When Kendrick Lamar spat fire on his guest spot for the Big Sean track 'Control,' his challenge to today's hip-hop heavy-weights to up their game and try and keep up with him was taken the wrong way by a chunk of the rap community, including a number of those he called out on the track. Speaking for the first time about the controversy surrounding his verse, the Compton rapper has reiterated that he meant no disrespect to anyone, noting that he may have to tone down his complex lyrics in future.
Kendrick says that people obviously didn't get what he was rapping about in the Big Sean track
The Top Dawg Entertainment star was speaking with radio DJ Peter Rosenberg on his Hot 97 radio show on Thursday (29 August) morning to address the unwarranted controversy surrounding the song, saying that his lyrics had been taken out of context by those who took offence. He commented, "It made me go back here and made me feel that I probably need to dumb down my lyrics nowadays, for people to take it way out of context the way they did."
In the track, Lamar calls out his contemporaries, including J. Cole, Big K.R.I.T., Wale, Pusha T, Meek Mill, A$AP Rocky, Drake, Jay Electronica, Tyler, the Creator, Mac Miller and Big Sean himself, but he never disses any of the rappers, he simply laments that he feels as though he is at his creative ebb and he wants his fellow rappers to join him for the sake o' the rap game. He said, "At the end of the day, when you listen to the line, these are cats that I feel can inspire the game and they aspire to be the best just like I feel. I aspire to be the best. If they're competitive and they respect the culture of hip-hop, I don't feel like it should be any type of ill feeling they should have towards it."
K-Dot reckons he might have dumb down his lyrics in future
The one line that many rapper took particular offence to however was his "king of New York" bit, which many East Coast rappers found particularly provokative. The West Coast MC explained that his line; "I'm Makaveli's offspring, I'm the king of New York/ King of the coast, one hand, I juggle them both," wasn't used to whip up old West Coast/East Coast rivalries, but a reference to West Coast legend Tupac Shakur, who once recorded under the allias Makaveli, and to the Notorious B.I.G. - who was widely recognised as the King of New York prior to his death.
"It's not about the [East and West] coasts, it's not about what side we're on, it's about being great as Biggie, as 'Pac — the two cats that I referenced from jump," Kendrick clarified. He then went on to address the irony that the only Diddy and Jay-Z, who are arguably the new Kings of New York in their own respects, were the only ones who seemed to understand that particular line.
So, all that remains now is for Kendrick's rap contemporaries to address his call to arms and 2014 might be one of the best years for hip hop since the mid-nineties! We hope so at least.
Kendrick is arguably at the top of his game following Good Kid, m.a.a.d City