Jay Rock's star-studded single "King's Dead" features labelmate Kendrick Lamar, Future, and James Blake, along with solid production from Mike Will Made-It and Teddy Walton. That alone should get people talking, but it also sounds like the Watts representative has bars for a certain rapper: Big Sean. Though the suspected references are subtle, the theory isn’t much of a reach when you consider Sean’s ongoing feud with Kendrick.
Let’s take a look at some of the lyrics.
At the beginning of his verse, Jay uses the term “lil bitch,” which is a regular Sean ad-lib and one that Kendrick used on “The Heart Part 4.” (That song was also suspected of being a Sean diss track).
And it's like that, lil bitch
MVP, I get no sleep
No, I don't like that, lil bitch
Bust that open, I want that ocean
Yeah that bite back, lil bitch
Do it bite back, lil bitch?
Need two life jackets, lil bitch
Jay then goes on to rap: “I ain't gon’ hold you, I ain't gon’ press you, never control you/I ain't gon’ front you, keep it 100, I don't know you.” The use of the word “control” could be a reference to Sean’s 2013 song “Control” featuring Kendrick and Jay Electronica. The No I.D.-produced record seemingly sparked the beef between the rappers, as K-Dot rapped:
And them niggas should know what time it is
And that goes for Jermaine Cole, Big K.R.I.T., Wale
Pusha T, Meek Millz, ASAP Rocky, Drake
Big Sean, Jay Electron', Tyler, Mac Miller
I got love for you all, but I'm tryna murder you niggas
Though Sean insisted he approved Kendrick’s verse, “Control” was ultimately left off his sophomore album, Hall of Fame. Which brings us to exhibit C: Jay later raps, “Stutter steppin', got a Hall of Fame in all my posters.” Interesting.
And then we have these lines: “My bitch been ready, my clique's been ready/My shit's been ready, my check's been ready.” Though it may be a stretch, the use of the word “clique” could be alluding to Sean’s feature on the Cruel Summer track “Clique,” with Kanye West and Jay Z.
So, was Jay actually taking subtle jabs at Sean? You be the judge. “King’s Dead” is now available to stream on SoundCloud. The track is the lead single off Jay's upcoming studio album, and will appear on the Black Panther soundtrack.