After hundreds of responses and mixed reactions, West Coast rapper Kendrick Lamar has finally come forward to address his dicey “Control” verse.
Despite the ample name-drops and proclamation of being the king of New York, K. Dot admitted the backlash surprised him.
“Honestly I didn’t know there would be so much speculation behind it,” said Kendrick. “I just wanted to rap. Anybody that knows me doing music, I wanna just rap.” He also proclaimed himself the “king of New York,” which rubbed some rappers the wrong way. “I think that’s the case right there of maybe I just dumbed down my lyrics just a little bit,” he said. But he didn’t mean it literally. He had a conversation with some of hip-hop’s elite, who weren’t offended by his verse. “The irony of that line is the people that actually understood it and got it, was the actual kings of New York,” explained K-Dot. “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.” (Rap-Up)
This week, “King of the South” T.I. came to Lamar’s defense in light of all the backlash.
“I think the climate being as it is, the skill level being as it is, the level of artistry being applied to hit records as it is today, overall, not just for one person, but overall, I think he did what he had to do to get motherf*ckers to wake up and step their sh*t up,” Tip said in an interview. “If you ask someone who is highly skilled but less successful, it would not have worked as well. It takes someone who is highly skilled, to be the most successful and to be daring enough to step out. … Him saying that he was the ‘King of New York,’ that was courageous. [laughs] To go against a whole coast? That was courageous. That was heroic. … He said it and he gonna wear it ’cause right now there is no, well, with the exception of Jay, there is no new artist out right now whose as successful or more than Kendrick from New York. There is no new artist whose record plays more than Kendrick’s record in New York. So arguably, he’s correct.” (VIBE)
West Coast rap veteran Snoop Dogg warned hip-hop artists dissing Lamar.
“There’s really no originator to what it is but people get so caught up with trying to make beef when [Kendrick’s] just making good music. He’s making a point by saying what he’s saying. He’s juggling both coasts, his music is being played over the New York radio stations, all over the West Coast radio stations, he’s selling tons of records, he’s selling out concerts, sh*t, that’s the king. When I was doing that, I proclaimed myself the king. Nobody had a problem with it. It’s just that he’s a nice guy so they have a problem with it. He doesn’t have a gangsta approach. Let me let y’all know, he’s got a hundred thousand motherf*cking gangstas with him, so y’all better watch what y’all say.” (This Is 50)
Recently, Midwest rap veteran Tech N9ne said he is fully behind Lamar’s movement and would rally for him.
“My reaction was, ‘Yeah n*gga! Wake these motherf*ckers up!’ Everybody’s so lazy, man. I always raise my bar. My bars are always raised, every album. It’s always pushing my peers to go harder when they do a song with me. So for Kendrick to take it a step further, say names and sh*t, it’s really waking n*ggas up. And if anybody got a problem with my lil homie, you know what I’m saying, I got his back. Sorry and sh*t, let’s go.” (Montreality)
Check out Kendrick Lamar’s interview: