"I like the song and the stir it’s causing. It's good for rap music. A month or two ago, Big Sean asked me to be on this record with him for his album. He had a demo hook on it at the time. I did my verse and sent it back. I found out a couple days before it was released that Kendrick had put a verse on it." - Jay Electronica
I can't decide what I am more surprised about: Kendrick's now instantly classic "Control" verse, or the firestorm of reactions and opinions it has generated. Producers 9th Wonder and Young Guru were videotaped recently giving their two cents on the matter, just like everyone else now has, although this was apparently filmed the night that it came out.
Guru provides a fresh perspective on the matter, one that I tend to agree with and one that concisely outlines why all these rappers trying to hit Kendrick back are wasting their time.
"The greatest point that a lot of people's missing," he elaborated, "[when discussing hot rappers like Kendrick] in a normal conversation, in a barbershop or something, they always hit you with, 'but yo, they ain't sold shit.' Now you've got somebody that's sold records, and is relevant in the culture, [who could] change the zeitgeist of the field, of what's going on right now."
More or less, what he's saying is, with this verse, Kendrick just made it known that he is gunning for the top spot - icon status. His "good kid, maad city" sold well and was hailed by most as great, by some as even a masterpiece. But history also shows us that one hot debut a legend does not make (just talk to Nas, among many others). Kendrick meant no disrespect to any of the people he called out. In fact, he's doing hip-hop in general a service, but its mainly to benefit his career trajectory.
Which is why another point Guru makes rings even truer.
"Let's say for instance, Jay, Nas, somebody get mad that he say [he is] the King of New York... if they even mention him sideways in a song, Kendrick wins. Cuz now, that means [he is] on this level."
In a sense, every freestyle and every article and blog post like this one is a victory in the same sense, albeit smaller. As we have seen in the last 48 hours, his verse earned him a whole lot of free press. These rappers, even the ones he actually called out, who are hitting back, are just eating out of his palm. Surely they know this, which is why it's all the more bewildering to me that it seems like people actually took offense to this, personally. I know this type of chest-pounding posturing is what hip-hop is all about - indeed, this whole ordeal is what hip-hop, in its true, raw competitive spirit, is all about - but honestly, these Joe Buddens, B.o.B.'s, Joell Ortiz and etc., are just making fools of themselves. If Kendrick scored 50 and the others 30 on this track, these guys are missing freethrows.
In any case, it's clear that this controversy over Kendrick's verse is good for hip-hop. It has re-ignited that competitive flame that has been so vital since the inception of the artform, one that has been noticably dim in the age of communication commodified. But what is just as inarguable is that Kendrick, with this one verse, has raised the bar for bars. He is not about to miss his chance to capitalize on this buzz, and I personally can't wait to hear what else the most exciting rapper of this decade so far has in store.
Factz was first with the most direct, shot firing flip of "Control" at Kendrick and TDE. This one was the best "Control" remix yet IMO, and it'll be hard to top.
Soon after, Lupe Fiasco released "SLR 2" — an original production/sequel to "SLR" that addresses the hype Kendrick's verse got and a few direct lines like this:
"Now we all heard what he said, but what he said means we dead
And that shit is insane
He's so crazy, look at the little baby
N**** you ain't Nas, n**** you ain't Jay Z
You will respect me, you will reject me
But I've done so much, no matter how far you go, you will reflect me."
- Lupe Fiasco
Whoo! So for the AM crowd today, catch these two above and my lengthy write up on "SLR 2" to be in the know on the latest Kendrick Lamar responses. I'm sure there will be more fallout to come later today... (and hopefully Kendrick addressing these two worthy responses..!)
So here's a summation of Day 1 A.C. (After Control):
You know your verse is fire when Phil Jackson tweets at you in response...
Phil, and Kobe's "Amnesty THAT", are now 1 and 2 in some order for "Tweet Of The Year". In fact, can we get Phil a 12th ring for this one?
Moving along, while hip hop fans were still recovering from Kendrick's verse on "Control" (yes, I know I'm feeding into the hype machine with that one, sorry), many were also wondering who would be the first to respond. Sure enough, it was Joell Ortiz with "Outta Control". He has a beef to pick about the "King of NY" line and the omission of Slaughterhouse in K. Dot's name-drops. Listen below.
Soon to follow were B.o.B & Fred The Godson. Both use different productions, with B.o.B flexing his guitar skill along with a fast flow.
Up first to bat is Joell Ortiz and he hits a grand slam! We've been waiting all day to see who would be responding to Kendrick Lamar's verse from "Control" and now we finally have one. Joell holds no remorse even stating, "Chico be in Sacramento so much he can claim King!" He also points out the fact that K.Dot not once named a member of Slaighterhouse or better established artists. The Slaughterhouse member is the first of many to come to refute Kendrick's claim to why they should also be in the conversation of Kings of Hip-Hop. Who do you all think will be next to step up to the plate and deliver from the West Coast, specifically from New York?
So tonight, Big Sean, Kendrick Lamar, and Jay Electronica got Twitter acting all sorts of crazy as Sean let loose of a track that was meant for his upcoming album, Hall Of Fame, but couldn't make it due to sample clearance.
Dubbed "No I.D.""Control", you can hear this epic, 7.5 minute track where all three emcees straight rap. No hooks. Just dope bars after dope bars.
UPDATED: Dirty, no tags, CDQ.
What grabbed everyone's attention: Kendrick Lamar giving much respect to every big-name emcee in the game today... and then proceeding to declare he's going to murder them (rap talk, of course). That's what got everyone in a stir tonight.
The whole song from beginning to end is dope. Everyone's talking about Kendrick, and rightfully so, but are we a little caught up in the moment? Sean and Elect were no slack as well. Whatever your thoughts, it's a great night in hip hop on this alone, and for that, we thank you *Tosh voice*
What are your thoughts on the "No I.D." Freestyle? Your favorite verse is __________.
Whooo. What a pleasant surprise outta nowhere tonight. This Big Sean track "No I.D." didn't make the upcoming Hall Of Fame album because of the sample... and surely not because of guest stars Kendrick Lamar & Jay Electronica. Sean kicks off the 7.5 minute track with some real dope flows and rhymes himself with K. Dot & Jay Elect to follow suit soon after.
My favorite part from K. Dot: his intensity in sharing his respect for all the buzzing emcees of the next class, but that he's comin' for 'em... namely, "murder" all of them (rap talk murder, of course). There's that competition we're always yearning for. I hope we see a domino effect in the game stemming from this hotly discussed new verse from Kendrick Lamar.
And I'd be remiss not to mention that Jay Elect is fire also. I love all the God/Christ allusions and think his verse gets better as it goes, with this being my favorite of his rhymes:
Jay Electricity, PBS Mysteries in a lofty place tangling with Satan over History.
- Jay Electronica
For Mobile Users:
UPDATED: Dirty, no tags, CDQ (above, too). Also... it's officially called "Control".
Calez unleashes the first leak off his upcoming project, Ceito, with this thumpin' groove to ride to: "Thxs X Thxt". It boasts a stellar production from Tye Hill (perhaps best known for his Sir Michael Rocks collabs) and Calez delivers a mix of analysis and catchy lines throughout. This also feels like a great collab between rapper and producer as Calez really flows with the changing beat in the verses (I especially love when the beat fades out for a lil bit.) Also keep your ears tuned in to catch the lil nod to who Calez is sitting next to at Lolla in the cover art: Kendrick Lamar. #shoutout to the 2008ighties representa for representin' with our #Gowhere lid as well!