Grand Hustle leader T.I. is the latest hip-hop artist to weigh-in on the “King of New York” debate Kendrick Lamar sparked with his “Control” verse and said outside of rap mogul Jay Z, K. Dot may be correct.
In Tip’s perspective, Lamar’s overall approach to “Control” from the name-dropping and the New York proclamation turned into a wake-up call for hip-hop.
“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)
Recently, West Coast veteran Snoop Dogg said he has sided with recent comments made by Brooklyn rapper Maino about the Big Apple’s state of hip-hop in light of Lamar’s bars.
“I wouldn’t say New York is soft, I stand behind what Maino said. I was listening to him on the radio station, it was crazy to hear somebody from New York speak from the perspective that he spoke from and he’s a real n*gga, so, you can’t just not take his words into account. I was listening to him speak from his perspective and he basically hit it on the nail. There’s a lot of following going on with sound and influences but what people don’t understand is New York influenced everybody. When hip-hop was born and bred, it was born here and it spread across the whole globe and its influence was definitely going to take on new faces and new bodies and new sounds — but the thing is, it all originated here so there’s no such thing as a true original.” (This Is 50)
Snoop also warned hip-hop artists dissing Lamar about the possible repercussions of going after him.
“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)
Earlier in the week, Maino said the image and state of New York rappers were so weak Kendrick had confidence in proclaiming himself the Big Apple’s king.
“Nah, nah,” Maino said in an interview when asked if he would make a response to Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Control’ lyrics. “I look at it different. I look at it kind of like, as a city, right, I look at not what he said but what would make him say that. I feel like dude’s like at the city like it’s sweet. We look weak, somehow, for dudes to take those kinds of shots. I like Kendrick, I like his music. I think it was about some hip-hop sh*t but at the same time, n*ggas over here wouldn’t dare said that about LA. They know better. N*ggas wouldn’t dare say that about Detroit ’cause they know. N*ggas wouldn’t dare have said nothing about Chicago because it’s a certain kind of stigma that comes with these places. I think n*ggas here in my city soft, man. To be honest.” (Sway In The Morning)
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 T.I.’s interview: