Kendrick Lamar asserted himself as the best young artist in rap with the excellent 2012 album good kid, m.A.A.d. city, and 2013 has served as a victory rap for the Compton rapper. He was first able to land an inspired Jay Z for a remix of album cut “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe,” and he now submits his candidate for Best Verse of the Year on “Control,” a nixed track from Big Sean’s forthcoming LP Hall Of Fame.
As soon as the song premiered on Hot 97 last night (Monday, 12 August), rappers flocked to Twitter to share their opinions on Lamar’s ceiling-shattering verse. At first the California rapper calls himself “the king of New York,” before disregarding the careers of his hip-hop contemporaries. In the most quoted part of his verse, Lamar raps, “I’m usually homeboys with the same niggas I’m rhymin’ wit / But this is hip hop and them niggas should know what time it is / And that goes for Jermaine Cole, Big KRIT, Wale / Pusha T, Meek Millz, A$AP Rocky, Drake / Big Sean, Jay Electron’, Tyler, Mac Miller / I got love for you all but I’m tryna murder you niggas / Tryna make sure your core fans never heard of you niggas / They dont wanna hear not one more noun or verb from you niggas.” In many ways, it’s the most fearless moment in hip-hop since Nicki Minaj’s to-this-point career-defining verse on Kanye West’s “Monster” (2010).
From “Rigamortis,” to “Backseat Freestyle,” to “Control.” For Kendrick Lamar, this is just another stop on his increasingly impeccable record collection.