Dart Adams

“Hip-Hop” vs. “Rap” © KRS One [A Take On Kendrick Lamar’s “Control” Verse]


Hip-Hop culture just celebrated it’s 40th anniversary earlier this week and shortly afterwards an interesting event happened that highlighted the disconnect between Rap listeners, Hip-Hop fans and its individual contributors & participants. There are those that are too young to remember when verses like Kendrick Lamar’s on Big Sean’s “Control” were a common occurrence and there was so much quality competition at the major label level that fans and critics alike declared it a golden era.

Based on our individual experiences with Hip-Hop culture and Rap we perceive what happened and the subsequent fallout from Kendrick Lamar’s “Control” verse differently. Essentially it falls into the realm of Hip-Hop vs. Rap.

Let’s discuss the song itself first, “Control” suffered from sample clearance issues which may or may not have been Big Sean’s fault. On said song Sean opens with a strong effort but Kendrick Lamar overshines on him to the point that you would consider never letting anyone ever hear the track. Jay Electronica added an extra verse but in comparison to what Kendrick had previously laid down it wouldn’t garner anywhere near the same attention from listeners. So there Big Sean was. He had a decision to make and he thought he’d take the “Hip-Hop” approach to leak the track rather than the “Rap” one and suppress it. Let me explain what I mean by that.

The “Hip-Hop” line of thinking is to stick with your verse and take the L because Kendrick’s verse was epic and everyone needs to hear it regardless of the fact you got murdered on your own sh-t. The “Rap” school of thought is that Big Sean’s Hall Of Fame album drops in two weeks and this doesn’t help him sell more records or raise anticipation for his project in any way, shape or form. If anything, it makes it seem like even when he brings his A game he can’t hang with Kendrick Lamar. It also makes heads wonder if he got bodied that badly and it’s his song then why’d he release it? The current level of competition in major label rap is pretty low to begin with and being on the low part of the G.O.O.D. Music totem pole doesn’t help him with fans of lyricism. That would mean the leak would backfire on him but elevate Kendrick.


Photo: Twitter

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Comment Comments: 16 Tags Tags: kendrick lamar, big sean, krs-one, "control", dart adams

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  • Kreole

    Horrible article.

  • Alex

    You do understand that he’s not a journalist right?
    This was a commentary piece from a bonafide hiphop legend. His perspective is right on point.
    You must be mad he didn’t bow to Kendrick.

    • Kreole

      My problem with this article is that he equates rap with the mainstream. There are tons of mainstream hip hop acts and there are also underground rap acts. I just think his definition of what rap is is off point.

      • Alex

        Oh I got it.

        So random person thinks they have a more accurate understanding of what hiphop and rap are than KRS-ONE!


      • Kreole

        He may be a legend, but he didn’t invent it. Let Kool Herc decide what is hip hop and what isn’t.

  • instantgratitde

    I was born in 1960 and rap became mainstream around the late 70s early 80s and seen many great rappers come and go. Some made it big off of pure swag, but whoever did make it – it was swag, and the right kind of swag, that people were drawn to. Your lyrics might be dope af, but if you look/act like a regular/no swag rapper, people are just not interested. I used to love some/ most of KRS music, but then he started sounding like a disgruntled rapper always complaining about how nobody recognizes his greatness. Dude, if you have to shout about it every mf record then maybe you should recognize that you could be doing something else. Like journalism – without the bitter “what about me” take on EVERY article.

    • Kreole

      Top notch lyricism was never meant to go mainstream. Great art rarely does.

  • Melody Carroll

    Kendrick was right

  • JayBall Saybatoof Napz Johnson

    UUuuuh huh!

  • mick

    I’m sorry, I disagree with ALL of this. To me, the golden era of hip-hop and/or rap was in the late eighties early nineties because of the poetic justice served to the beats and the streets and not the “empty lyricism” that, frankly I understand the culture was partially born in. What do I mean by that? When I think of real or good hip hop, I’m thinking: Brenda Got A Baby, Dear Momma, A lot of LL’s early sensual stuff, Straight Outta Compton, Some Bone Thugs stuff, some BIG stuff (talking about his struggle). Frankly, as much as everyone remebers the: who shot ya’s and other diss tracks of the time (dag, I can’t even think of too many by name right now), those don’t revitalize hip-hop to me. Frankly, those tracks are similiar to what we have today with the exception of no names are mentioned today. Just think about what’s popular in mainstream: talk about how much money you’re getting, how great you are, the designer fashions you’re wearing, what city you rep and how many girls you get. Simply dropping a few names of other rappers doesn’t drastically change that. Now saying something real about your community or the plight of the African-American or fame or something youre truly EXPERIENCING is better. That’s why I respect Drake (I know people feel a certain way about him). For me, even though he can be a cry-baby, if I’m listening to something like Marvin’s room, I can identify because everyone has been through heartbreak or loving someone who doesn’t love you back. But when I hear two negroes dissing each other at this point in the game, when we had moved into truly saying something poignant… well, to me it’s like bragging about how you watered that rose in the crack of the sidewalk instead of wondering in awe at how it grows, you feel me? Or maybe you won’t.

  • am

    I kind of agree with the article. I thought Kendrick’s verse was great but I have been listening to real hip hop all along and I was not shocked. What people don’t understand is that the rap is geared towards young kids and what they want to hear so the labels pushes that. But on another note I was listening to Big L while my 14 year old was in the car and Big L was going hard. My son was like mom Who is that? This moment was so Epic because I got to school him on a rapper he never heard of and it was fresh to his ears. 🙂

  • underground hip hop is trash

    This article is dumb…typical debate of my generation is better than yours…Lebron or Jordan…PAC or big…nas or Jay-z…Kendrick is a rapper…krs is garbage

    • Jerome72

      Stop trolling bytch!! If you don’t know about KRS-1 you must listen to country music! Then why are you here? Trolling!!

    • therealnumber1

      I agree with what you said up until named Pac and big and so forth…pac big, nas and jay z are all in the same generation…the lebron or jordan was a good comparison to make your point…even though I would have said jordan or kobe lol

  • Big Bank

    Honestly speaking, the verse wasn’t “ALL THAT!” Typical diss that hasn’t been displayed in awhile. Keep on teaching KRS-One!!!

  • Dart_Adams

    Just for the record? KRS One didn’t write this article. I did. My name is right there in the byline. I’ve been writing editorials for Hip-Hop Wired for years now. Reading is fundamental.