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So everybody and his deejay have been going bat shit crazy over a Kendrick Lamar verse. More specifically, his verse on Big Sean’s Control which dropped on Monday. The track also features Jay Electronica, but very few people, if any, are talking about Big Sean’s or his verse. In fact, Big Sean is all set to become a new term for skipping over, fast forwarding, or missing out entirely, which might be unfair, if he was anything but the entirely average rapper that he is.
So whats all the hype about? Well, the highest profile rapper straight outta Compton since Cube and Eazy has a few lines that have been stirring things up a little. Calling himself the King of New York? Check. Name dropping a host of other artists full well knowing at least one of them will catch feelings about it? Check. Laying down a challenge to other rappers to step their game up? Chiggedy-check that too. This is the first time for ages that the whole of Hip Hop seems to be talking about one verse. I can’t remember the last time that happened. Maybe Eminem’s verse on Jigga’s Renegades? That was way back in 2001, and there’s no other verse that springs to mind straight away.
So does it deserve the hype? If you haven’t heard it yet, hit the soundcloud link below. Someone’s kindly Big Sean’d the Big Sean verse already for you:
Yep, its a fiery verse. Kendrick’s voice sounds different here to the way he sounded on Good Kid M.A.A.D City. Like he’s chain smoked his way through a pack of twenty gold Bensons and guzzled a six pack of Red Bull. Its good to hear some passion from an obviously talented rapper, but The Game’s been calling out rappers regularly for years now. Maybe its because Kendrick is still a relatively new addition to the Hip Hop scene, and some of the names he’s dropped, Pusha T for example, have earned their stripes. Maybe thats what provoked it. Maybe he feels that some of these rappers are resting on their laurels just a little bit too easily. But then again, maybe the name calling isn’t a real diss anyway? I mean, he’s dropped Jay Electronica and Big Sean himself in there alongside J Cole, Meek Millz and the others, and surely he’s not gonna ether the guys on the track with him? I mean, that would be unsporting at the least, and you could imagine one of them throwing an LL Cool J style 4,3,2,1 strop and the track being fatally altered before it saw the light of day. But Big Sean’s put it out there, so obviously he’s not too bothered about the name calling on there.
The King of New York thing? Well, that might piss a few people off. Those folks over the pond have proved themselves to be a little testy over the years when it comes to territorial dominance which takes in Biggie and Pac, Dogg Pound and CNN, all the way back to the American Civil War I guess, so even if Lamar’s jibe was just a throwaway thing, there is always going to be someone in NYC ready to bite.
“Little homie you ain’t the king of New York / You the next thing on my fork” < Joell Ortiz – Outta Control
So I guess we’ll feel the reverberations from this track for a little while yet. I’ve already deleted several terrible versions of Control from rappers who should probably reconsider the whole music thing, let alone go at this track. There is no doubt its got people talking though, and if that gets some of the bigger artists deciding that yep, maybe they have been taking it easy for too long, then thats only going to be a good thing. Lets hope its not another twelve years before the next verse that takes over social media comes about.
Added Bonus Material:
23rd August… even Breeze Brewin has dropped a response. And its fire.