Kendrick Lamar’s verse on Big Sean’s “Control” became one of the most-discussed contributions to a track this year. Recently, TDE President Punch spoke about how a conversation inspired Kendrick Lamar to write that verse.
“I don’t remember a verse getting that much attention,” Punch said in an interview with XXL. “It’s hard to think of somebody who did a verse and garnered all of that. Phil Jackson responded. That’s crazy. We touched people we ain’t never touched before as far as media-wise—ESPN, the sports shows, talk shows. It was crazy to me. You just gotta bask in the moment and try not to make it look too corny. Everybody’s responded and doing their whole thing. You don’t want to feed into it too much. Even the way it happened, how it came out: me and Kendrick had a conversation. I was just talking about how everything is so friendly right now. Everybody’s hugging and friends and on each other’s records. Like, where is the competition? I told him, ‘Watch. The first dude to do something to change it, that’s going to shift the game back because everything is one way.’
“Like, when ‘Pac and B.I.G. died everything was soft,” Punch continued. “The majority of music was softer at that time. Then you had DMX come. From DMX, Jay [Z] had a harder album at the time. That whole thing was hard. Then you had The L.O.X. Then everything got hardcore and that’s when Ja [Rule] came doing the records he was doing, songs about the chicks. Then Jay Z doing ‘Excuse Me Miss’ and Snoop Dogg doing ‘Beautiful.’ Everything was like that for a second. Then 50 Cent come and he takes it back to the street, but clubs at the same time. His biggest song was ‘In Da Club.’ To me, that’s how a lot of people in the South, Atlanta mostly, really flourish because they do club music. That’s their thing. That’s their culture—and 50’s record was ‘In Da Club.’ 12 million records sold. That’s kinda how I see it. It’s usually a person who comes and changes the game and switches it for a while. That was the conversation with me and Kendrick and then he comes out with that verse.”
TDE’s Punch Says Kendrick Lamar Asked Big Sean If He Wanted A Different “Control” Verse
According to Punch, their conversation came prior to the writing and recording of Lamar’s “Control” verse.
“This was before he actually made the verse,” Punch said. “He was overseas when we were having that conversation. We were on the same wavelength. He was like, ‘Yeah, I’ve been thinking about the same thing.’ But I didn’t know he was really gonna go that far with it.”
During the XXL interview, Punch also says that Kendrick Lamar asked Big Sean if he wanted a different verse for “Control.”
“What’s crazy, the way it went, we didn’t know that it was coming out,” Punch said. “We didn’t know he was gonna release it. We had just sent the verse and Big Sean called Kendrick and said, ‘You’re crazy.’ I think Kendrick even asked him, ‘Are you sure you don’t want me to put another verse?’ He was like, ‘No, no. I’ma keep it and just put it out.’ One day, he just dropped it out of nowhere. We didn’t have no warning and then just to see how crazy it went. I ain’t sleep for like two days, I think. I’m watching everybody respond, seeing what everybody was saying. It’s funny. Even the New York line, that was so misinterpreted.”
After Kendrick Lamar’s “Control” verse was leaked, several rappers responded to the verse. During a recent interview with XXL, Lamar explained how he viewed the responses.
“I mean, it’s 50-50,” Lamar said. “Some people took it as fun, some people took it as opportunists. Huge opportunists. And more power to them.”
During that interview, Lamar also explained his motivation for saying he wanted to “murder” rappers.
“Simply Hip Hop,” Lamar says. “The art and the culture. Don’t got nothing to do with anything outside of writing lyrics. That’s what I don’t want people to get it confused from. We’re talking about lyrics, we talking about rhyming. And when you say the word ‘murder,’ I’ve been feeling that way since I was 16. I wanted to be the best at it. If I was mopping floors, I want to be the best at it. If I’m cleaning pools, I want to do the best at it. Fortunately, I’m doing Rap music and I want to be the best at it. Period.”
Photo By: Mathew Miggz