Control (Big Sean song)

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Promotional single by Big Sean featuring Kendrick Lamar and Jay Electronica
Released August 14, 2013 (2013-08-14)
Format Radio airplay
Recorded 2013
Genre Hip hop
Length 7:32
Producer(s) No I.D.

"Control" is a song by American hip hop recording artist Big Sean, featuring fellow American rappers Kendrick Lamar and Jay Electronica. The song was originally intended to be included on Big Sean's second studio album Hall of Fame (2013), but was ultimately removed from the final track-listing due to sample clearance issues.[1] "Control" impacted American mainstream urban radio on August 14, 2013 as a promotional single for Hall of Fame. The track contains samples such as "Where I'm From" (1997) by Jay-Z, "El Pueblo Unido Jamás Será Vencido" (1974) by Quilapayún and Sergio Ortega and an interpolation of "Get Bizy" (2011) by Terrace Martin, which also features fellow rappers Kendrick Lamar and Jay Electronica.


Def Jam Recordings serviced "Control" to American mainstream urban radio on August 14, 2013,[2] while a release to urban contemporary radio followed on August 27.[3] It peaked at number 11 on the United States Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart and at number 43 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.[4][5]


Much media attention was brought to the lyrical content of Lamar's verse on "Control", in which he calls out, by name, 11 fellow rappers—J. Cole; Meek Mill; Drake; Big K.R.I.T.; Wale; Pusha T; ASAP Rocky; Tyler, The Creator and Mac Miller, as well as his co-artists on the song, Big Sean and Jay Electronica—and raps: "I got love for you all but I'm tryin' to murder you niggas / Trying to make sure your core fans never heard of you niggas / They don't want to hear not one more noun or verb from you niggas."[6] In the same verse, he proclaims himself to be "the king of New York" and "king of the Coast".[6]

Lamar's Twitter account saw a 510% increase in followers in the week following the track's release, while his Wikipedia page garnered 200,000 page views.[7]


The song garnered many responses and diss tracks from several notable rappers in the form of song, many of which are labeled "Kendrick Lamar Response" or "Control Response." Kendrick Lamar responded to the amount of responses saying the best were by King Los, Joell Ortiz, Joe Budden and Chocolate Drop, Kevin Hart's rap persona, also calling Papoose's the "comical joint".[8] Rappers who responded via song include:

Reception and impact[edit]

"Control" received rave reviews from critics and fans alike upon its release, with many critics and fans praising Kendrick Lamar's verse in particular. Complex ranked the song number ten on their list of the 50 Best Songs of 2013. Rob Kenner said, "No matter which verse you prefer it’s hard to deny that "Control" will go down in history as a milestone in hip-hop, and easily ranks as one of 2013’s most important records."[22] Rolling Stone also positioned the song at number 13 on their list of the 100 best songs of 2013. They said, "Lamar hops on this chipmunk-soul track and spits the rap verse of the year"[23] XXL named it one of the top five hip hop songs of 2013.[24] NME ranked the song at number 41 on their list of the 50 best songs of the year.[25] It was positioned at number 73 on Pitchfork Media's list of the 100 best songs of 2013.[26] Complex also named Lamar's appearance the best rap verse of 2013.[27]

About the song, Big Sean said: "There’s a lot of negativity on that song, and I don’t fuck with negative shit. People love drama, people love bullshit. I knew when Kendrick did that name-dropping that it was just gonna set it off, and I could see why people gravitated towards that verse for that reason. I respected him for thinking of that. I never wanna shade anybody. I would’ve been a ho-ass nigga if I cut that out of his verse, or if I didn’t put the song out."[28]


Chart (2013) Peak
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (Billboard)[4] 11
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[5] 43


