Kendrick Lamar’s “Control” verse forced a number of rappers into the studio after hearing it, but not Big Sean. The G.O.O.D. Music MC laid his vocals onto the fiery track first, and while many fans speculated that Sean switched his bars to match Kendrick’s fire, he says he did no such thing.
“I started the song, I laid my verse first. I sent it to Kendrick and Jay Elec too. And then Kendrick sent that verse back… So when I heard it I was kind of like cracking up,” Sean told Vibe.com on Tuesday night. “When I heard that verse I was like, ’Man I’m not about to go back and change my verse — that’s cheating.”
K-Dot stole the show on the track, which also features Jay Electronica. On his verse, Lamar sent a warning shot to Big Sean, Drake, J. Cole, Pusha T, A$AP Rocky and a number of other notable rappers whom he says he considers friends. “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 raps figuratively on the track.
Seeing as how “Control” is technically Sean’s song, he could’ve altered the verse or decided not to include Kendrick altogether. In 1997, LL Cool J invited Canibus on his “4,3,2,1” track and after Uncle L heard what he believed to be a subliminal diss, he requested that ’Bis change his verse. The two went on to release a number of diss tracks aimed at each other after the song’s release.
For Sean, changing his rhymes, or altering Kendrick’s was never an option. “That ain’t the way of an O.G. That ain’t how G’s move. I wanted to that for the culture of hip-hop as opposed to myself,” he said. “This is the most exciting rap song to drop this year, period.”
The track didn’t just cause a stir among fans, but other rappers as well. Some felt disrespected because Kendrick didn’t name drop them in his verse, and others took exception to another line where the Compton native appeared to call himself the “king of New York,” a title that was bestowed upon the Notorious B.I.G. before his death.
So far Joell Ortiz, Lupe Fiasco, B.o.B, Fred the Godson, Los and Mickey Factz have all responded to Kendrick lyrically. “I haven’t seen this much people so excited over a hip-hop song,” Sean said. “It’s hip-hop, it’s a sport. It should get back to being competitive, if that’s what people want.”