Last night (March 23), Kendrick Lamar unleashed a fiery new track, “The Heart Part 4,” as both a confirmation that new music is on the horizon, and as a warning shot to an unnamed foe or foes.
Instantly, fans dissected the Khalid-assisted track and dropped speculations about its possible targets. Some quickly pointed to Big Sean as a potential mark for these quips. “My fans can’t wait for me to son ya punk ass and crush your whole lil’ shit / I’ll Big Pun ya punk ass, you a scared lil’ bitch.”
Part of that had to do with the juxtaposition between Big Punisher and Big Sean — the former being much larger — but there’s a lot in those last two words. Earlier in his career, “lil’ bitch” was one of Sean Don’s most-used catchphrases, as heard on Meek Mill’s “Burn” and Drake’s “All Me.”
What would the motive be? Well, Sean seemed to be sending thinly-veiled shots at Kendrick on his Beyoncé freestyle “Me, Myself & I” in 2015. “Ya’ll bragging about so and so, like ‘Oh, he really it’ / The new ni**a in rap? But, can he really spit / Or do he just hide behind his skits like half of these rappers do? / And then y’all fucking go and praise him in this bitch like they the savior of this shit.”
The “savior” theme continued on last year’s “No More Interviews,” when Sean rapped: “I’m not impressed with the woopty-woop / I don’t know who is who / And can’t pretend like I’m hip to it, no hula hoop / And I can’t lie like I like this shit like I usually do / I’m just not impressed by you ni**as rapping fast / Who sound like one big asthma attack but trash when I’m rapping it back / Who you put in your top five and claim they the savior of rap?”
Fans were also quick to point to Drake as a possible target of “The Heart Part 4.” In particular, those speculations were highlighted by this line: “Hoe, Jay Z Hall of Fame, sit your punk ass down.” This could be a reference to the subliminal war of words between Drizzy and Hov, just as Jigga walks into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. It’s also possible that it’s a “two birds with one stone” instance, since Hall of Fame is the name of Big Sean’s 2013 LP, a project that “Control” was originally meant to be on. Sean, of course, is part of Jay Z’s Roc Nation family.
Drake and Big Sean trying to figure out who Kendrick was sending shots at pic.twitter.com/zy3lY4tmgm
— pt. 😔💕 (@xPTvo) March 24, 2017
Whoever “The Heart Part 4” is about — whether one, two, or more people — there seems to be a timeline for a response: “Y’all got ’til April the 7th to get ya’ll shit together.”
For Kendrick fans, April 7 can’t come soon enough.