Dua Lipa Tackles Kendrick Lamar and Drake Beef During ‘Saturday Night Live‘ Hosting Stint

Are you confused by the headlines about the ongoing battle of diss tracks between Canadian bra collector Drake and Pulitzer winner Kendrick Lamar? You’re not alone, Dua Lipa suggested as host and musical guest at Saturday Night Live. Portraying a local TV morning show culture critic named Wanda Weems, Lipa tried—and arguably failed—to explain the roots of the dispute using the sort of visual aid one might expect to depict an international conspiracy or the work of a serial killer.

The dispute between the former collaborators has been brewing since 2013, when Lamar’s verse in Big Sean‘s song “Control” appeared to target Drake, among other members of the music community. Things rapidly escalated last month, when the pair began to trade competing tracks listing grievances against the other, as well as alleging misconduct and other crimes.

See how easy that was? Then again, I’m not a staffer at Good Morning Greenville, the fictional local broadcast morning show that SNL sent up in its most recent episode. In the sketch, Mikey Day and Heidi Gardner provide disturbingly accurate renditions of the kind of jocular yet frightening folks who host these shows. Citing (sic throughout) “Kanye, Two Pack, Shoop Dog, As Soon as Possible Rocky” as rappers who’ve been mixed into the beef “like they were chopped onions and cayenne pepper,” Day’s host asks, “Why can’t I be Team Rap in general?”

Meanwhile, Gardner’s character asks “And where does Wayne Brady stand? Has he responded?”

After Derek the weatherman (Devon Walker) declines to participate, a southern-accented Dua Lipa steps in. After admitting that she’s qualified to evaluate the situation as she’s an elementary school piano teacher, Lipa steps in front of a board strewn with photos, objects, and cross-pinned stretches of yarn.

What follows is an explanation that’s just accurate enough to be dangerous, punctuated by cancel-worthy questions from the hosts. The whole thing ends with a satirically racist puppet show and a threatened use of a racial slur.

Would I be laughing at this sketch a bit more if I haven’t heard many of the remarks from this sketch expressed unironically in recent days by actual real people who exist in the world? Perhaps! That truth is probably what makes it a pretty solid sketch, but it’s also what makes it slightly painful to watch.

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