"I'm usually homeboys with the same niggas I'm rhymin' with," Kendrick Lamar says on the song. "But this is Hip Hop and them niggas should know what time it is. That goes for Jermaine Cole, Big K.R.I.T., Wale, Pusha T, Meek Mill, A$AP Rocky, Drake, Big Sean, Jay Electron[ica], Tyler[, the Creator], Mac Miller. I got love for you all but I'm tryin' to murder you niggas. Trying to make sure your core fans never heard of you niggas [and that] they don't want to hear not one more noun or verb from you niggas. What is competition? I'm trying to raise the bar high."
The line above follows Lamar's claims that "new" rappers are currently left out of many "debates" he's heard about.
"I heard the barbershops be in great debates all the time," Lamar says on the track. "About who's the best emcee? Kendrick, Jigga and Nas, Eminem, Andre 3000. The rest of y'all new niggas [are] just new niggas. Don't get involved."
Another Lamar statement on the song addresses his status in New York and the West Coast, following a remark likely inspired by Tupac Shakur.
"I'm Makaveli's offspring," Lamar raps, likely referring to Tupac's 1996 release as Makaveli, The Don Killuminati (The 7 Day Theory). "I'm the king of New York, king of the Coast, one hand, I juggle them both."
Lamar's "king of New York" line was likely inspired by a 2010 selection, "Get Bizy," which featured Kendrick Lamar, Terrace Martin, Bad Lucc and Kurupt. "I'm important like the pope," Kurupt says on "Get Bizy." "I'm the king of New York. I'm live from South Central. I'm a Muslim on pork." Lamar's verse on "Control," which also references his "big homie Kurupt" by name, features the lines from "Get Bizy." "I'm important like the pope," Lamar rhymes on the song. "I'm a Muslim on pork."
"Control," which will reportedly not appear on Big Sean's Hall of Fame album, can be heard on HipHopDX and it can be streamed below.
Rappers, including Pusha T who was named in the song, began responding to Lamar's verse on Twitter soon after the song was leaked.
I hear u loud and clear my nigga... @kendricklamar
— PUSHA T (@PUSHA_T) August 13, 2013
How can yall think I'm hating on Kendrick right now? Much respect to him for bodying everybody. This day marks a new rap game kno dat. Haha
— oG $wank. (@joeyBADASS_) August 13, 2013
My nigga Kendrick
— NiCKLE (@Royceda59) August 13, 2013
A Cali nigga just said he’s the King of NY & u niggas so fucking worried about your relationships, y’all make me sick.
— Joe Budden (@JoeBudden) August 13, 2013
— FAB 5 FREDDY (@FABNEWYORK) August 13, 2013
— Killer Mike (@KillerMikeGTO) August 13, 2013
— dangeroo kipawaa TDE (@dangerookipawaa) August 13, 2013
KENDRICK!!!!! Ohhhh Shiiitttttt @RevoltTV
— Diddy (@iamdiddy) August 13, 2013