7 Unanswered Questions Following Kendrick Lamar's 'Control' Verse
August 15, 2013 - 4:49 pm
Are you over Kendrick Lamar's verse on "Control" yet? Yeah, us neither. In the less-than-72-hour fallout since the verse hijacked rap heads, there have been reactionary response verses, agitated tweets and full-on debates. But there are still some question marks that have yet to be answered. Here are seven plot points we're still eying. —John Kennedy
Did Kendrick Lamar outcast himself from the whole hip-hop game?
No one wants to be murdered on their own shit. And time and time again, K Dot has proven himself to be a deadly cameo. But with his admitted mission to shame anyone with the nads to go half on an instrumental, has he transformed rival MCs into shook ones too intimidated to feature him on a track? And as a result, will that expedite the process for those long-awaited features with Nas, André 3000 and Eminem?
Why hasn't Drake yet addressed the verse?
Aubrey Drizzy Drake Graham. If you’re reading this, pay close attention to the next few sentences: This is your moment. Seize this shit. There’s no mistaking that of the names Kendrick considered his peers—or “new niggas,” as he so politely dubbed them—that Degrassi kid is the most successful (numbers don’t lie) and artistically well-rounded of the bunch. Coming off of the epic OVO Fest less than two weeks ago, Drake was angling for an indefinite ownership of the rap crown before “Control” threw a minor hiccup in the conquest. No biggie. A calm, simple and swift swipe back will not only brush off K Dot’s shade, but solidify the fact that if there’s a throne for the taking, his Canadian ass is comfortably planted in it. Don’t dedicate a whole record in response; and don’t get emotional. Just borrow this jab from Jay Z’s lyrical iCloud from his days of cold warring with Nas: “You want the crown you got to take it in blood.” Checkmate.
Will this inspire a return to New York rap?
Probably not. Moving right along...
Is everyone overreacting about the "King of New York" line?
Did you not hear the previous half bar, where Kendrick called himself “Makaveli’s offspring?” He’s paying homage to the legacies of Tupac Shakur and Christopher Wallace. He claims he’s not only the progeny of the West’s Best, but also the second coming of Biggie, a true NY crown rocker who was so revered that even in death his body was driven through the streets of Brooklyn, parade-style, with his own tunes bumping from apartments above. But I get it: There’s sensitivity around the title “King of New York” because in 2013 the designation, sadly, means little.
Has Fabolous found a studio yet?
Fabolous had a brief moment in 2007 following Fiddy’s cooling and the tepid Kingdom Come LP when he was stepping up as Hova’s heir. And as brief as it lasted—From Nothin’ To Somethin’, Fab’s best work, dropped that year—there hasn’t really been a definitive newbie since (sorry Jim Jones, A$AP Rocky, French Montana, Joey Bada$$, Uncle M or whatever the fuck he’s calling himself these days, Vado, and uh, Papoose). So it felt right when Fabolous responded to Kendrick via Twitter, asking the open question: “Any studios open yet?” Yet it’s been a few days with not another peep from Loso. Does ANYONE have some studio store credit they can lend Loso?!
Is this good or bad for Big Sean's album promotion?
Being called-out (and toe tagged) on your own record has never been much of a marketing strategy. It was a noble move by Big Sean to release this track—sample clearance issue and all—already realizing the shockwaves it’d send. There’s no doubt that “Control” has been a jolt for an already golden rap generation, but has it inflated anticipation for Big Sean’s Hall Of Fame sophomore LP—or made us even hungrier for Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d. city follow-up?
Is Eminem somewhere laughing his ass off?
You’ve got to imagine Em got a kick out of this. Marshall Mathers’ rap DNA is coursing all throughout Kendrick, and it’s never been more evident than on “Control,” from the deranged flow to the extended metaphor conclusion that’s become an Eminem calling card. Dr. Dre sure knows how to pick ’em.