Out Of "Control": What Kendrick's Verse Means For The Future Of Hip-Hop

September 2, 2013 -


Some of you may be wondering why I waited so long to comment on Kendrick Lamar’s verse heard ‘round the world from Big Sean’s “Control.” Well, there was so much hysteria surrounding it that if you made a comment, you were either branded a Kendrick Lamar dick-rider, or someone who doesn’t know shit about hip-hop. Seeing as I am neither, it was a debate that I had no intention of putting myself into. But now that everyone’s calmed down, allow me to provide some brutal honesty: Kendrick’s verse on “Control” doesn’t mean a damn thing. Now let me tell you why.

First, let’s dispel the claims that Kendrick’s verse on “Control” is the verse of the year. Now don’t get me wrong, I'm a big a fan of Kendrick Lamar’s work, particularly Section.80. It’s great to see a rapper who actually has talent be on top of the hip-hop world for a change. That being said, there’s nothing on “Control” that screams Verse of the Year. Don’t get it twisted: it was a good verse. In fact it was a great verse. But verse of the year? C’mon now. Let’s not give me the man more credit than he actually deserves.


The second thing that struck me was some of the hypocrisy of Kendrick’s verse. If you're calling out other MC’s, it doesn’t look that great if you’ve collaborated with most of them, and that some of them are featured on the same song as you. If Kendrick Lamar feels so strongly that certain rappers need to step their game up, then why the fuck does he waste his time working with them? Why did he agree to do a verse on “Bad Bitches,” and better yet, why did he agree to do a verse on “Control?” They say that birds of a feather flock together. So why is Kendrick flocking with MC’s who aren’t that talented?

big-sean-hall-of-fame-deluxe-edition-747x747Now lets look at the names that Mr. Lamar called out: J Cole, Big KRIT, Wale, Pusha T, Meek Mill, A$AP Rocky, Drake, Big Sean, Jay Electronica, Tyler, the Creator, and Mac Miller. Most of these names couldn’t care less about stepping their game up because their albums are making millions anyway. And the ones who do care, like Pusha T, aren’t gonna be noticed for their efforts. There are 2 names that were left out of Kendrick’s crosshairs who would have really made a difference: Jay-Z and Kanye West. These 2 men are the biggest names in hip-hop since Pac and Biggie died, but lately, they’ve been coasting on their names alone. Had Kendrick called out Yeezy and Hov, then I would have truly been impressed.

Now there are some of you who are big fans of J Cole, A$AP Rocky, and Drake and listen to their music all the time. Which brings me to the most important reason why “Control” won’t change anything in hip-hop: mainstream hip-hop fans. If you're one of the people I was talking about earlier, you're part of the problem. It may sound harsh, but the truth hurts. If Kendrick Lamar spent the rest of his career calling out wack MC’s it wouldn’t make any difference because people are still gonna buy their music and listen to their music on the radio. Until mainstream hip-hop fans realize that they're listening to garbage, it’s gonna be business as usual. But hopefully I’ll be proven wrong.


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