Kendrick Lamar Explains Calling Out Rappers In "Control"
Kendrick Lamar explained his decision to call out fellow rappers in his verse on Big Sean’s “Control” during an appearance on Chelsea Lately with Chelsea Handler.
“A lot of cats that I named, they’re actually good friends of mine and I basically wanted to show that I’m competitive,” Lamar explained during his Thursday night appearance, noting that his lyrics weren’t meant as insults to other artists, but a call for friendly competition.
Lamar elaborated, saying that competition is necessary for rappers to keep pushing themselves and creating good music. He likened his idea of friendly competition to that of basketball players on opposing teams.
“You know, Kobe vs. LeBron, I’m sure they’re good friends off the court… But when you’re in that booth, you have to be able to annihilate whoever out there and that keeps the level of hip-hop alive, as far as the culture.”
Lamar’s verse earned him critics, supporters and various rap responses. One of Lamar's favorite responses came from comedian Kevin Hart. Hart, masquerading as ‘Chocolate Droppa’ made a short Instagram video for Lamar following the release of “Control.”
“He [Hart] made light of the situation, because at the time it became a little oversaturated… it becomes so corny after a while you need to put that light, that touch back on it,” Lamar said.
In the song, Lamar raps,
“I heard the barbershops be in great debates all the time
Bout who’s the best MC? Kendrick, Jigga and Nas
Eminem, Andre 3000, the rest of y’all
New n****s just new n****s, don’t get involved
I’m usually homeboys with the same n****s I’m rhymin’ wit
But this is hip hop and then n****s should know what time it is
And that goes for Jermaine Cole, Big KRIT, Wale
Pusha T, Meek Millz, A$AP Rocky, Drake
Big Sean, Jay Electron’, Tyler, Mac Miller
I got love for you all but I’m tryna murder you n****s.”
In a recent interview, Drake finally addressed Lamar’s now infamous verse, but he didn’t feel the need to respond to Lamar directly.
“I didn’t really have anything to say about it. It just sounded like an ambitious thought to me. That’s all it was. I know good and well that Kendrick’s not murdering me, at all, in any platform. So when the day presents itself, I guess we can revisit the topic,” Drake told Billoard.
– Olivia Truffaut-Wong
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