BET will air their annual Hip-Hop Awards (filmed last weekend in Atlanta) on Tuesday, 10/15. For the uninitiated, the ceremony is punctuated with interstitial rap cyphers, sometimes as head-scratching as Wyclef Jean, Lil’ Mama, and Dizzee Rascal to totally jaw-dropping, Eminem and his Shady Records roster. This year, Black Hippy has contributed one and part of Kendrick Lamar’s freestyle includes a pretty blatant clap at Drake’s comment that Lamar’s “Control” verse “came and went.”
Rapping, “Nothing been the same since they dropped ‘Control’ / and tucked a sensitive rapper back in his pajama clothes / haha, joke’s on you / high five, I’m bulletproof.” Doesn’t take a comp lit student to get that “nothing been the same” is one word different from Drake’s recently-released Nothing Was The Same. In some respect, I viewed the lengthy quote from Ma$e’s “Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems” verse leading into lines about getting checks in L.A. as either a reference to “I’m the song of Makavelli / I’m the king of New York.” But I guess Drake needed more.
You guys remember the “Control” verse, right? Of course you do! It was one of the more interesting rap stories of the year, further proving that Kendrick gives approximately zero cares about what is in vogue, replacing his sort of subliminal diss tactics (via the molly funeral in the “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe” video) to straight up naming names. And the majority of the people who responded to that song, namely a ton of rappers from New York who were none too thrilled when Lamar knighted himself king of the City — I still hold firm that this was a Biggie tautology, not slander of any other kind — as well as Meek Mill, who was actually called out on the song and, as Tom reminded us yesterday, more or less told Lamar to keep watch over his shoulder with a response verse.
In a lot of ways, the “Control” verse is kind of like the Judgment Of Solomon: If you respond to it, you don’t necessarily believe that you possess the skills to compete and if you don’t respond, it’s because you harbor the same feelings as Lamar about your competition, naturally. In an interview with Hot 97’s Peter Rosenberg, Kendrick said this about the people he called out and whether or not it ruined his relationships:
I didn’t hear from nobody. But I wasn’t worried about it affecting relationships. At the end of the day, if you listen to the line these are the cats that I feel like inspire the game. They inspire to be the best like I how I inspire to be the best. They’re competitive, they respect the culture I don’t feel like there should be some time of ill-feel toward it.
But as mentioned before, not entirely so for Drake. In an interview with L.A. hip-hop station Power 106, Drizzy called it a flash-in-the-pan, saying, “I’m probably as done as the rest of the world with that record. I think it came and went… Not to discredit it, it was a good moment. But at the end of the day it was one of those fleeting Twitter frenzies. It was cool for what it was.”
What it was is seemingly not over and you can preview Kendrick’s response below. Is Drake too busy promoting NWTS or will we hear back? Drake has reportedly made up with Chris Brown, with whom he had previously gotten into a physical, bottle-chucking altercation with, allegedly over Rihanna, so who knows?