West Coast rapper Kendrick Lamar reveals just how fed up he is with the infatuation behind his “Control” lyrics and why hip-hop won’t let it go in the new issue of XXL Magazine.
Based on some excerpts from his cover feature, K. Dot admits he is far removed from how he felt when “Control” initially came out.
“I think I said everything I need to say on Peter Rosenberg, Hot 97. If people don’t get it from there, then I don’t feel [I need] to explain myself any more. I think they’ll run it down to the ground rather than me. You know, I just wrote a verse. I think everybody’s just taking it to the ground and don’t want to let it go. I spoke my piece on Hot 97. If people wanna take it further than there, that’s their entertainment. I’m on a whole ‘nother plateau of thinking now. That was just for that moment of writing a verse. That’s how I feel about it.” (XXL Magazine)
Lamar also reveals how he believes certain artists were waiting for a perfect opportunity to speak out against him and used “Control” as their scapegoat.
“Let me tell you something: This is my thing–this is what I found out through it all, from doing that verse. People wanted to say something anyway, period. They’re just looking for the right moment to. They want to say something anyway. That’s how I look at it. That’s it.” (XXL Mag)
Recently, Bad Boy Records CEO Diddy said there are plenty of notable entertainers like Jay Z, Kanye West, himself and Lamar worthy of being recognized as kings.
“When I was coming up, I always stated I was a king because I knew who I was. That’s like knowledge of self. So with [Kendrick] being a king, he’s a king, Jay’s a king, Ye’s a king but there are some cats that are not kings. You got to be a prince sometimes before you can be a king,” Diddy explained in an interview. “Kendrick is deserving of his crown because he took hip-hop and put it on his back so crazy and has given birth to a whole type of real hip-hop generation that we needed to come back and it came from a cat that was, ironically, from the West Coast. He went back to the essence of what hip-hop is about.” (“Big Boy’s Neighborhood”)
During a recent “Chelsea Lately” interview, K. Dot revealed his childhood dream to become the next Michael Jordan and how his “Control” lyrics could be seen in the same vain as NBA stars sparring.
“Nah, nah, a lot of the cats I named, they’re actually good friends of mine and I basically wanted to show that I’m competitive,” Lamar told host Chelsea Handler. “When you get out on that sport, get out on that basketball court and you’re playing — before music, I wanted to be Michael Jordan. No, seriously. But like you said, I’m a small guy, I only grew to like 5’6 and it deferred my dreams to actually writing rhymes and I pinned it somewhere else. I have a lot of insight on hooping, whether you know it or not. I know looks may be deceiving. … [I’m saying I’m a really good rapper] in a competitive nature, the same way basketball would be on the court. Kobe [Bryant] versus LeBron [James]. 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’s out there. That keeps the level of hip-hop alive as far as the culture.” (“Chelsea Lately”)
Despite the ample name-drops and proclamation of being the king of New York, Lamar initially admitted the backlash surprised him in an interview a few weeks back.
“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)