Listen: Did Ab-Soul Inspire Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Control’ Verse?

Kendrick Lamar’s chest-beating verse on Big Sean’s “Control” rattled the hip-hop world and seized RSS feeds, rap conversations and even TMZ cameras. It was an epic display of lyrical swaggering and strutting that caught the likes of Drizzy, Mac Miller and “Jermaine Cole” in his crosshairs. Go ahead and refresh your memory.

But the TDE rhymer isn’t the first rapper in his class—or even his crew—to pull off such a lyrical stunt. Rewind two years back to Ab-Soul’s Longterm Mentality LP and you’ll find the shade-rocking Black Hippy similarly calls out names on the Schoolboy Q-featured “Hell Yeah,” targeting some of the same peers while adding Lil Wayne, Andre 3000, and “that bitch Nicki” to the hit list.

“Hell yeah we been patrolin the game, watchin the throne/Plottin on Jay and Kanye/Marshall and Andre/Lil Wayne, Drake/Wiz Khalifa, Wale/That bitch Nicki, J. Cole, Rozay”

Granted Ab-Soul’s spotlight was (and still is) a bit dimmer than that of his Compton compadre’s, but could his boldfaced challenge that was spat on a 2011 song (which actually featured K Dot vocals) have inspired Kendrick two years later? Or is it a coincidence? Take a listen below (fast-forward to the 3:40 mark) and decide for yourself.

Oh, and the title of Soul’s indie album to follow Longterm Mentality? Control System. —John Kennedy