Kendrick Lamar On “Control” Verse, King of NY

blame it on Shake August 28, 2013

On the phone with Big Boy’s Neighborhood, Kendrick Lamar finally spoke on his “Control” verse. Hear what he had to say below. UPDATE: The track’s producer No I.D. also shared the story behind it’s creation during an interview with Complex.

One of the big records you’ve had recently was Big Sean’s “Control.” What is the story behind that record?

I had a conversation with Sean towards the end of his album. I told him, I felt like he needed to do some straight, hardcore hip-hop records. Sometimes we focus so much on selling records that we leave some artistic points uncovered.

I had this beat. I had actually done it for Jay, right before I let [Sean] hear it. I said, “You should take this beat, I think it would be great for you to show up on one of these beats, forget money, forget everything.”

For a while—I’d say, since Common’s “Ghetto Dreams”—I’ve been on a hip-hop crusade. To try and just bring that energy back that I felt was not present. I just wanted him to show up on one of those beats and then he did a freestyle to it.

He was like, “I’m gonna drop it as a freestyle.” I was like cool. Then he was like, “Yo, I’m gonna get Jay Electronica on it.” I was like, “Okay, cool.” Anyway, that’s where “No I.D. (Freestyle)” comes from, it was a No I.D. beat and he was freestyling. It didn’t have a chorus, it wasn’t intended to be a full song even.

  • Azon

    Everything he just said is what I’ve been saying. Hopefully this clowns (especially the ones in NY) can go sit the fuck down somewhere now. This dude is just too advanced for this “hip hop listeners.” He might as well dumb his lyrics down.

  • Respect NY it is where Hip-Hop got big!

  • KillaCam

    Azon get his dick out your mouth. This interview was bullshit. He is explaining away what he said by saying it had deeper meaning. I’m the king of new york means im the king of new york. Obviously people will get upset. You want them to “sit the fuck down”? the entire east coast would have looked like bitches if no one responded. Every NY should have a control response. That was the point. He is injecting competition back into the game.

  • Azon

    ^^^ Smh.. Dumbass niggaz just CHOOSE to be dumb. Somebody can tell you straight up what the meaning behind shit is and dumb niggaz actually believing they can tell you what YOU meant. Fuck it tho.

  • KillaCam

    Yeah your right. It’s impossible to change the meaning of something after you have said it.

    BTW my comment was actually a metaphor for you having anal sex with a rhinoceros, but it probably went over your head because you are a “hip hop listener”

  • eastny

    lol @killacam where in this interview did he say that was the point of his verse? did you hear the full interview or something? because it sounded like he said within the very first 15 seconds in the interview he said he was just rapping and didn’t think it was that serious. If the verse does inject competition back in the game then great, but that doesn’t mean it was intended.

  • 330cantonoh

    Hmmmm…. so it’s ok for him to say he’s the king of ny and the excuse is “im just rapping” but ross lost life over a bar on “uoeno”… tho claiming ownership and date raping is on two levels… they are just words right? sounds like a double standard to me…

    And for clarification… not a ross fan… just questioning the logic of the masses…

    And yes… responses were and are necessary…

  • Hollow Pt.

    I’m getting old cuhz.. These little kids don’t even know rap is about posturing. And all these little internet gangstas running around, shit is ridiculous. I think the only East Coast nigga who got the whole verse was Fabolous — and it even took him a minute to understand — his quote, he had to talk to his “O.G’s” to know where K Dot was coming from.

  • BillyBlonco

    he didnt say that “i was just rapping” he clearly said “its not about being king of a cost its about leading a market..” ur getting to caught up in these comments to the point u let it steer u away from whats being actually said smh. thats how rumors get started

  • eastny

    @330cantonooh, I didn’t say its ok for him to say he’s king of ny, I said he DIDNT say that he meant for it to be such a big deal, but terrible example with rick ross because claiming to be king/the best is apart of hip hop, that’s been around for ever. Promoting rape is COMPLETELY different, and is obviously going to have a different response. No double standard there, completely different situation.

  • Tough

    Ja Rule is the only King of New York #Salute

  • gregory kruxx.

    As a native new yorker I will tell you right now that everyone who is taking offense either is a complete moron, overly sensitive or looking for sometype of shine to catch and ride a buzz off this wave. Lets just be clear Kendrick is King of the new cats when it comes to bars right now. west coast, east coast, down south, midwest, i dnt give a fuck if u from mars..this niggah got bars for days..I been saying he be nas, andre3000, and ice cube rolled in one…with alot of other influences as well..
    Look. new york shit be weak nowadays and it pains me to say that but a spade is a spade it is what it is. if new niggahs wana step up then do it…until then this rap shit is fair game. shit at one time if you look at it more cats were coming out of queens than anywhere in we only gota a few new cats reppin the boro like that so it aint easy sayin that being born n raised from the q boro but the truth is what the truth is…
    shit frank sinatra was a king of ny, he was from jersey…
    i dnt give a fuck if this niggahs from belgium and says hes the king of ny..if people talkin then he made an impact…point blank


    JA RULE?!?!
    There’s the door ——>

    Don’t come back.

