Kendrick Lamar is finally breaking his silence about his explosive verse on Big Sean’s “Control.” Following his interview with Power 106, the “Poetic Justice” MC called into Hot 97’s “Cipha Sounds & Rosenberg Show” to address the reaction to the song, his controversial “king of New York” line, meeting with Jay Z and Diddy, and his favorite response.
On his “king of New York” line: “It made feel like I gotta probably dumb down my lyrics nowadays for the people that take it way outta context the way they did. The irony behind it all is the main heads that really understood the context of the line was the actual kings of New York. The cats that I’ve sat down with this past week and those that understand that it’s not about the coast, it’s not about what side we on. It’s about being as big as Biggie or Pac, the two cats that I’ve referenced from jump. I feel like I’m a student of the work that they did. And eventually when I put down 20 years in the game, I can eventually plant my foot and have that same type of legacy. For people that try and make it out into something that it’s not, I’d never take the history behind what Pac laid or what B.I.G. laid.”
On 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 it down. I only got one album out, one album out. I got years to be doing this, so 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. I can’t stop myself from wanting to be great just like them.”
On his conversation with Jay Z: “That’s classified between me and him. But it was all love, all respect. Same way with Diddy and the same with a few of the other cats. I feel like the end of the day I feel as though you have certain cats that really take it to the next level and make it a rivalry thing and try to bring back that old thing. That’s old school, homie. Remind you that we’re black men out here tryna uplift the culture. My first sold out show was in New York, so I always looked at that place as a place that respected me and my lyrics. And we respected the culture and the birthplace of it.”
On the responses: “I think the ones that really took it out of context was the people that we know want to grab an opportunity off the hype of the record rather than actually tuning in and listening and knowing how hungry I am. A lot of people think it’s about talent. That’s why they get it wrong. I’m saying that I’m the most hungry in this. 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 come harder and breathe it and live it. That’s the point of the whole verse, what I’m tryna convey through that verse. All the ignorance behind it, you can kill that noise.”
On what he fears: “It will never be like that again where two coasts rival, not on my behalf, not while I’m doing this. I think the OGs of the game would want that anyway. They’d want that competitive nature back, but no bloodshed over it. I’m way too wise and I’m way too polished to get caught up in the hype of the media. But what I’m scared is cats that’s not that polished and they gettin’ caught up in what their Twitter responses is saying and what their homies around them saying and people gassing them up and they try to take it to the next level. Nah, that’s not G, that’s not gangsta.”
On his favorite response: “I like the Los verse. Joe Budden did his thing… Joell. I like people with different approaches. They was stating they facts. Joey had the facts in his verse, a few things that he felt. Papoose had the comical joint. Los was flipping his words and putting that spark on it. I think he had the killer thing though, Los. Los killed it out of everybody. But the number one joint at the top of the list had to be Chocolate Drop, Kevin Hart. That dude’s funny. He made light of the situation.”