“I’m Makaveli’s offspring, I’m the king of New York.” — Kendrick Lamar on Big Sean’s “Control”

Those are the Kendrick Lamar lyrics that shook the hip-hop world in August after Big Sean dropped his Hall of Fame outtake “Control” featuring the Black Hippy rapper. Is Kendrick Lamar the king of New York hip-hop? No. But, according to New York rapper Talib Kweli, “Kendrick represents the best of what’s happening right now.”

VIBE sat down with Kweli to talk about Kendrick’s verse on “Control” and paying respect to Biggie, Tupac and Kurupt, the latter who Talib points out was the inspiration for Kendrick’s lyric. (Rapped Kurupt on Terrace Martin’s “Get Bizy,” which featured Kendrick Lamar, Bad Lucc and Kurupt, “I’m important like the pope/ I’m the king of New York/ I’m live from South Central/ I’m a Muslim on pork.”)