Kendrick Lamar’s statements on Big Sean’s “Control (HOF)” became a topic of discussion after the Compton, California rapper’s verse leaked yesterday (August 12).
"I'm usually homeboys with the same niggas I'm rhymin' with," Kendrick Lamar said 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, Tyler, 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."
Big K.R.I.T. spoke with HipHopDX about his reaction to the verse, explaining how it connects with Hip Hop history.
“Rap, Hip Hop has always been mad competitive,” K.R.I.T. said Tuesday. “It's exciting because it was probably crazier for his fans, for him to mention my name among rappers that people would consider top tier, [rappers] people kind of look at as being the future and my name just randomly popped up. So what I got an opportunity to see a little bit last night and this morning, was just people that probably never tweeted me before, whether it be negative or positive. For me, it was like, ‘Thank you for the promotion.’"
Big K.R.I.T. Says Kendrick Lamar Knows He Should Not Be Taken "Lightly"
Kendrick Lamar's verse may introduce new fans to K.R.I.T. who were previously unaware of his skills as a lyricist, he said.
“It let people know that, ‘Yeah, I'm from the South and yeah, I'm country but you ain’t going to take me lightly," K.R.I.T. said. "Aint none of these rappers going to take me lightly on a record.’ And [Kendrick Lamar] know that. So that's why my name ended up on that list. If you think about ‘1 Train,’ or any record, I’ma give my all. People know that I'm a lyricist and I can compete with some of the best and it is what is. I appreciate the shout out because that’s really what it is. It’s a competitive sport; it’s a gladiator sport. Don't nobody want to get murdered on a record. That just it is what is. So I don’t know, brother. I was like, ‘Hell yeah.’ It is what it is. Thank you for the shout out and shout out to all the fans that he may have that didn't know about my music and now they gon’ go back and listen to records and check out ‘1 Train,’ and want to know why he felt the need to mention my name. And I’m 100% sure he probably gets tired of going to barbershops and hearing my name mentioned where he is and vice-versa. It's all good man. It's all within the sport.”
Big K.R.I.T. Says Some Fans Want To Hear Him Enter "That Battle Rap Realm"
The shout out has allowed fans to search for K.R.I.T.'s work, he said. When asked what songs he would want new fans to hear, he addressed an array of styles he can present.
"Well, [it would depend] on the fan you introduced to me," K.R.I.T. said. "If it was probably the kind of fan who was shitting on my music, I would let them listen to "1 Train" because sometimes, people want to hear you in that Battle Rap realm. All they want to hear you [do] is just go blow-for-blow lyrically. I really pride myself on that verse because it is factual. It wasn't me talking about shooting shit up. It wasn't a gang of entendres and similes and metaphors that didn't pertain to my career per se. It was definitely factual...That would be the verse I'd play for somebody that's not really a fan of my music, that doesn't really think I can rap. Somebody that is more concerned with my in-depth knowledge on life, and what I go through on a daily basis, or how I feel about government topics or financial views, I'd play 'The Vent.' For the people that really just want to release whatever they got and go have fun and go party and all that and not give a fuck about haters and what people got to say, I'd play 'I Got This.'"
"The Vent" was featured on 2011's Return of 4Eva. "I Got This" appeared on 2012's Live from the Underground. "1 Train" appeared on 2013's A$AP Rocky release Long.Live.A$AP, which also featured Kendrick Lamar, Joey Bada$$, Yelawolf, Danny Brown and Action Bronson. Rocky has said that K.R.I.T. had the best verse on the song.
Big K.R.I.T. Says "The South Was Always Lyrical"
Soon after "Control" leaked, K.R.I.T. tweeted about Southern lyricism. In his interview with HipHopDX, K.R.I.T. explained how he has viewed the South’s lyrical contributions to the genre since he was a young fan of the culture.
lyricism... from the south.
— Big K.R.I.T. (@BIGKRIT) August 13, 2013
“I always grew up knowing that the South was lyrical, whether people accepted it or not,” K.R.I.T. told HipHopDX. “One of the people he [mentioned] was Andre 3000. If you think about it, I grew up listening to OutKast. Scarface is in my top five. We talking about 8Ball & MJG and UGK. You know, all the people, to me, were lyricists. That’s how they’ve always been. To me, the South has always been lyrical. I'm just taking a page from the fact that they were speaking their minds and they was rapping about their real liv. And a lot of them were playing more than just one role than just being rappers. They wasn't just rappers either. A lot of them were producers. [They were] singing on records as well. I kind of come from the perspective of Hip Hop anyway, where it's more hybrid. It ain’t a one-pony-thaurus-trick-shot for me. I’m not just gon’ rap and have to depend on that. I actually make music. I record. I mix and all that stuff too. It’s a lot more than that. It's a lot more going on than just rapping.”
Those influences will likely show on Big K.R.I.T.'s upcoming project, which does not yet have an official title. K.R.I.T. is currently working on a new album that will feature production from The Neptunes' Chad Hugo, Terrace Martin and DJ Dahi. The new album will be follow his last release, July 2013's King Remembered In Time mixtape.
Additionally, K.R.I.T. released the instrumentals to his ForevaNaDay today, at BigKRIT.com.