Since my new album #HallOfFame is avail for preorder in a couple hours Can I drop something that didnt make the album?! straight rap shit…
After being subjected to an social media onslaught, to the tune of billions of tweets about Kendrick’s so-called “epic” verse on Big Sean’s latest single, “Control,” I immediately assumed the role of dissenter. Foolishly, I remained the lone Elmer Fudd-looking old man on the bench doubting the constant chirping in my ear. Hypebeasts, in their very nature, glorify the shit out of something until it becomes shitty. Usually I’m on the ball when it comes to new music, but I remained a grumpy outcast until about an hour ago when I decided to actually listen. Alas, I was wrong for doubting my fellow SoCal brethren. If you have two functioning ears, there is no room for subjective opinion here; Kendrick Lamar just spit one of the greatest verses of all time.
Clocking in at well over the seven minute mark, “Control” is somewhat of a surprising release from Big Sean for a number of reasons. First, the song is not about controlling.. yo hoes, or letting them talk to you crazy. Second, the structural DNA of the song retains very little traces of the songs Sean has infiltrated the radio with in the past, which were mainly geared toward money, chardonnay, and ass ass ass. However, Sean’s latest mixtape Detroit reminded early devotees that the G.O.O.D. music MC still retained a knack for lyricism, and could even get damn near conscious and meaningful when he wanted to. Opening the track, Sean’s verse is impressive on its own, and if it wasn’t for that holy-fuck verse from Kendrick, folks would be busily stuffing their twitter feeds with delusional comparisons to Jay-Z just off the strength of his content. More than anything though, Sean’s gift is ironically his control, no pun intended. The rapper has some of the most versatile bag of tricks when it comes to flow, and he is able to (pause) eject it at will.
“And I’m over niggas
Saying they the hottest niggas
Then run to the hottest niggas
Just to stay hot
I’m one of the hottest because I flame drop
And not because I’m name dropping, Hall-of-Fame dropping”
But next comes the conjuring. Kendrick starts things off in his standard tone, which has been the source of some criticism in the past for sounding too robotic. Things take a sharp turn at around the 3:21 mark, where Kendrick emanates fire-bar after fire-bar of classic as if he has undergone some sort of exorcism. Straight rap shit indeed.
“Judgement to the monarchy, blessings to Paul McCartney
You called me a black Beatle, I’m either that or a Marley
(I don’t smoke crack motherfucker I sell it)
I’m dressed in all black, this is not for the fan of Elvis
I’m aimin’ straight for your pelvis, you can’t stomach me
You plan on stumpin’ me? Bitch I’ve been jumped before you put a gun on me
Bitch I put one on yours, I’m Sean Connery
James Bonding with none of you niggas, climbing 100 mil in front of me
And I’m gonna get it even if you’re in the way
And if you’re in it, better run for Pete’s sake”
There are just too many ideological complexities and stunning metaphors abounding in Kendrick’s verse to do it proper justice in a quick blog post, but the most stunning thing of all about Kendrick’s verse is what he says during his verse’s finale, which I use as a euphemism here to stand in the place of a more accurate description like the slaughtering you do bestow on your opponent in the TKO stage during those drunken nights playing Mortal Combat. I;m not sure if Kendrick heard the thundering call-to-arms while reciting his verse, but, while temporarily, Kendrick literally finishes them:
I heard the barbershops spittin’ great debates all the time
Bout who’s the best MC? Kendrick, Jigga and Nas
Eminem, Andre 3000, the rest of y’all
New niggas just new niggas, don’t get involved
And I ain’t rockin no more designer shit
White T’s and Nike Cortez, this is red Corvettes anonymous
I’m usually homeboys with the same niggas I’m rhymin’ wit
But this is hip-hop and them niggas 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 niggas
Tryna make sure your core fans never heard of you niggas
They dont wanna hear not one more noun or verb from you niggas
What is competition? I’m tryna raise the bar high
Who tryna jump and get it? You better off tryna skydive
Out the exit window of 5 G5’s with 5 grand
With your granddad as the pilot he drunk as fuck tryna land
With the hand full of arthritis and popping prosthetic leg
Bumpin Pac in the cockpit so the shit that pops in his head
Is an option of violence, someone heard the stewardess said
That your parachute is a latex condom hooked to a dread
Wow. In a few lines, Kendrick name drops the most prominent new emcees in the game, aka his competition. We live in a day and age where hip-hop is so lovey-dovey that rappers tend to shy away from dissing, and instead embrace a nauseating “we’re all in the same gang” philosophy. Kendrick echoed the thoughts of many fans (like me) who remember fondly the days when rappers had no qualms about stating their intentions to eliminate their competition. To be clear, Kendrick isn’t dissing anyone, but he is reinforcing the idea that unlike many genres, hip-hop is a battle when viewed in its purist form. Artists can be friends, and even new artists can be friends (despite what DJ Khaled will have you believe) but at the end of the day rap is a masculine sport, and the idea is to destroy your opponent. Drake’s “diss me and you’ll never get a response for it” is completely anti-competition, and Sun Tzu would be horrified. We can only assume that Kendrick will put the fire in the asses of some of these so-called rappers…pause. But like Kendrick says, this is hip-hop and these rappers should know what time it is.
Oh, and I forgot, Jay Electronica also has a verse on this song. Electronica definitely has a solid verse, but in comparison to the other two, it’s by far the worst. Smh. His verse doesn’t deserve discussion, and Kendrick’s only partly to blame. The main reason is because Electronica is quite possibly the laziest rapper in history, yet to release his debut album after creating substantial buzz for himself years ago. But I guess I can’t blame him too much, as Electronica was recently legally cleared to marry wealthy (estimated worth of 300 million wealthy) British heiress Kate Rothschild. Who cares about music when you are gold-digging at that level?
Big Sean has already has made his latest album Hall Of Fame for pre-order, but “Control” will not be on it. Sean tweeted: “This one that didn’t make the album cuz of the sample BUT IT IS NOT no radio shit.. Straight rap… I’m talking 7min shit… Grimey shit.” Recently, a host of emcees have come out of the works and made diss records in response to Kendrick, and even Sean took to the internet to suggest that his verse was better than Kendrick’s. Even though the man is clearly delusional, Kendrick has no doubt set off a bomb in the industry, and things are shaken up the way Kendrick and the fans wanted.