The Power of ‘Control’

It’s been a few days, and by now I’m sure by some medium, you’ve heard the ‘controversy’ surrounding Kendrick Lamar on Big Sean’s released-but-never-made-it-to-the-album track, Control. 7 minutes of straight rapping is what the game has been missing for quite some time, and even if Kendrick didn’t name drop or call himself the King of New York, many rappers would have been flying to the studio to hop on this beat – or would they…?

If you still haven’t heard, take a listen (jump to 2:58 if you want to hear Kendrick’s verse only)

Here’s why so many people from the East Coast are offended – because a California rapper not by the name of Tupac claimed that he was the King of not 1, but both coasts. Braggadocio is a staple of Hip Hop (bragging), and the confidence of Kendrick Lamar has been increasing since he released Section.80. With his debut album approaching (well already certified by the RIAA) platinum, thrown in with features all over the place – can you blame him for saying what he said? There’s no East or West Coast rapper that is running the game like Kendrick is (don’t say Drake – that’s North, and still inaccurate).

Specifically, what Kendrick did was issue a challenge to the rappers that he respects to step it up with their music, because although they’ve all been on the same tracks and what not – there seemed to have been a drop off in competition. You’re supposed to believe that you’re the best; not to be in the game to be in the game – that’s not the point of being in the rap game, because it’s treated as a sport. The amount of merges between artists and all of these groups have made the game ‘friendly’ in a way. No one calls out anyone (at least not in respectable ways) and that’s what’s made Hip Hop soft in recent memory.

Now, before you go ahead and compare it to the 90s like the newly christened Hip Hop head that you are, let’s move with the times and focus on the current. In the famous words of Jay-Z: “it’s not a diss song, it’s a real song”, but so many people were treating it as a diss because rappers who felt that they were deserving of being named weren’t named directly – step your game up. Rappers caught a feeling or two and aired out responses. I had said this days ago that the only responses should be with full-out projects that can be better than his album. When a rapper says that he wants to make sure that your favourite rapper’s core fans won’t want to hear from you ever again, shouldn’t that light a fire under your ass? Let’s be real here, Hip Hop.

Legends 9th Wonder and Young Guru debated the verse, and really put it into perspective (Basketball metaphors would do that)

As for the responses – I rolled my eyes a lot, but there were some good ones. I was avoiding posting them as they were being released because I’m not just going to post up every and anything just to get some views (there’s substance to this shit). Although the intent wasn’t to merit responses (at least freestyles) to Kendrick Lamar, it has brought entertainment and excitement back to Hip Hop (hopefully people follow through with it in the long-term). Joell Ortiz, Cassidy, J.R Writer, Los, Papoose, Arsenol, Lupe Fiasco, and Mickey Factz all had responses that weren’t half bad, but if people were looking for some responses out of the 800 that were pushed out, these would be the standouts. Kendrick has rappers working overtime, and Hip Hop entering its 40th year of existence couldn’t be happier. Enjoy.

That’s My Word & It STiXX

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