Papoose On Kendrick Lamar’s BET Cypher: “He’ll Never Be Able To Shine My Shoes, Lyrically”
Kendrick Lamar dropped a bombshell on hip-hop again yesterday with the release of a 15-second clip from his BET Cypher at the BET Hip-Hop Awards last weekend, which will be aired in full on October 15. Kicking the section off with, “Nothing’s been the same since they dropped ‘Control,’” most initially thought K.Dot was going after Drake, with the first part a reference to Drizzy's Nothing Was The Same. But later in the day, a new theory emerged—Papoose, the Brooklyn MC who unleashed a fiery response to Kendrick's "Control" assertion that he was the "King Of New York," may have been the real target, not Drake. The lyrics lined up—XXL has detailed the entire exchange here, if you'd like a refresher—and last night Papoose seemed to agree, tweeting, "@drake, fall back sweetheart I got this #Bkln." The tweet has since been deleted, and Pap claimed today that his account was hacked. Papoose called in to XXL today to speak about the 15-second clip, his Twitter hack, why he thinks he "Ethered" Kendrick and the reason his upcoming mixtape is called Blackballed. —Dan Rys (@danrys)
I gotta ask about your Twitter last night. You said today it got hacked?
Yeah, it was some weird shit like that, but you know, I got a team that handles that for me. I reached out to them and they handled that, and we caught it real quick.
So you saw the Kendrick clip that came out from the BET Cypher?
Yeah, yeah, I was hearing about it a lot, and then when I actually clicked on that, I couldn't believe that that was what everybody was making a big deal out of.
What was your reaction?
Oh, it was comical, man. I laughed.
A lot of people said he was going at you.
I agree with the people, I looked at the majority and they were saying he was going at me. So I agree with the listeners, I agree with the fans. They say majority rules, so I agree with the majority.
You've gone back at Kendrick in the past with a verse. Are you planning on that this time?
Yeah yeah, he can't fuck with me. He'll never be able to shine my shoes, lyrically. So I'm just gonna be able to continue to prove that, to show and prove, like I did on "Control." This is hip-hop, I love hip-hop, but I just want to continue to show and prove that he can't fuck with me lyrically. You can look forward to that in my next release, straight up. I live in the studio, that's my second home. So yeah, I'm definitely going to respond.
Are you going to wait to hear the full verse?
I don't gotta wait, he's very predictable. I already know what he's capable of and what he's gonna say; he's very predictable. I don't gotta wait. I can go right now and crush that little 15-second shit he did. That ain't even about nothing. The guy's predictable; he's a very predictable artist. I already know what he's gonna say before he even says it.
It kinda seemed like Kendrick had gone through your "Control" response line by line in his verse.
Oh, definitely. Cosmic Kev out in Philly, when he played it, he said the record reminded him of "Ether." I think that just ate his soul alive; as much as he wanted to take the high road and try to say that he was too much of a big shot to respond, I think it ate him alive and he couldn't resist.
You think you struck a nerve with him?
Oh, more than a nerve, I struck the entire nervous system. He couldn't sleep at night, when he opened his freezer he'd see my face, when he closed his eyes...[Laughs] I'm just bullshitting. But I think that struck a nerve, definitely. It shook the ground up, let's keep it real—when I dropped my response, it shook the ground up. You got guys who say, "this response or that one," but come on, man, my "Control" response has over a million views already. I look around at some of the other guys, they got 300,000 or something like that, you know what I mean? There's no comparison. Come on.
It seems like there's more and more people getting into the competition spirit recently.
You know what, it's hip-hop and it's all about competition, but don't get into a competition with someone you can't fuck with lyrically. I think when you're out of your league, you're out of your league, and I think lyrically, what hip-hop is about is showcasing your talent, and I think I show and proved that I'm a true lyricist. So for me to go at somebody, I'm not stepping out of my boundaries. I don't give a fuck about how much records have sold, how much arenas he's sold out, how shiny his shoes is, or how real or how fake his chain is. This is hip-hop, it's not about that, it's about showcasing your talent, what you're about, what you can bring to the table. So I feel like some guys are out of their league, jumping out of a window with a true lyricist. But to each his own; this is hip-hop, let's keep hip-hop what it's about, and it's about talent, it's about ability, substance, concepts. It's about being a true MC, it's not about anything else. So don't tell me a guy sold this, or sold that, and that makes him a great artist; that don't make him shit but a good salesman, and that's it. Period.
I love hip-hop, man, I'm enjoying this. His response at the BET Awards was comical; they should have brought me there if they wanted a real MC on the microphone.
What else have you been working on?
A lot, man, I got a mixtape I've been working on called Blackballed, because that's what I am, I've been blackballed. I am the most feared MC, the industry is afraid of me, and that's the only reason why I'm not in the position that I deserve to be in, but I keep resurfacing because you cannot deny talent, you cannot stop destiny. So for me to always be in the headlines, in the worst and the best ways, every time they turn around, that's just the reaction that takes place when you try to stop destiny or control talent and hold somebody back. This is what happens. It has a way of reacting. They'll never be able to stop me or control what I do. But I am the most feared MC, and a lot of your favorite artists and execs—a lot of people hated on me, man. I've been hated on, and that's the only reason I'm not in the position I deserve to be in. So that's why that's the title of my new mixtape, Blackballed.
I'm also working on my next album at the same time. I'm still working Nacirema Dream, it's doing well for an independent release; I released it on my own, it charted, and it did extremely well for an independent project. I'm focused, man. I won't let you down, never man.