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.