Meek fans) patiently waited for Meek to respond.
Meek finally ended his week-long silence on Friday with his response to Drake, titled "Wanna Know."
That response was the nail in the coffin for Meek.
Drake didn't bother with a formal response, but he made his thoughts known when he posted this (captionless) photo to his Instagram a few hours after the release of Meek's track:
The flood of memes continues, and they weren't only limited to only Drake fans. Several major corporations got involved in the "Meek mockery."
Even the Undertaker, whose soundtrack Meek Mill sampled in his track, had some words for Meek:
Disrespectful. Using my entrance as a written song ? Are you that's pathetic , or are you Drake's bitch? — The Undertaker (@WWEMarkWCalaway) July 31, 2015
While all of this was fun and games for the fans and an extremely hilarious moment in rap history, there are some key lessons we can learn from how Drake handled this whole situation.
I've always believed Drake knows how to deal with haters, but he really proved his ability to do so over the past week (ghostwriter or not).
1. Don't Rest On Your Laurels
Meek began this whole debacle with a tweet, and he probably didn't even expect it to turn into what it did.
Maybe he was feeling himself because he had just dropped a number one album, and he was (rumors of Nicki Minaj dumping him are going around) dating one of the hottest women in the rap scene.
Whatever the case, Drake didn't mess around with petty tweets. He did what he does best: rap. He took it straight to the booth, and he dropped a response within a few days of Meek's initial tweet.
2. Image Is Everything
It takes years to build an image and credibility, and it can be destroyed within a few hours in this hyperconnected world of social media. Everything has the ability to spread like wildfire.
Meek clearly thought he was immune to this, and he quickly realized he wasn't.
If you're going to call someone out or soil someone's reputation for the sake of selling a few more albums or gaining more "airtime," be prepared for the repercussions.
Drake did what he needed to do to protect his image. And he's only solidified his image further.
He's running the rap game, and he sent a message to everyone else.
3. Don't Ask For Trouble, But Be Prepared For It
In an interview with Angie Martinez, Drake said he expects people to fire shots at him.
That's the nature of the rap game and life. People lower in the food chain will try to call out the big fish to get their own names out there because controversy and "beef" sells. The public loves it.
'There's a reason they don't call my name. I'm not the guy."
Drake implied he isn't someone you want to take shots at, but he is "ready."
Drake doesn't spend his time trying to take shots at other rappers just to get a few retweets. However, while he may not look for trouble, he let us know he sure will take care of his business if it comes down to it.
4. Destroy Your Enemy Completely
If you've read Robert Greene's magnum opus , "The 48 Laws Of Power," you'll be familiar with this "law."
"The 48 Laws Of Power" is essentially the rap game Bible. Even 50 Cent admitted taking heed of some of the laws as he plotted his climb to the top of the rap game , and it's also what lead to the "The 50th Law," the follow-up book that was co-authored by 50 Cent.
Drake could have waited for Meek to respond after he dropped the first track, "Charged Up," but he was not about to wait around and give Meek any chance of making a comeback.
He dropped the second record, "Back To Back," three days later, capitalizing on the attention he had already garnered from the first diss record. He ultimately sealed Meek's demise with this track.
To quote the law from "The 48 Laws Of Power":
"All great leaders since Moses have known that a feared enemy must be crushed completely. (Sometimes they have learned this the hard way.) If one ember is left alight, no matter how dimly it smolders, a fire will eventually break out.More is lost through stopping halfway than through total annihilation: The enemy will recover, and will seek revenge. Crush him, not only in body but in spirit."
Boy, did Drake do just that.
5. Involve The Fans
We're living in the age of social media. While beef was only between rappers in the past, these days, the fans want to have a part in the action.
Drake leveraged this brilliantly. He dropped "quotable bars" that the Internet world leeched onto and turned into memes. The memes then spread from person to person, through all forms of social media, like wildfire.
In the end, Drake didn't do much. If you step back and look at it, the fans and the Internet "buried" Meek, not Drake.
Drake just planted the seed, stepped back and watched.
6. Be True To You
Drake didn't respond in some wannabe "thug" fashion with empty threats about murder and shooting up neighborhoods. He responded in the typical Drake fashion we know and love.
This worked in two ways:
1. It showed people that what Meek said didn't really phase him. It was almost like he found the whole accusation a joke.
2. It made his response that much more credible. Fans listened and knew he wasn't attempting to act like a thug or be someone he wasn't. He responded exactly how we expected him to: utilizing humor and wit.
7. Don't Reveal Too Much
Up until this point, Drake hadn't really been involved in any beef. When other rappers took shots at him, he ignored it.
Drake even rapped, "Diss me, and you'll never hear a reply for it" in "Successful."
People began questioning if Drake was able to handle himself in this situation.
You shouldn't be showing everyone your true potential. Give them a sample at times, like Drake did with Meek, but for the most part, you should have an air of mystery about you.
This element of surprise will catch your enemy off-guard.