Iman Shumpert Responds to Kendrick Lamar in Latest Song

Stephen BabbFeatured ColumnistAugust 14, 2013

When Kendrick Lamar raps, people listen. Well, some people anyway—other people go to war.

New York Knicks guard Iman Shumpert took exception to Kendrick's latest appearance on the song "Control," a collaboration with Big Sean that didn't quite make it onto the forthcoming Hall of Fame (which hits stores and iTunes Aug. 27).

Shumpert didn't appreciate the Compton native's claim to be the "King of New York." 

And given his proclaimed respect for Lamar—even after all this blew up—Shumpert is probably just trying to have some fun and build his profile in the music industry.

That tweet didn't make Shumpert feel any better. Because then he did this (NSFW):

You could certainly argue Shumpert's effort—like his jumper—yields mixed results. But an effort it was, and way more of an effort than just about anyone else would ever exert in the name of rap refutation. Excepting full-time, professional rappers, of course.

Shumpert isn't there yet, because he's a most-of-the-time professional basketball player.

That said, his star is on the rise. The 23-year-old recently added to his catalogue with the new single "Versace (Freestyle)." His latest rap masterpiece comes replete with references to Game of Thrones and Instagram, reminding us all just how 2013 it really is.

Need more proof?

"Confused face, hashtag, guess what's in my backpack."

I'm guessing it's not the same thing that's in Kevin Durant's backpack. But with lyrics so saturated with social-media savvy, it's no surprise Shumpert's music has received so much exposure. Playing for the Knicks probably helps, too.

In fact, proving you can be a rapper without winding up with a moniker like Fat Joe, Shumpert will be featured on Michelle Obama's new album, the First Lady's latest attempt to keep child obesity in check.

As for Lamar, well, he's gotten a reaction out of almost everyone, thanks in large part to calling out every rapper ever on "Control." Even Phil Jackson had his say in response to Lamar's claim to be "uncoachable." 

Yep, people seem to be taking lyrics pretty literally these days, but at least they aren't taking themselves too seriously in the process. I say we add a rap battle to All-Star Weekend so this can be settled once and for all. Phil's invited.

Who's with me?