Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Control’ Verse: What We Learned

K-Dot's 64-bar verse wasn't just a name-dropping diss fest. MTV News looks deeper.

Kendrick Lamar shook up the rap world with his ear-popping verse on Big Sean‘s “Control,” but while boasts of being king of both coasts and verbal warnings were issued to friends like Drake, J. Cole and Big Sean dominated the conversation, K-Dot’s 64-bar rap marathon were packed with tons of goodies.

Now that we’ve had some time to sit with the epic verse, which dropped on Monday, MTV News examines the highlights. Here’s what we learned.

Tupac Taught Me
What made the good kid go mad? It’s hard to say. “Control” doesn’t seem to be a beef record per se, but like the late Tupac, Kendrick spits with a competitive fire; he wasn’t shy about calling out his targets by name either. Through it all he even makes reference to ‘Pac’s Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory album where he changed his name to Makaveli and took aim at everyone from the Notorious B.I.G. to De La Soul. “I’m Makaveli’s offspring, I’m the king of New York,” Lamar spits drawing clear comparisons to the fallen rap star.

Hip-hop reacts to Kendrick Lamar’s “Control” verse

Hey New York, Kendrick Claims The West Coast Crown Too
Sure Big Apple MCs took exception when Kendrick claimed the coveted “King of New York” title, but how do Cali spitters feel now that Dot also crowned himself king of the west? “I’m the king of New York/ King of the coast, one hand, I juggle both,” he brags.
Will any left coast spitters step up to the plate?

Dot Really Doesn’t Like Molly
The good kid, m.A.A.d. city lyricist tried to put
Molly to rest in his “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe” video and on “Control” he takes another shot at the popular party drug–and Lindsay Lohan as well. “Mollys will probably turn these n—as to f—in’ Lindsay Lohan/ A bunch of rich ass white girls lookin’ for parties/ Playin’ with Barbies, wreck the Porsche before you give ‘em the car key,” he raps.

Kendrick Lamar takes “Control” but was any love lost with fellow rappers?

No More Versace, Just White Ts
K-Dot has never been one to follow fashion trends, though he has been known to swap out his trust TDE hoodie and rock brands like Black Scale and Dope Couture. According to the Black Hippy MC all of that will now change. “And I ain’t rockin’ no more designer sh–/ White T’s and Nike Cortez, this red Corvette’s anonymous,” he rhymes.

Kendrick Really Respects Kurupt, As He Should
When Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg where killing the game with their west coast groove, Death Row label mate Kurupt really stood out with a super-lyrical flow that was more east coast than California love–kind of like Kendrick. Dot knows his history. “Gobble d–k up ’til you hiccup, my big homey Kurupt/ This the same flow that put the rap game on a crutch,” he spits.

The ‘J’ Stands For Jermaine
J. Cole makes no secret about his birth name, but for added emphasis Kendrick decided to use the Roc Nation MC and “Forbidden Fruit” collaborator’s full name in his striking rap. “And that goes for Jermaine Cole, Big K.R.I.T., Wale/ Pusha T, Meek Mill, A$AP Rocky, Drake/ Big Sean, Jay Electron’, Tyler, Mac Miller/ I got love for you all but I’m tryna murder you n—-s/ Tryna make sure your core fans never heard of you n—-s,” he snarls.

Watch ‘RapFix Live’ Today At 4 p.m. ET To See Pusha’s Response To Kendrick.


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