I'm Makaveli's offspring, I'm the king of New York
King of the Coast, one hand, I juggle them both
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
Lamar re-worded Kurupt’s lines to not only compare himself to two hip-hop legends (Pac, who adopted “MC New York”, when he was reppin The East Coast, “Makaveli” as a late-career alter-ego and Biggie, who positioned himself as the “King of New York), but also to pay homage to his “big homie,” Kurupt.
Kendrick has referenced Pac several times, and even sees himself as a sort of spiritual son of Tupac. In an interview with Home Grown Radio, he explained a special relation he has with Pac, who supposedly came to him in his dreams and told him “to keep this music alive”. That dream resulted in Section 80 album and the Hiiipower movement, as Kendrick expressed in Ab-Souls Outro:
New Yorkers and others along the East Coast, both fans and rappers, have taken particular offense to these lines, viewing them as the focal point of the verse.
The irony of that line is that the people who actually understood it and got it were the actual Kings of New York, you know, me sitting down with them this past week, and them understanding, it’s not actually about being the king of whatever coast, it’s about leaving a mark as big as BIG, as big as Pac.
Kendrick said During an interview with Power 106
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