how often do you hear rap tracks that cater towards one thing? you know what i mean. the club banger saluting a bottle of alcohol. or an anthem about a pair of jordans. maybe a conscious jam about the inequalities in the fucked up world in which we live? in hip hop, that’s where we stand. we’re either in the fast lane draped with fine fashions and fancy things or we are tagged with the backpack-rap title because the lyrics happen to strike an everyday chord. now think about how often an artist has been able to successful make tracks that touch on any and all subjects, bar to bar, verse to verse, line for line.
every long while an artist comes around with a knack for speaking his or her mind, consciously with the type of skill and flair that attracts an entire genre of fans. compton, californias kendrick lamar is that type of artist. his music is smart, thought-provoking and stacked with creativity. hip hop heads wont sleep on lamar, yet the iTunes, “singles” generation will find a track to click and spend a dollar. that unique mass-appeal is what sets kendrick apart from his contemporaries.
ive been spinning his newest record section.80 constantly for the last week. i also grabbed an older mixtape called overly dedicated and have to say, this body of work is enough to catapult lamar into my top ten mc category. bold, i know. but there’s something about his wordplay, delivery and challenging subject matter that forces me to think about 2pac. they are very different artists, but if you listen carefully, you’ll find some eerie similarities.
if ive offended your musical sensibilities, good. leave a comment and curse at me. if ive made you think, go and listen to “how do u want it” by pac, from all eyez on me. if you catch pac’s ability to be wildly political, yet ultra-sleazy all at once, you’ll make the connection. few rappers have the ability to make a statement and make a record for the street. kendrick lamar does it over the top of jazzy, airy production that at times reminds me of tracks from common or andre 3000. his skills are razor-sharp and down right dangerous. any doubts will subside after one listen to “rigamortus”. there’s something wrong with our musical axis if this man doesn’t become a household name. he goes hard, every time.
check out how he weaves this “his & her” tale. go buy his music on iTunes right now.