  • marty mcfly

    What is the hottest KENDRICK record in the streets right now? Does he even have one? Or is he still riding Poetic Justice and Don’t Kill My Vibe? Now if he feels like he’s the king of all coasts now since thats what his line was intended to mean then I think he gotta actually have the hottest records in the streets at all times and technically Control is a Big Sean throwaway. Now that doesn’t take away from Kendricks obvious impact with is verse but just saying. T.i said Kendrick Lamar gets the most play on NY radio? Now I dont know if thats true or not but if he’s the king then I think he may just get the competition he was looking for especially when Drake, 2 Chainz, Pusha and Jay Elec drop albums so I hope he has some new music in the chamber.

  • eastny

    “if he feels like he’s the king of all coasts now since thats what his line was intended to mean then I think he gotta actually have the hottest records in the streets at all times”, well then understand that that’s your definition of what the “king” is, and that it doesn’t represent a factual definition of what the king of hip hop is because their is none. But yea, he definitely will get the competition he’s looking for, minus 2chainz of course lol

  • His record wasn’t even that good to begin with and people hyped it up to the roof. Give it a rest.

  • jwiii

    reminds me of The Game’s “I don’t diss legends” reply when asked if he went at Jay-Z

  • marty mcfly

    @eastny, I dont care what the definition is. The opinions over him calling his self the king was last weeks debate. I dont care either way it goes but I assume any claims of greatness in hop hop has to do with the music so ok now its time to show and prove. A rapper can say he’s whatever but proving it is something else. T.I said he was king of the south and then his debut flopped and he was dropped from the label and no longer had a place in the industry. How he responded to that for at least the next five years straight by having some of the biggest songs in hip hop gave credibility to his claim. Can Kendrick do the same things? Im sure he could and again I really dont give a fuck either way but as of right now I cant say that in my personal opinion Kendrick has the best record(s) in the streets right now. He does have songs out but id say its other MCs out here making noise as well and the Kill My Vibe remix is dying down a little.

  • eastny

    @marty,You said it was time for him to “show and prove” in last weeks debate, when is it time for you to shut up and allow him to do that? lol

  • eastny

    You say what I said was last weeks debate, but everything you said in your first comment was also last weeks debate. So clearly you’re not done debating .

  • marty mcfly

    I dont “allow” Kendrick to do anything first of all and imo the Control verse is probably the best shit he’s done all year. Now of course people can disagree but those same people are saying he’s this and that based on his lyrical ability. Which is fine with me but id say the Robin Thicke feature with 2 Chainz doesn’t really push that lyrical agenda (and yes I realize he doesn’t have to with that feature) but sometimes you just gotta be real with yourself. Speaking of 2 Chainz, you acted like he was no comp for Kendrick but id disagree there too. I think Jayz is the king of NY but do I think he got the best records out right now? Probably not, unless you count Fuckwithmeyouknowigotit but thats not an official single so I’m just being honest. You can still be a fan of somebody and still be honest enough to say they aint really dropping the best music and in Kendricks case id say since the Kill My Vibe remix, Control is probably the best bars he kicked all year.

  • eastny

    In allow I mean give him time to do what you’ve been saying he needs to do since last week. You keep saying he needs to do this he needs to prove that, well give him time then, how many things do you want him to do in 7 days? I brought up 2chainz not being competition because he could only compete popularity wise not lyrically, if you don’t agree with that then ok lol. Drake, Pusha, and Jay elect on the other hand I agree with could compete in all catagories.

  • calimadenigga

    fuck ny who cares a bunch of babies. Stuck up lil fucks hipster thinks the world is ny. no one gives a fuck about ny in cali


    well everything NO I.D said completely contradicts what jay electronica said. jay said the beat had a hook on it and was a song, (hence his verse), but no i.d. said it was never gona be a song and only had a freestyle on it?

  • truth173

    bunch of retards talking hip hop above who probably listen to mac miller. ur opinion is invalid

  • All them young niggas trying to grow up and get money way too quick.

  • Mac Dre

    @330cantonoh Oh shit, another person from Canton on the c-section! Haha

  • dagel

    anyone that says “respect ny cuz that’s where hip-hop came from” is a fuckin choad nigga. automobile came from ford motors, n look how relevant they are now.


    The automobile was invented way before Henry Ford and they’re plenty relevant unlike your shitty metaphor

  • twelve0one

    yall trippin cus he said he the king of new york!! but everybody ok with wack ass 2 chains saying he is the black MJ!! SMH and on the real aint no NY Emcee doing shit right now! so Unless someone can step up lyrically then K dot is the King of New York and everywhere else!