9 Ways Kendrick Lamar's 'Control' Verse Changed the World

How the rapper made Big Sean's 2013 single one of the most important hip-hop songs of the last decade

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2. It Marked a Generation's Growing Pains

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Big K.R.I.T. acknowledged that Kendrick's "Control" shout-out inspired him to pen the lyrically monstrous "Mt. Olympus." "[T]he "Control" thing happened and it was positivity there, because I understand hip-hop is competitive. But there was a lot of negativity that I'd never experienced before in my career. It was people that never even noticed my music and because of that, they prejudged what my music may have been. So with that, it kind of threw me into an overdrive to do a 'Mt. Olympus.' To start, 'Aight, with these records, I'ma go in even harder,' because now I know that Cadillactica might be the album that people may first hear from me. So I went back to my house. I went back to just recording in my room. I went back to writing as much as I could and not focusing on metaphors so much, but saying exactly what I meant to say and doing it my way."

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Lil Wayne saw it as a reminder of where he is in the rap game. "If you hear an older athlete talk about the game — some of them keep it real and let you know, 'Man, I couldn't get out there with these young boys,'" he told Elliott Wilson for a #CRWN interview. "That's how I be lookin' at it now when I hear a Kendrick verse or something like that, I'll be like, 'Oh man, I'm tired of this, man.' I'm not about to be jumping out here talkin' 'bout, 'I'm the best,' I don't need nobody coming at my neck. None of that."

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