They’re a direct quote from none other than Jay-Z, referring to his Roc-a-Fella team way back in 2000.Jay and Rihanna have a long-standing business relationship.It was Jay, as president of Def Jam, who originally signed Rihanna to a major label, Rihanna premiered on Tidal last year, and she continues to be managed by Roc Nation.Of course, Rihanna’s no pawn: If she went along with Jay and Kendrick’s scheme and linked up with Drake last year just to betray him and make eyes at Kendrick, it was for her own reasons.Meek took a loss as fleeting as the memes that originally did him in, but the damage to Drake’s reputation was permanent.
But the fact that they’re in such intimate proximity, that they’re sweet on each other, seems designed to send a message.
In terms of street cred and lyricism (the other two traditional criteria in a rap beef), Kendrick was already dominant.
With figures on his side, it’s beyond dispute: He’s topped Drake, who last year seemed bigger than ever, and he did it without ever calling him out directly.
Her affection for Drake is real, but her tolerance for his self-serving antics is low; it’s conceivable that she wants to reduce him to a manageable level.
Drake has always been, behind the mild demeanor, uncommonly insolent: He was throwing little shots at Jay (“I’m just feeling like The Throne is for the taking, watch me take it”) even back when Jay was lending him cosigns.
The video, like the song, like the album on which the song features, seems to be quietly decisive.