It's been speculated that the song is a response to Kendrick Lamar's verse on Big Sean's "Control
" where the Compton rhymer called out Drake and other rap big guns:
"I don't know why they been lying but your s--t is not that inspiring
Bank account statements just look like I'm ready for early retirement
F--k any ni--a that's talkin' that s--t just to get a reaction
F--k going platinum, I looked at my wrist and it's already platinum"
Speaking on RapFix Live
, Birdman said he'd heard the speculation, but he doesn't believe that Kendrick was Drake's intended target. "Drake do what he do. He really slick with whatever he do. He makes you think. But I didn't think he put no energy into that," he said. "Kendrick the homey, I ain't got nothin' but love and respect for Kendrick. Top Dawg is one of my best friends, so I would never want to see us condone that. That ain't what this about."
Drake addressed the speculation doing an interview with Vibe
magazine. He said: "'The Language' is just energy. What it was inspired by, I'm sure that, and other things. It's just me talking my s---. I never once felt the need to respond to that record. The sentiment he was putting forth is what he should have. Of course you wanna be the best. Where it became an issue is that I was rolling out an album while that verse was still bubbling, so my album rollout became about this thing. What am I supposed to say? Nah, we'll be buddy-buddy? Mind you, I never once said he's a bad guy [or] I don't like him. I think he's a f---ing genius in his own right, but I also stood my ground as I should."