Kendrick Lamar Addresses Impact of “Control” Verse

Photographer Justin Maxon
August 29, 2013

Kendrick Lamar's finally broken his silence about the flurry of interest in his guest verse on Big Sean's "Control (HOF)", in bi-coastal interviews with LAs Power 106 and New York's Hot 97. Hear Hot 97's 20-minute conversation in its entirety above, and read excerpts from it below, followed by an audio excerpt from the Power 106 interview.

On the response to the line I'm the king of New York:

It made me go back here and feel like I probably gotta dumb down my lyrics nowadays, for people to take it way out of context the way they did… The main heads that really understood the context of the line was the actual kings of New York, the cats that I sat down with this past week. They're not understanding that it's not about the culture, it's not about what side we on, it's about being great as Biggie, as Pac, the two cats that I referenced… I feel like I'm a student. I'm a student of the work that they did. When I put down 20 years in the game, I can eventually plant my foot and have that same type of legacy… I never take the history behind what Pac laid or what BIG laid.

On Kendrick's king of rap, Snoop Dogg:

To keep it 100 with you, Snoop will always be number one, and I'm from the West Coast, and he gave me that. But out of respect for my big homie, I understand it. He laid down. I only got one album out homie. One album out. I got years to be doing this. At the end of the day, Snoop will always be my big homie and the legends that came before me they will always stand tall where they're at. But I can't stop myself from wanting to be great just like them.

On East/West rivalry in 2013:

I feel as though you have certain cats that are really gonna take it to the next level and make it a rivalry thing and try to bring back that whole thing. No that's old school homie. We black men out here trying to uplift the culture. My first sold out show was in New York...I respect the legends in the game. I respect people that done it before me, people that lost their lives over this. Because of what they laid down, I'm gonna try to go ten times harder and breathe it and live it. That's the point of the whole verse, what I was trying to convey through that verse. All the ignorance behind it, you can kill that noise. It'll never be like that again, two coast rivalry. Not on my behalf.

Kendrick Lamar Addresses Impact of “Control” Verse