How I Heard Kendrick’s Control Verse June 7, 2013

The significance of the date in the title is because Big Sean’s Hall of Fame album doesn’t drop until August, 27th of 2013. Because of the sample used, the Control song doesn’t make the album. Now for the moment before hip-hop was set on fire.

I’m rolling out to get an interview for the local Indianapolis Radio Station I work for, thanks to B Swift for telling me in enough time to make something happen. TDE and Kid Ink were in town and were about to shut down White River State Park.

One of the management team tells us that Kendrick will be available soon and to just chill on the tour bus.

Kendrick’s tour bus wasn’t the regular “rap life tour bus” you seen on IG and Snapchat. It was very clean, no smoke or alcohol in visible site. In fact, one of Team TDE was talking with a lady we came with about juicing.

While that conversation is going on a beat is playing in the back of the bus. Beat sounds super hard. We in the front nodding. Then some vocals are heard. I know we didn’t hear it all, but the part I know I heard was

” I’m tryna murder you niggas
Tryna make sure your core fans never heard of you niggas
They don’t wanna hear not one more noun or verb from you niggas
What is competition? I’m tryna raise the bar high
Who tryna jump and get it? You better off tryna skydive
Out the exit window of 5 G5’s with 5 grand
With your granddad as the pilot he drunk as fuck tryna land
With the hand full of arthritis and popping prosthetic leg
Bumpin Pac in the cockpit so the shit that pops in his head
Is an option of violence, someone heard the stewardess said
That your parachute is a latex condom hooked to a dread”

Swift and I looked at each other and he said,
“I wonder what he working on in there”
Cam: I don’t know but he in there snapping! That sound hot!
Swift: I’ll ask him about it.

Kendrick comes out and ScHoolboy Q comes in and the interview starts. Swift asks the question. “We on the tour bus and we heard you in the back going in. Is there a new Kendrick album or mixtape on the way?”

Kendrick: Nah, that’s something for somebody else, I’m not even in album mode right now.

In my mind, I’m like maybe it’s some new TDE joint he working on. Either way I planned to hear whatever this song was when it finally dropped just to hear the rest of the verse.

Months go by and Big Sean’s Hall of Fame album drops, which I honestly thought was going to be album of the year just from Sean’s growth shown on Cruel Summer and The Detroit Mixtape.

Before the album is officially out, one song, that didn’t make the album gets released a day or two before. That song was “Control” featuring Kendrick Lamar and Jay Electronica.

I’m sitting listening to it and off top think, “this beat sounds familiar”. I’m racking my brain trying to figure out where I know this beat from as Kendrick’s verse comes on. Then he gets to the end of the verse and I immediately had the epiphany!

I did the only thing I could think of; I hit Swift on Twitter and asked him.

Cam: “Yo, Swift! Wasn’t the Control beat playing on Kendrick’s bus when they were here in June?”

Swift: Damn, it sure was.

Then we both start tripping on how that verse was recorded in Indianapolis and how we by luck or circumstance were sitting in on it.

When I heard the end of the verse, I knew that was it! Damn! We got the super exclusive and didn’t even know it!

Little did we know how exclusive it would be. As that day went on, Kendrick’s Control verse was the most talked about thing in hip-hop. Response tracks were made, Rappers were being questioned and Drake and Kendrick haven’t been cool since.

We didn’t hear the full verse, nor did we hear the names dropped during the verse. We just heard the end. The end was dope without the names. Kendrick didn’t even seem over the top about it. Little did we know we heard a piece of “the verse” that jolted hip-hop in 2013.

Looking back on that day, I don’t have exclusive audio or video. At least none that I can find right now. All I have is this picture of Myself, Q and Kendrick, on the tour bus, outside of White River State Park, at max 30 minutes after the end of the control verse played for the first time.

To this day, I can’t believe I was one of the few that experienced and know for a fact that Kendrick’s verse to control was recorded on his tour bus in Indianapolis, IN.

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