Big Sean – Control (HOF)[feat. Kendrick Lamar & Jay Electronica]
Title: Control (HOF)
Artist: Big Sean feat. Kendrick Lamar, Jay Electronica
Album: No I.D.
Genre: Rap, Hip Hop
“Control (HOF)”, a cut left off the record because of sample clearing issues. The primary stimulus in question was a jaw-dropping verse from Kendrick Lamar, a ceremonious bar-raising that was immediately celebrated as both a call to arms and as an obituary to Jay Electronica. While there’s plenty of lines to wrap a thinkpiece around, the one that stands out is “I’m usually homeboys with the same niggas I’m rhymin’ with/ But this is hip hop and them niggas should know what time it is/ And that goes for Jermaine Cole, Big KRIT, Wale Pusha T, Meek Millz, A$AP Rocky, Drake/ Big Sean, Jay Electron’, Tyler, Mac Miller/ I got love for you all but I’m tryna murder you niggas.”
The rest of Kendrick’s inky verse is dense and hyper-referential– Saddam Hussein, Louis Farrakhan, Elvis Presley, unnamed Decepticon, Paul McCartney, Lindsay Lohan, Kurupt, Sean Connery, Phil Jackson, Bob Marley, they all live here. Given that one of Kendrick’s early standouts was called “Michael Jordan”– and that a chunk of his “Control” verse goes “If Phil Jackson came back, still no coachin’ me”– many have been quick with the sports comparisons, comparing Kendrick’s bloodthirstiness to Jordan’s insatiable need to win, framing Kendrick’s triumph as a splendid end result of competition, both real and completely self-imposed. But, what Kendrick produces here is something that, above all, we value as customers and fans; prowess. Who you root for is beside the point. On “Control”, we’re all witnesses. Corban Goble, Pitchfork