Chatter in the hip hop world has been consistent surrounding Kendrick Lamar since Monday night when Big Sean dropped uncleared Hall of Fame song “Control” featuring the Compton rapper and Jay Electronica. Not only did Kendrick refer to himself as the “king of New York” in his dense verse, but he also listed out a slew of rappers by name who he considers his peers. But what about the artists he left off?
“I’m usually homeboys with the same n***** I’m rhymin’ with, but this is hip hop and them n***** should know what time it is. 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 tryin’a murder you n*****.”
-Kendrick Lamar, “Control”
A flurry of responses to the track – in the form of tweets, interview sound bites, and rebuttal records – have hit the web over the last few days, and if you want to be brought fully up to speed, and Twitter account dubbed @TheResponses is keeping a watchful eye. New York MC Joell Ortiz was the first to put his thoughts on wax Tuesday afternoon, and since then rappers like Fred The Godson, B.o.B, Lupe Fiasco, and Mickey Factz have followed suit.
Most agree that this sort of verbal dueling is good for hip hop. Kendrick may have taken his glove off and slapped some rappers in the face, but it was likely a strategic move to galvanize a game that’s been without that level of direct, non-violent competition for too long.
No Malice (formerly Malice of Virginia duo Clipse) sat down with VH1 yesterday, just four days before his debut solo album Hear Ye Him drops on Sunday, 8/18. Despite the fact that No Malice’s music has taken a 180-degree turn to accommodate his born-again Christian beliefs and he is admittedly disconnected from contemporary rap, he’s actually heard Kendrick’s verse. In the clip below, the older of the two Thornton brothers shares his thoughts on the song’s impact in hip hop, Pusha being mentioned on K. Dot’s list and, humbly, tells us how it feels to be left off. Take a look. Maybe a collabo is in their future?
“Check your egos at the door. Everybody. …Just have fun and do things for hip hop that’s gonna just bring hip hop UP.”
Stay tuned for our full interview with No Malice next week on VH1 Tuner.