During a recent interview with New York radio station Hot 97, Lupe Fiasco was asked about young emcees he respects. Fiasco names Young Thug and Big K.R.I.T. When he is asked if Kendrick Lamar makes the list by host Peter Rosenberg, he says, "I've always been a fan of Kendrick. I'm not a nut-hugger like you."
Fiasco then elaborates on his position regarding Kendrick Lamar.
“Listen, Kendrick is ill," Fiasco says. "He's super ill. To me, the whole TDE team is the illest team. They're the illest team that I've seen in maybe 5 years. Ab-Soul's on the album. That's my homie...I'm trying to work with SZA right now...I love the creative collective they got. As an emcee, I wish I had that.
"Lyrically, no, I don't think [Kendrick Lamar is the best]," he adds. "To me, MF DOOM is the best."
Fiasco is then probed to name young rappers who are better lyricists than Kendrick Lamar.
"On some lyrics, I listen to lyrics, of the young emcees, I think lyrically, it's it's King Los, it's Logic...Cassidy," he says. "Lyrically? Stop playing with me."
"I've bumped into Kendrick in different places and what have you," he said at the time. "But it's less me wanting to collaborate and it's more me just wanting to be a fan. I don't want to be a part of it, not off of ego or pride but it's more so to let me just watch it.
"Let me enjoy it from a distance and not feel I've got to be a part of it to make this," he added then. "I just want to see them succeed and it not to be tainted. Sometimes when you meet somebody, it kind of taints what they make. It becomes a different experience. I'd rather just stay a fan. I don't want to come backstage. I'm happy in the crowd. But we'll see."
In August 2014, Fiasco spoke about Kendrick Lamar's "Control."