Kendrick Lamar's incendiary verse on Big Sean's "Control" had rappers stumbling backward from the impact. Now, the Compton rapper opens up for the first time about his explosive lyrics, which called out nearly a dozen of his peers, from Drake to J. Cole.
“Honestly I didn’t know there would be so much speculation behind it,” K. Dot said to radio station Power 106 on Wednesday, clearly surprised by the reaction to his words. “I just wanted to rap. Anybody that knows me doing music, I wanna just rap.”
Kendrick also rubbed some MCs the wrong way when he declared himself the “king of New York” on the track. “I think that’s the case right there of maybe I just dumbed down my lyrics just a little bit,” he responded.
The rapper, who was a guest of Jay Z and Diddy's at a VMAs after party in NYC on Sunday night, added: “The irony of that line is the people that actually understood it and got it was the actual kings of New York." He continued, “You know, me sitting down with them this past week and them understanding that it’s not about actually being the king of whatever coast. It’s about leaving a mark as great as Biggie, as great as ‘Pac.”
Even those directly in Kendrick's line of fire have to agree that the Southern Cali rapper knows what he's doing with a mic. His disses have inspired a flood of response tracks from rappers ranging from Shyne to Lupe Fiasco and have enthralled fans thirsty for the kinds of MC battles that dominated hip hop a decade ago. Battle lines were drawn on Twitter as well, with rappers taking sides just minutes after the track dropped.
"Control" is a leftover from Sean's Hall of Fame album, not included in the track listing ostensibly due to clearance and copyright issues from its samples. Ironically, it has already become the most impactful thing about Sean's sophomore release, which hit stores on Tuesday (Aug. 27).
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