  1. ^ Makarechi, Kia (August 13, 2013). "Kendrick Lamar Blasts Everyone On Big Sean's 'Control,' Including Big Sean". The Huffington Post. New York. Retrieved August 23, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Single – Control feat Kendrick Lamar & Jay Electronica (Super Clean w/ Intro Radio Edit)". Frequency News. Retrieved August 24, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Urban/UAC Future Releases". All Access Music Group. Archived from the original on August 24, 2013. Retrieved August 24, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Big Sean Chart History (Bubbling Under Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved August 24, 2013.
  5. ^ a b "Big Sean Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved August 24, 2013.
  6. ^ a b Tardio, Andres (August 13, 2013). "Kendrick Lamar Says He's 'Trying To Murder' Drake, J. Cole, Wale On Big Sean's 'Control'". HipHopDX. Cheri Media Group. Retrieved August 24, 2013. 
  7. ^ Gruger, William (August 22, 2013). "Kendrick Lamar's 'Control' Feature Yields 510% Gain in Twitter Followers". Billboard. New York. Retrieved August 24, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f "Kendrick Lamar Says King Los Had The Best "Control" Response". HipHopDX. Retrieved 19 September 2014. 
  9. ^ Cooper, Roman (2013-08-18). "A$AP Ferg Disses Kendrick Lamar In Hot 97 Freestyle | Get The Latest Hip Hop News, Rap News & Hip Hop Album Sales". HipHop DX. Retrieved 2013-08-23. 
  10. ^ "Listen: Big K.R.I.T. disses "Control" with new track "Mt. Olympus"". consequenceofsound. 29 April 2014. Retrieved 11 March 2015. 
  11. ^ "B.o.B, Fred The Godson And Los Respond To Kendrick Lamar - XXL". 2013-08-14. Retrieved 2013-08-23. 
  12. ^ "Cassidy "Control (Freestyle)"". Complex. 2013-08-14. Retrieved 2013-08-23. 
  13. ^ ""David Stones - (I Got This Under) Control Freestyle (Kendrick Lamar Response)"". Retrieved 19 September 2014. 
  14. ^ "Fabolous Responds To Kendrick Lamar's "Control" Verse". HipHopDX. 4 November 2013. Retrieved 18 July 2018. 
  15. ^ a b c "Responses To Kendrick Lamar's 'Control' Verse: Lupe Fiasco, Joell Ortiz, More". RapFix. Retrieved 19 September 2014. 
  16. ^ "J. Cole Fires Shots at Kendrick Lamar on Justin Timberlake's 'TKO' Remix". SPIN. 2 December 2013. Retrieved 19 September 2014. 
  17. ^ "Better Late Than Never: Joey Bada$$ Responds to Kendrick Lamar With "Killuminati Pt. 2"". Complex. 26 August 2013. Retrieved 19 September 2014. 
  18. ^ a b c d "Songs Responding to Kendrick Lamar's "Control" Verse". 12 May 2014. Retrieved 19 September 2014. 
  19. ^ "Mad Rapper Kendrick Lamar "Control"". Complex. 2013-08-15. Retrieved 2013-08-23. 
  20. ^ "Meek Mill Says He Told Kendrick Lamar About His "Control" Response". HipHopDX. Retrieved 19 September 2014. 
  21. ^ Lachlan Kanoniuk (16 August 2013). "Ur Boy Bangs puts Kendrick Lamar back in his place". FasterLouder. Retrieved 19 September 2014. 
  22. ^ "Big Sean f/ Kendrick Lamar & Jay Electronica "Control"". Complex. 2 December 2013. Retrieved 19 September 2014. 
  23. ^ "Big Sean Feat. Kendrick Lamar, "Control"". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 19 September 2014. 
  24. ^ "XXL Lists The Best Hip-Hop Songs And Albums Of The Last 40 Years - XXL Issue 152 - Page 4 of 4 - XXL". XXL. Retrieved 19 September 2014. 
  25. ^ "Pictures of NME's 50 Best Tracks Of 2013 - NME.COM". NME.COM. Retrieved 19 September 2014. 
  26. ^ "The Top 100 Tracks of 2013 - Pitchfork". Pitchfork. Retrieved 19 September 2014. 
  27. ^ "Kendrick Lamar "Control"". Complex. 23 December 2013. Retrieved 19 September 2014. 
  28. ^