Virtually everyone in hip-hop has offered their opinion on Kendrick Lamar‘s eyebrow raising verse on Big Sean‘s track “Control.” On the song, Lamar calls out fellow hip-hop stars including Drake, J. Cole and even Sean and Jay Electronica (who is also featured on the song), while declaring himself the “King of New York.” The audacious verse got the West Coast-based Lamar a sizeable backlash from New York rappers who felt disrespected. In an interview with Rap-Up, Lamar explained that he wasn’t expecting there to be such a furor over his rhymes.
Finally speaking about the song and the controversy that followed, K-Dot revealed that he was solely focused on music–not antagonism.
“Honestly I didn’t know there would be so much speculation behind it,” said Kendrick. “I just wanted to rap. Anybody that knows me doing music, I wanna just rap.”
“I think that’s the case right there of maybe I just dumbed down my lyrics just a little bit,” he said, regarding the “King of New York” line. “The irony of that line is the people that actually understood it and got it, was the actual kings of New York. You know, me sitting down with them this past week and them understanding that it’s not about actually being the king of whatever coast. It’s about leaving a mark as great as Biggie, as great as ‘Pac.”