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RU - Kendrick Lamar – The King of Troll Rap

It’s been a helluva few days on the Rap Internets, following an incident involving Kanye West weed carrier Big Sean inviting Kendrick Lamar and Jay Electronica to appear on a track titled Control, which sadly has no connection to Marley Marl’s classic In Control radio show. The song itself involves Smedium Sean rapping slightly better than usual, before K-Dot puts on his “angry” voice and launches into a tirade against wack rappers, going as far as crowning himself “king of New York”, putting him into the “Top 5 Dead or Alive” discussion and then naming rappers he fucks with but is also prepared to destroy. It’s brilliant rap trolling. Jay Electronica then manages to make like the ultimate buzz-kill by lighting a vanilla-scented candle on the song, which has led to several edits of the track sans the other two MCs by zealous stans.

The result was a flawless trolling victory, as Rap Twitter instantly began foaming at the mouth and jumping out of windows with excitement and slightly better jokes than usual, and we anxiously awaited responses from butt-hurt New Yawkers. First up to bat was Joell Ortiz, who imaginatively rapped, “You said that you’re the king of New York? / Little homie you ain’t the king of New York,” then Fred The Godson, B.O.B. and Lupe Fiasco offered their own retorts, but there’s no way in hell I’m listening to any of those guys, even under the guise of “research purposes”. None of them were mentioned in the verse, but thought it was a good opportunity to troll-up some free publicity. Sadly, Papoose and Uncle Murda are yet to throw their fitted hats into the ring.

The effed-up thing about this scenario is that in Twitter Era rap, simply tweeting a response makes a lot more sense than actually recording a song or verse in response. Kendrick clearly thinks he’s doing hip-hop a community service by “raising the bar” (pause) and invoking the spirit of competition, but there’s still something very calculated about the whole thing, especially considering that two of the dudes he “called out” are on the song in question. If there was any real animosity here, Sean would have made like LL Cool J on 4,3,2,1 and “demanded” that Lamar take his name out his mouth and re-do the verse, before re-recording his own to bury Kendrick without telling him.

Of course, Big Sean has no right to demand that of anybody and even if he did he clearly lacks the raw ability to dismantle anyone with a pen. Jay Electronica on the other hand – who should seriously consider adjusting his handle to the more contemporary Jay EDM – was far too busy preparing for his nuptials to millionaire banking heiress Kate Rothschild in London to bring any real danger to the song. Some of the other people mentioned are also laughable and by no means a threat to anybody, or else are guys that Kendrick has made songs with before. He also “kisses the rings” of Nas, Jay Z, Andre 3000 and Eminem, which is very convenient since at least two of them may have provided him with an actual contest instead of some of the posers he named. So while Control is not going to be remembered as a classic diss rap in the vein of No Vaseline or The Bitch In Yoo, it crowns Kendrick Lamar as the undisputed champion of Troll Rap.

Keep up with Robbie’s weekly ‘No Country for Old (Rap) Men’ here.