Serena Williams Says ‘Not Like Us’ Is The ‘Hit Of The Summer’

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – JULY 06: Serena Williams speaks onstage during the 2024 ESSENCE Festival Of Culture™ Presented By Coca-Cola® at Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on July 06, 2024 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images for ESSENCE)

Serena Williams declared Kendrick Lamar’s “Not Like Us” the “hit of the summer” during her panel at ESSENCE Fest 2024. Speaking on July 6, Williams expressed her love for the song despite initial hesitations from moderator Cari Champion to discuss it.

“I love that song. It’s like the hit of the summer. When they play that jam, I’m jamming. That jam is jamming,” Williams shared enthusiastically.

Williams also praised Lamar’s Juneteenth Pop Out concert. “You definitely Crip walking in that song. It’s so cool what he did though. Bringing everyone to the stage? That was incredible… I couldn’t believe it,” she added. This performance featured peaceful harmony between different sets on stage, which left a lasting impression on Williams.

Serena Williams History with Drake

Williams’ reaction to “Not Like Us” has roots in her past with Drake. Rumors of a romantic involvement between the two date back to 2011. Drake once tweeted, “@serenawilliams I cannot wait to put it on you and make you sweat……….during our match this weekend.” The rumors intensified in 2015 when TMZ caught them making out.

However, Williams married Alexis Ohanian in 2017, and by 2022, Drake was throwing shots at the couple. On his track “Middle of the Ocean,” Drake rapped, “Sidebar, Serena, your husband a groupie/ He claim we don’t got a problem but/ No, boo, it is like you comin’ for sushi.”

Ohanian responded with an epic tweet, “The reason I stay winning is because I’m relentless about being the absolute best at whatever I do—including being the best groupie for my wife & daughter.”

Kendrick Lamar name-dropped Serena in “Not Like Us” as an added jab at Drake. The song’s powerful message and connection to Williams have resonated deeply, making it a summer anthem.

Reflections on Compton

During the ESSENCE Fest panel, Williams also reminisced about growing up in Compton. “Growing up in Compton was a special time. I mean, we grew up around the time it was Dr. Dre and Eazy-E,” she recalled. “And then Snoop Dogg was in Lynwood, which is literally the next street over from where we lived in Compton.”

Williams highlighted the cultural significance of her upbringing. “It’s crazy like how small that was and, and all these amazing artists and athletes all coming out from this one tiny city that just means so much,” she continued. “So it’s just really cool memories and just really cool things to look back on.”