Haley Joel Osment's Euphoria Lyric Explained - Kendrick Lamar's AI Diss Breakdown

By Klein Felt Posted:
Haley Joel Osment in AI, Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar's Drake diss track, "Euphoria," includes several pop culture references, including one to child actor Haley Joel Osment and his appearance in Steven Speilberg's A.I.

Since late March, hip-hop artists Kendrick Lamar and Drake have been engaging in a very public beef. This has included diss tracks being passed back and forth between the rappers as the pair of musicians throw lyrical barbs at one another. 

The latest of these came in Lamar's "Euphoria" track, which was surprisingly released on April 30, as the rapper spends more than six minutes going at the Degrassi-star-turned-hip-hop-icon. 

Kendrick Lamar's Haley Joel Osment Lyric Explained

Hayley Joel Osment as David in AI Artificial Intelligence
Warner Bros.

As a part of Kendrick Lamar's "Euphoria," the rapper referenced the movie A.I. Artificial Intelligence and its young star, Haley Joel Osment. 

Lamar - who is known for his intricate rhyme schemes and multi-layered lyrical quips - called out Osment as a part of his recently released Drake diss track, calling the Toronto-based rapper out for his use of AI. 

On "Euphoria," the Compton, California native raps:

"Am I battlin' ghost or AI? N**** feelin' like Joel Osteen. Funny, he was in a film called 'A.I.' 

This short set of bars is aimed at Drake's use of AI to write new verses featuring hip-hop legends like Tupac Shakar and Snoop Dogg on his Kendrick diss track, "Taylor Made Freestyle."

He does this while distorting the pronunciation of Joel Osteen to sound like Haley Joel Osment, clearly alluding to the former child star.

Osteen is a well-known pastor from Houston, Texas who has infamously been impersonated many times, further playing into Lamar's AI angle.

The mixing up of Osteen and Osment's names could be a reference to Lamar's confusion about who he is beefing with after Drake brought in AI voices to his last diss track against the rapper.

Osment famously starred in the 2001 Steven Speilberg movie A.I. Artificial Intelligence which is what Lamar is pointing to when he says, "Funny, he was in a film called A.I." In the film, Osment plays a robotic boy who is adopted by human parents and is misunderstood by the greater world as a potential danger to humanity.

The reference then goes further in the next line. Lamar alludes to the complications that come to Osment's character in A.I. as his killing machine capabilities are revealed:

"And my sixth sense tellin' me to off him. I'ma blick n*****, all in they coffin."

He uses the phrase "my sixth sense tellin' me to off him" as a double meaning alluding to one's inner voice as well as the name of the 1999 M. Night Shyamalan film, The Sixth Sense, in which Haley Joel Osment also appeared. 

This Osment Sixth Sense metaphor holds even more meaning, as Lamar starts the bar with "Am I battlin' ghost or AI," which some have speculated is the rapper tipping his hat to Osment's famous line from the Bruce Willis-led thriller, "I see dead people" (aka ghosts).

"Euphoria" is streaming now on all major music streaming platforms. 

- About The Author: Klein Felt
Klein Felt is a Senior Editor at The Direct. Joining the website back in 2020, he helped jumpstart video game content on The Direct. Klein plays a vital role as a part of the site's content team, demonstrating expertise in all things PlayStation, Marvel, and the greater entertainment industry.