Everyone in the rap game has been going insane these last few days, and it’s all because of Kendrick Lamar. Just a few days ago, Big Sean dropped Control, a track that got cut from Hall of Fame, his upcoming album. With guest spots from Jay Electronica, and Ken Lamar, Lamar’s verse put everyone in the rap game on high alert, declaring himself king of New York, and explicitly calls out several rappers by name. Drake, J. Cole, Wale, A$AP Rocky, Pusha T, and even Big Sean get called out for not bringing their A games.
In the days since, the internet’s exploded. The first dissback tracks game in just 15 hours after Control dropped, with Brooklyn’s own Joell Ortiz firing back fast. Next came B.o.B, Mickey Factz, King Los, Cassidy and Lupe Fiasco all dropping responses in the next 24 hours. What happens next is the big one.
Young Guru puts it into context in this YouTube video. He compares the effort to Jordan dropping 50 points. Who’s going to drop 53? He talks about it like Tony Hawk doing the 900. He couldn’t do the 900 if the standard of skateboarding in those days was that high. Kendrick Lamar is telling everyone to do better, raise their game. It’s a diss that’s dissing the state of the game, and calling out all the people laying down and sleeping on their albums.
But probably the best part of Kendrick-gate, apart from everybody stepping their game up once again, is the new generation of rappers getting pulled into a whole mess of publicity that money just couldn’t buy. Mainstream news outlets like the Sun are running news items on Control, and names like Jay Electronica, Pusha T, and J. Cole are getting out there, and getting exposure in avenues they never could before.
And those in the hip hop game are able to pick out who’s been keeping up with the game, and who’s only interested in talking about how much hip hop sucks todays, and only feel like talking about how much better it was in the “good old days.” Just check out on your Facebook, who’s saying that Kendrick Lamar’s changing the game, and who’s saying they wish Rakim or EPMD would come back to school him. Do those guys even like hip hop?
It’s not just culling the wheat from the chaff in terms of rappers, but among hip hop heads as well. For that, thank you, Kendrick Lamar.