Uber & Lyft: Hitting the Brakes (For Now)

This week’s edition covers stories 
from April 11th to April 17th, 2024.

Today’s issue is 1012words, a 8-minute read.

Good Morning folks, Happy Thursday! Mateo here,

For much of the last couple decades, the Timberwolves have missed the playoffs, leaving the Target Center bare, missing the enthusiastic Minnesota fans who passionately await a championship. But things have changed in MN, for the better, as the Wolves have made the playoffs for the third season in a row, securing home court advantage for the first round along the way. I expect downtown Minneapolis to be electric on Saturday, when the Suns come into town to play Game 1. You won’t have to worry about Uber or Lyft throughout the playoffs, either, as they delayed their exit from Minneapolis until July 1st, and the playoffs will be over by then. Lucky for us, when the Wolves season ends, we have the Lynx to look forward to. Did you know that there are only 12 teams in the WNBA? With the increasing appeal (which I will discuss more later), the commissioner has announced plans to expand the league. Exciting news!

A message that Lyft sent to Minneapolis area users on April 11th, 2024.

Over the last couple of months, we have kept you posted on the ongoing Uber/Lyft situation in Minneapolis. As a reminder, Uber and Lyft had previously announced plans to stop service in Minneapolis on May 1st. Last week, Minneapolis City Council agreed to delay the pay raise two months, until July 1st. This extra time will allow other ride-share companies more time to prepare for what they believe is an inevitable Uber and Lyft exit from Minneapolis. They will also attempt to pass statewide laws on pay for rideshare drivers. With the delay, the rideshare companies (Uber and Lyft) agreed to continue operations until July 1st. The situation is ongoing, and we will make sure to keep you posted on how it could continue to evolve the transportation landscape in Minneapolis.

Drake and Rick Ross in 2013. Rick Ross recently dissed Drake. 📸 | Photo: Johnny Nunez/WireImage

It’s impossible to discuss music right now without acknowledging the ongoing beef between Drake and Kendrick Lamar, two of the biggest names in rap. For years, they have coexisted through their successes, without problems. But one song changed everything. In October 2023, Drake released “For All The Dogs”, his eighth studio album. The third most popular song on the album, currently with over 280 million streams on Spotify, was a collaboration with J. Cole called “First Person Shooter”. On this track, J. Cole compares himself to Drake and Lamar as the “big three.” “Love when they argue the hardest MC,” he raps. “Is it K-Dot? Is it Aubrey? Or me?/We the big three like we started a league, but right now, I feel like Muhammad Ali.” At first, that didn’t seem to cause any issues. But in late March, Kendrick responded with a feature on Future and Metro Boomin’s “We Don’t Trust You”. In a clear reference to “First Person Shooter” Kendrick raps: “motherf— the big three,” and “it’s just big me.” He continues with direct shots at Drake, and so the beef truly begins.

J. Cole apologized to Kendrick at the 2024 Dreamville Music Festival on April 07, 2024 📸 Astrida Valigorsky | WIREIMAGE

Two weeks later, J. Cole dropped a surprise album, “Might Delete Later,” which included a Kendrick diss track titled “7 Minute Drill”. Only days later, Cole walked back the diss and took the song off streaming services. Since then, the beef has gone in several directions. A Drake response track has surfaced on the internet, Future and Metro Boomin dropped a deluxe album titled “We Still Don’t Trust You”, and even Rick Ross has gotten involved, releasing a Drake diss. As a longtime listener of these artists, this has all been very strange, while exciting to watch. As a result of this beef, we are getting some awesome tracks, but at what cost? It becomes more and more unlikely that these artists will ever collaborate again. For instance, Drake and Rick Ross have been releasing classic songs together, like Money in the GraveI’m On One, and Aston Martin Music, dating back to 2010. After this, I would be surprised if they released another song together, which is unfortunate.

Former University of Kentucky teammates Devin Booker (left) and Karl-Anthony Towns (right) have played against each other many times, but never in the playoffs. This is the first playoff series, ever, between Phoenix and Minnesota. 📸 Barry Gossage | NBAE via Getty Images

The Minnesota Timberwolves officially finished 56-26, closing the season as the 3-seed in the Western Conference. This means they will play against the 6-seed Phoenix Suns, led by future Hall-of-Famer Kevin Durant and star guard Devin Booker. While the Wolves have amounted to more wins and have the advantage of the first two games being here in Minnesota, the Suns are favored to win by Vegas. The Western Conference has been an absolute bloodbath this year, with significant movement around the standings throughout the season. The reigning Denver Nuggets champions are the favorite to represent the West in the finals, but many believe they are just as beatable as any other team. Wolves fans are hopeful that the return of all-star Karl-Anthony Towns, which brings them to full strength again, will propel a strong playoff push, and even maybe a trip to the NBA finals. But first, they must conquer the Suns, who lost in the NBA finals just three years ago, and are looking to make another strong run this year. The first game of the seven-game series is at 2:30 PM this Saturday, the 20th, at the Target Center, and will be aired on ESPN.

Caitlin Clark was selected by the Indiana Fever with the #1 overall pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft. 📸 | Brian Babineau | NBAE via Getty Images

In other hoops news, the WNBA draft, headlined by Caitlin Clark, absolutely smashed viewing records this year, averaging around 2.5 million viewers throughout the draft, and peaking at 3.1 million viewers. The previous record was 600,000, dating back to Diana Taurasi’s draft in 2004, 20 years ago. In a selection that surprised absolutely no one, the Indiana Fever selected Caitlin Clark first overall and subsequently sold out every size of Clark’s #22 Fever jersey. Other March Madness favorites Kamilla Cardoso, Angel Reese, and Kate Martin, among others, also celebrated getting drafted, and will look forward to competing against each other this summer. Minnesota native Paige Bueckers deferred her draft entry, opting to return to UCONN for one more season, and will undoubtedly be a top choice in the 2025 draft. This season should be massive for the WNBA, as they capitalize off the increasingly growing appeal to women’s basketball. The season kicks off on May 14th.

Stay informed, stay connected. 

See you next week! 

-Mateo and the NewPrensa team

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