Kendrick Lamar dropped a nuclear bomb on what had become a peaceful rap climate last summer with his instantly legendary verse on Big Sean’s “Control.” Rappers brag all the time, but Kendrick caused a stir because he called out competing MCs by name, openly stating that he was aiming to destroy them all. It was a throwback move that stoked a long-dormant spirit of competition in hip-hop. Thing is, Kendrick’s claims of supremacy carried so much power because he really is the best rapper alive right now, something he demonstrated within the same flurry of syllables in which he delivered his boast. Childish Gambino, on the other hand, has no such grounds, but it didn’t stop him from making similar pronouncement during a freestyle on stage in Sydney. “I’m the best rapper, definitely top 5,” the actor-musician born Donald Glover rapped. “I cut their head off, that’s every rapper living/ That’s Kendrick, that’s Drake, that’s ScHoolboy, that’s everyone. I don’t give a fuck, I’ll fucking kill you niggas.” Dozens of rappers offered up responses to “Control” last year, most of them making untenable claims with significantly less pizzazz. What makes this so ridiculous is that Gambino essentially copied Kendrick’s phraseology from the “Control” verse, delivering a middle-school version of the same concept. It’s not the first time Gambino has borrowed from K-Dot; his recent hit single “3005” sounds like a bad Drake cover of Kendrick’s “Hol’ Up.” Anyway, watch Gambino’s freestyle tirade below.
In other Glover news, Dan Harmon really, really wants him back for the sixth season of Community.
[Photo by Mark Horton/Getty Images.]