In the span of 18 hours Kendrick Lamar gave the hip hop world a much needed spanking, and simultaneously broke the internets. K.Dot has been hot for a while, from his platinum selling “Good Kid, m.a.a.d City” to killing his guest appearances on other rappers songs. Such as Talib Kweli’s recent “Push Thru” single, off the “Prisoner Of Conscious” album. And he blessed 50 Cent’s “We Up” with a great verse back in March.
I first heard about this uproar yesterday morning, when I checked my instagram. And to my surprise a couple of my followers, one a woman in her late 20’s, and the other a young woman in high school, both had IMAGE POSTS about a dope Kendrick Lamar verse calling rappers out. At that point, I knew something was up.
Upon further inspection, I soon found out what all the hype was about. I youtubed the track “Control” from Kendrick Lamar featuring Big Se…whoops! I mean Big Sean featuringKendrick Lamar And Jay Electronica (da fuck you been?) The beat is dope, of course Big Sean’s verse is cornball, maybe the last quarter of his verse was aight, thats about it, not the point of this review. Next up is Kendrick, who raps so ferocious, you wouldn’t think he had a popular platinum selling album. Dude is rapping like he’s still trying to get Dr. Dre to listen to his demo. Before he even mentions any other rapper’s names, his verse is already fire, saying most blasphemously he’s the “king of new york/ king of the coast/ one hand, I juggle them both.”
New York rappers are fairly split about this on Twitter.
Then he does the unthinkable, calling out successful rappers (and a few up and comers) and challenging them to reach his plateau, putting them on BLAST. In the best part of his verse he raps,
“I heard the barbershops be in great debates all the time
Bout who’s the best MC? Kendrick, Jigga and Nas
Eminem, Andre 3000, the rest of y’all
New niggas just new niggas, don’t get involved
I’m usually homeboys with the same niggas I’m rhymin’ wit
But this is hip hop and them niggas should know what time it is
And that goes for Jermaine Cole, Big KRIT, Wale
Pusha T, Meek Millz, A$AP Rocky, Drake
Big Sean, Jay Electron’, Tyler, Mac Miller
I got love for you all but I’m tryna murder you niggas
Tryna make sure your core fans never heard of you niggas
They don’t wanna hear not one more noun or verb from you niggas
What is competition? I’m tryna raise the bar high
Who tryna jump and get it? You better off tryna skydive.”
This may be the most exciting/ important thing to happen in hip hop in the past 5-6 years. A young, popular, commercially successful emcee calling out rappers for being masters of the mediocre, and challenging, nay, demanding they step they game up. Commercially hip hop is at the critical mass of mediocre, quality emcees are scared to death to craft dope verses, because of the concern they won’t appeal to soccer moms in Iowa. But without quality product, the culture suffers artistically first, then dies commercially. So the thing that rapper are trying to avoid (being a commercial flop), is the very thing they are hurdling the culture towards by playing it safe and being boring.
When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, after receiving the 10 commandments and communing with the most high, he saw that his people had given way to worshipping a false idol. “Moses anger waxed hot, and he cast the tablets out of his hands, and broke them beneath the mount. And he took the idol which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and strawed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it.” Yeah, its that serious.
A sheppard, every now and then, has to show his flock when they go astray. Everyone in the hip hop industry, and overall pop culture has taken notice. From Allhiphop.com andSohh.com to HuffPost And ABCNews. Kendrick is the perfectly positioned rapper, with the right amount of success and cred, at JUST the right time to rap this verse. If he had laid this verse this just 3 short years ago, he would have been dismissed as hater and written off. Timing is EVERYTHING.
Oh yeah J. Elect had a verse after K.Dot that no one will remember, #kanyeshrug.