It looks like the claims that Kendrick Lamar had left Top Dawg Entertainment to sign to his own label, PgLang, were greatly exaggerated. So says the man himself, with the help of his daughter’s Blue’s Clues doll, in a new video posted to Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith’s Instagram page. In the first slide, Kendrick, through “Blue,” denies the reports that he would turn his back on the man who effectively helped make him one of hip-hop’s three biggest stars of the last decade, while on the second slide, Kendrick and Top pose for a side-by-side with masks on.
“Top, you gotta stop them from smutting my name, man,” Kendrick intones from somewhere off-camera. “They been smuttin’ my name all year, man, you ain’t said nothin’. Enough is enough, man. Got ’em sayin’ I done shook the label and all that, man.” Kendrick also took the opportunity to — as many TDE artists seemingly have a tendency to do — lightly tease his label boss. “They must not know about that pickle juice that’s under your red cap,” he joked. “About that sweat that’s holding that red cap together — the reason why it don’t fall off your head, that lubricant. You need to tell ’em that the reason why that red cap don’t fall off your head, man. So why would I fall off?”
The fact all this is going on with Spongebob Squarepants playing in the background is just the icing on the Kendrick-Lamar-being-completely-random cake.
Kendrick Lamar is rumored to have formally left TDE for pgLang.
pgLang, founded by Dave Free, Kendrick's manager & former TDE executive, has a roster that includes Kendrick's cousin, Baby Keem. pic.twitter.com/Hlb01IikvG
— An Account About Hip Hop (@checktherhyme1) October 5, 2020
It’s likely that the rumors were fueled by Kendrick’s PgLang trailer which dropped without warning in March this year and sparked speculation about what the creative partnership with Dave Free could possibly entail. As Free had also recently departed a position at TDE, it’s only natural that fans might jump to conclusions in lieu of any solid details from either brand.
There’s been rumors that Kendrick Lamar has left TDE to focus on his own label, pgLang with former co-president of Top Dawg Entertainment, Dave Free. pic.twitter.com/9fEyk3HYf4
— ENDLESSLY HIP-HOP. (@ENDLESSLYHIPHOP) October 5, 2020
Furthermore, a Kendrick Lamar forum on Reddit posted a theory/fanfic about Kendrick changing his album and causing tension within the group due to his PgLang trailer. And while the user who posted it doesn’t provide much backing for their hypothesis, that didn’t stop Hip-Hop Twitter from a feeding frenzy, because nothing fills a vaccuum like rumors and speculation. Multiple accounts ran with the theory, while more respectable outlets reported on the speculation itself, as well as TDE president Punch’s purported (vague) response. However, with Kendrick finally checking in himself to clear the air, maybe the lesson will be learned — unless it came from the horse’s mouth, it’s probably best not to pay it too much attention.