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Kendrick Lamar Speaks On His ‘Control’ Verse, ‘King of New York’ Line

Tim Mosenfelder, Getty Images

Since making a huge statement with his ‘Control’ verse earlier this month, Kendrick Lamar has heard responses from everyone including A$AP Mob, Joell Ortiz, and fictional rappers (haha!). Now it’s the Compton, Calif. native’s time to address it.

Lamar got the opportunity to speak on his pot-stirring bars in an interview on Power106LA show Big Boy’s Neighborhood. We’re only hearing a snippet of the talk right now—we’ll update the post when the full clip (no Gang Starr) hits the web—but it’s enough to know his thoughts on the verse, which he said he didn’t realize would receive “so much speculation.”

What’s more intriguing is when he’s asked about the “King of New York” line. Lamar says that maybe this is a case of him needing to “dumb down my lyrics just a bit.” He adds, “The irony of that line is that the people that actually understood it and got it was the actual kings of New York.”

Lamar says he spoke with “them” (the kings) this past week and they all understand that it’s not about being the king of whichever coast but merely one of the greats like Biggie or 2Pac. Interesting.

You can hear the interview snippet below.

Lamar also called into Hot 97 this morning (Aug. 29) to talk about the ‘Control’ verse with Peter Rosenberg.

Their 20-minute conversation goes as in-depth as any hip-hop head could ask for, with the rapper talking about all the response tracks (his favorite was King Los’), the different levels to the verse (mentioning other rappers, claiming to be the king of New York), and the competitive nature of his TDE camp.

At the end of the interview, Lamar notes that he’s not sure when he’ll drop something new (aka the follow-up to last year brilliant ‘good kid, m.A.A.d. city’) because he’s still marinating on his ideas. You can hear the full conversation below.

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