UPDATE: I missed this, but Wale gave a more weighted opinion in Rolling Out Magazine:
Kendrick is a phenomenal rapper. It was a great verse from Kendrick. But I think people are taking it the wrong way. He said my name and a few other names and also said he was the best rapper. I say that I’m the best rapper in every song I’m on, I just don’t call out names. He just did it a different way.
It just hasn’t happened that way in a long time. Those type of records usually come from the bitter rapper who has had his time pass. Since it hasn’t been done by anyone in their prime, it felt shocking. Kendrick gave you a good verse and just named rappers while doing it. Every rapper brags in their own way. He took the position of, ‘whoever is standing in my way, I’m going to do something to you.’
I thank him for mentioning me in that category. I may have felt a certain way if he didn’t mention me. He mentioned the rapper [Drake] who is going to sell the most records this year, and he mentioned the rapper who has sold the most records thus far in 2013. I think I’m in good company.
But I always feel that I’m the best rapper. There are a lot of rappers who have done it for a long time who will tell you that I’m their favorite rapper. In this day and age, the hate is 10 times louder than the love. If someone says, ‘F– you’ it’s a scream. But if they say, ‘You’re the greatest’ it’s a whisper.”
Looks like Wale is pretty cool about the whole thing (why wouldn’t he be). From TMZ:
Wale isn’t trippin one bit over Kendrick Lamar’s new lyrics of mass destruction — despite being personally called out in KL’s rhymes — telling TMZ, he’d be offended if Kendrick DIDN’T threaten his ass.
Wale was out at LAX Wednesday when we asked about the backhanded shoutout, and he told us, “I’d’ve been offended if my name wasn’t in that sh*t.”
As for the best rapper on the planet … Wale still thinks it’s himself.