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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

Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar performing in Hollywood, California on July 11th, 2014.

Noel Vasquez/WireImage

Coming off good kid, m.A.A.d city, one of the most critically acclaimed albums of the decade, rapper Kendrick Lamar could have rested on his laurels. Instead he stole the spotlight on Big Sean's 2013 single "Control," going bonkers with wordplay for almost three minutes and calling out 11 emerging rappers by name. More than a dozen response songs turned up  and Billboard reported that Lamar gained more than 200,000 Twitter followers in the track's wake. Here's nine ways that this verse changed the game.

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HOLLYWOOD, CA - JULY 11: Kendrick Lamar performs at the Hennessy V.S x Shepard Fairey Launch Event at Create Nightclub on July 11, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/WireImage)

Noel Vasquez/WireImage


The Best Rappers Defend Their Crowns Now

"Control" inspired responses from B.o.B ("How 2 Rap"), Joell Ortiz ("Outta Control"), Lupe Fiasco ("SLR 2"), Joey Bada$$ ("Killuminati Pt. II"), Meek Mill ("Ooh Kill 'Em") and many, many others. More than being the "Roxanne, Roxanne" of the new millennium, the subtext is that rappers responded to Lamar with actual songs and freestyles. Twitter rants, YouTube threats and random keyboard dissing no longer sufficed.    

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