This Incredible Kendrick Lamar Verse Has The Hip-Hop World In A Tizzy Today

Last night
Big Sean released “Control (HOF)”— a seven-minute epic featuring Kendrick Lamar and Jay Electronica that was originally intended for his upcoming album “Hall of Fame.”

Today, Kendrick’s verse is the only thing anyone in the music world is talking about.

Over three and a half minutes the L.A. rapper positions himself as the new best rapper alive, calling out every relevant MC by name and (most combatively) declaring himself “the King of New York.” The verse itself — the way he growls his way through clever allusions and wordplay, promising to “drop a bomb on this s***” before exceeding our wildest expectations for that promise — is meant to stand as evidence that his boasting is justified.

It’s not a diss track. It’s a trash-talk session. It’s a call to arms.

Hip-hop is a competitive endeavour. It’s a rap game with one king. This is Kendrick seizing the Iron Throne, and in doing so, urging his rivals to seek it themselves.

Here’s the money section of the verse:

Im 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 KRIT, Wale
Pusha T, Meek Mill, A$USAP Rocky, Drake
Big Sean, Jay Electron’, Tyler, Mac Miller
I got love for you all but I’m tryna murder you n*****
Tryna make sure your core fans never heard of you n*****
They dont wanna hear not one more noun or verb from you n*****

Here’s Kendrick’s full verse (NSFW, full lyrics below):

There’s an inherent irony here.

Kendrick is nudging hip-hop toward new era of competitiveness, but he’s doing so while sharing a track with Big Sean and Jay Electronica — the very people who he sees as lesser rappers (justifiably, in Big Sean’s case).

In addition, Kendrick has been a big proponent of the current era of collaboration in hip-hop — where the biggest rappers team up like the Miami Heat, and anyone is open to appearing on anyone else’s track.

This widespread collaboration across regions and sub-genres has been a great thing for hip-hop. Some of the best songs of the last 18 months have been posse tracks like “Mercy” or “1Train” or even “U.O.E.N.O.” which can’t really be attributed to a single artist.

But in hip-hop there has always been a king. Kendrick knows this, and he claimed the crown in the most explicit terms possible.

The full track:

Here are the lyrics in full:

Tell Flex to drop a bomb on this s***

So many bombs, ring the alarm like Vietnam in this s***

So many bombs, make Farrakhan think Saddam in this b****

One at a time, I line ’em up and bomb on they mum while she watchin’ the kids

I’m in a destruction mode if the gold exists

I’m important like the pope, I’m a muslim on pork

I’m Machiavelli’s offspring, I’m the king of New York

King of the Coast, one hand, I juggle them both

The juggernaut’s all in your jugular, you take me for jokes

Live in the basement, church pews and funeral faces

Cardio bracelets for my women free as I’m in Vegas

Who the f*** y’all thought it’s supposed to be?

If Phil Jackson came back, still no coachin’ me

I’m uncoachable, I’m unsociable

F*** y’all clubs, f*** y’all pictures

Your Instagram can gobble these n***

Gobble d*** up ’til you hiccup

My big homie Kurupt

This the same flow that put the rap game on a crutch

I’ve seen n***** Transform like villain Decepticons

Mollies’ll prolly turn these b****** to f*****’ Lindsey Lohans

A bunch of rich a** white girls lookin’ for parties

Playin with Barbies wreck the Porsche before you give ’em the car key

Judge me ’til the monarchy, blessin’s to Paul McCartney

You called me a black Beatle, I’m either that or a Marley

(I don’t smoke dope m*****f***** I sell it)

I’m dressed in all black, this is not for the fan of Elvis

I’m aimin’ straight for your pelvis, you can’t stomach me

You plan on stumpin’ me? I’ve been jumped before you put a gun on me

I put one on yours I’m Sean Connery

James Bond, wasn’t none of you n***** climbing 100 mil in front of me

And I’m gonna get it even if you’re in the way

And if you’re in it, better run for pete’s sake

I heard the barbershops be in great debates all the time

Who’s the best MC? Kendrick, Jigga and Nas

Eminem, Andre 3000, the rest of yall

New n***** just new n*****, don’t get involved

And I ain’t rockin no more designer s***

White T’s and Nike Cortez, this is red corvettes annonymous

Im usually homeboys with the same n*****im rhymin wit

But this is hip hop and them n***** should know what time it is

And that goes for Jermaine Cole, Big KRIT, Wale

Pusha T, Meek Mill, A$USAP Rocky, Drake

Big Sean, Jay Electron’, Tyler, Mac Miller

I got love for you all but I’m tryna murder you n*****

Tryna make sure your core fans never heard of you n*****

They dont wanna hear not one more noun or verb from u n*****

What is competition? I’m tryna raise the bar high

Who tryna jump and get it? You better off tryna skydive

Out the exit window of 5 G5’s with 5 grams

With your grandad as the pilot he drunk as f*** tryna land

With the hand full of arthritis and popping prosthetic leg

Bumpin Pac in the cockpit so the s*** that pops in his head

Is an option of violence, someone heard the stewardess said

That your parachute is a latex condom hooked to a dread

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