Kendrick Lamar set the internet, and the hip-hop world on fire with his verse on Big Sean’s “Control” where the Compton MC claims the he’s “the King of New York” and then name drops a bunch of his friends, adding that he’s gunning for their heads.
“I’m usually homeboys with the same n—-s i’m rhymin with/ But this is hip-hop and them n—-s should know what time it is/ And that goes for Jermaine Cole, Big K.R.I.T., Wale/ Pusha T, Meek Mill, A$AP Rocky, Drake/ Big Sean, Jay Electron’, Tyler, Mac Miller/ I got love for you all but I’m tryna murder you n—-s/ Tryna make sure your core fans never heard of you n—-s/ They don’t wanna hear not one more noun or verb from you n—as”
I love everything about this.
Kendrick is laying down the gauntlet, or as he says a few bars later in the verse “trying to raise the bar high” and wondering who’s going to jump up and get it. It’s not beef, it’s competition, and all in the name of making everyone better.
My friends in comedy constantly push me to be better, and I hope that I do the same for them. When I see someone constantly writing, trying out new bits, finding their voice, and just killing it on stage it I want the same for myself. I want to go on stage every single night and make people laugh in ways they’ve never laughed before. I want them to see a show and remember me.
It’s not jealousy. At least, I don’t think it is. I know how hard everybody works because I see it all the time. I want to be the guy that works harder. That’s why I still do open mics most every night seven years into the game (can I call it “the game”?) That’s why I took improv classes, and write sketches, and work on new jokes for the sake of having new jokes. I want to constantly push myself and let the results that come from that push everybody else. And I want to surround myself with people that want to do the same.
Let’s all try to murder each other. We’ll thank each other for it later.