Exclusive: "I'm A Big Kendrick Fan [But] I Don't Think He's The King Of NY. I Will Always Feel Jay Z Is"
Monday, Aug 26, 2013 2:55PM
[With Kendrick Lamar's "King of New York" line sparking endless reactions from every rapper in hip-hop, Rostrum Records' New York-bred, Los Angeles-stationed singer Vali gives SOHH readers a female R&B take on the debate.]
I am a big Kendrick fan, I actually think he's one of the best emcees out right now. Period. But it kind of threw me off. I was like, "You're not from New York! What are you talking about?" But at the same time, it's like, I don't know, he definitely is confident. He's definitely going hard now. I think he definitely recognizes how talented he is. I don't know how he feels.
I don't think he's the king of New York. I will always feel like Jay Z is. Definitely. He's the king of New York in my mind. And Biggie. Those are my two. I grew up loving them.
I actually love that Kendrick did it because something I missed, that rappers don't do anymore, is have beefs. When I was younger, when I first started listening to Biggie, it was the whole 2Pac and Biggie thing. There was this whole battle.
We just didn't like 2Pac. Even though now I appreciate him, I listen to him and think, 'Damn, he was really dope.' But as a kid, I was like, 'Nah, New York, get outta here.' I just listened to New York rap. I was like, 'Nas, Biggie, Jay Z.' There's just no more beefs anymore.
It's good because music has really turned into something for everybody. Kids in Kansas can be listening to it all. I think Kendrick kind of tapped into something that made hip-hop more interactive between the rappers.
I feel like the real last big battle was between 50 Cent and Fat Joe. That was like the last time I remember things really being heated. Not just like mentioning, but they were coming out with mixtapes against each other. That was the last time I remember rappers having some serious issues. I think even at the  VMAs, there was a problem.
Rappers just don't do that anymore. It's all about their lyrics. I like when rap's interactive because it gives the fans something to keep listening to, like, 'Oh! What's he going to say next!?' I think Azealia Banks kind of tried it but it didn't really work.
For the past year, Vali has been recording tracks with producers such as Mark Baston (Alicia Keys, Beyoncé), Tommy Brown (Black Eyed Peas), and Jim Jonsin (Lil Wayne, Usher, Beyoncé). She is now releasing her new single "Dimes" featuring Wiz Khalifa.