Kendrick Lamar made one of the strongest debuts in the last twenty years of hip-hop with 2012’s good kid, m.A.A.d. city. Now, he’s made one of its most controversial boasts.
Lamar’s boast heard ‘round the Internet isn’t on the lead single from his new album (he doesn’t have one yet). Rather, it’s a guest verse on Big Sean’s “Control,” a track that didn’t even make that rapper’s latest record. On it, the Compton, California native declares himself the King of New York (oh snap!) and calls out virtually every rapper in the game. Jay Z, Nas, Eminem, Drake – no one is spared. Reaction has been mixed. New York rappers are up in arms, old-school hip-hop artists are celebrating a return to the lost art of the “diss track” and others are releasing their own comeback verses.
Is Kendrick Lamar the best in the rap game? Catch him on tour and see for yourself. In the next month he’ll take the stage at the Bumbershoot Festival in Seattle, Made in America Festival in Philadelphia, Boston Calling Music Festival in Boston and Music Midtown in Atlanta. We bet some of the other rappers at those festivals will have a thing or two to say when they’re on the mic!