Papoose On His Kendrick Response Verse: “If You Disrespect New York, I Disrespect You”
Papoose and Kendrick Lamar have been linked together ever since Summer Jam, when Papoose famously came out at the end of Kendrick’s set and delivered a few tracks to a bewildered audience, but the recent waves made by the Compton MC have upset his Brooklyn-born counterpart. After Kendrick dropped a bombshell on hip-hop with his verse on Big Sean’s “Control” earlier this week, the debate has been raging as to which was a incendiary line—calling out his peers in the game, or declaring himself King of New York. And while most who were named—Mac Miller, Pusha T, and Meek Mill to name a few—have come out saying they respect and accept the challenge, K.Dot’s claim to the throne of the birthplace of hip-hop has ruffled far more feathers, including those of old friend Papoose.
“Even if I wasn’t from New York, I would respect that enough to not say that I was the King of a place that I’m not even from,” Papoose said in a phone interview with XXL. “I had to just represent for my city. It was defending my city where I was born and raised, blood sweat and tears. I felt like, all y’all media outlets and award shows and different platforms, y’all make these dudes feel like they’re greater than what they are, and it ultimately leads to a situation like this, where they feel like they can just disrespect everybody like that.”
In the aftermath of Summer Jam, Hot 97’s Peter Rosenberg said that he had spoken to TDE’s camp, and that the reason they decided to let Papoose take some of Kendrick’s stage time was a show of respect for the New Yorker, who took Kendrick under his wing when he was still a kid on the come-up. Pap said that while he appreciated that, K.Dot still stepped over the line.
“He invited me on Summer Jam,” Pap said, “But let me ask you a question—does that make him the King of New York? [Laughs] As far as our relationship, I leave that up to him. But nobody—and I mean nobody—is gonna disrespect where I was born and raised.
“I’m the King of New York,” he continued. “This is my kingdom. I feel like what Kendrick tried to do was the kicking down the buildings thing that Snoop [did]. I listened to how he set it up—in the beginning he said things like, ‘I’m Makaveli’s offspring’—so you knew the disrespect was coming. And he knew what he was doing; the disrespect was intentional. It is what it is, bro, I just feel like New York gets disrespected so much, and that’s why the game is the way it is now. These cats feel like they can disrespect us whenever they feel like it, but they got all the love here. It is what it is, just don’t disrespect New York, ’cause I’ll have to disrespect you.”
Pap—whose most recent album Nacirema Dream came out in March—also spoke on the need for more unity in his city. “A lot of the other regions say, like the South says, ‘The South stick together.’ You know what? It’s kinda true. We gotta come together, New York, so I’m gonna shout out everybody that spoke up, I don’t want to leave anyone out,” he said. “I want these New York cats to understand, it’s not just about me, me, me, and when a cat disrespect your city you afraid to say something ’cause you don’t know down the line if you’re gonna need a verse from them? Fuck that, man. Fuck that. To claim King of New York and you’re not even from New York? There’s no explanation for that.”
Pap’s wife Remy Ma is also counting down the final ten months until her release from prison, where she was serving an eight year sentence for shooting a friend in the stomach in a dispute over money. “I’ve been hearing some of her new material and words can’t describe it,” he said of his wife. “But more important than anything, I just want to see her walk out of there without those cuffs on her, without an officer standing over her shoulder, without a gate in front of her. I just want to see her walk out of there and be free, that’s what I’m excited about more than anything.”