(MUSIC REVIEW)GOOD Kid Gone Mad: Kendrick Lamar Reaps The Benefits OF Being A Fearless Rapper

Kendrick Lamar, the Compton-based
rapper, has set the hip-hop world ablaze
with his latest battle rhyme.
The Compton born rapper set Twitter
ablaze Monday night after hip-hop heads
around the web caught wind of his battle
rhyme for the ages on “Control,” a seven
minute song also featuring Big Sean and
Jay Electronica. Did a west coast rapper
really call himself King of New York? Did
a rap rookie really put himself on the same
scale as Jay-Z and Nas? And did he really
call his hip-hop peers out by name and vow
to annihilate their careers?
Spitting out some of the most
braggadocious lines in recent rap history,
Lamar (crowned by MTV as the “Hottest
MC in the Game” in 2012) is now said to
have the best verse of 2013.
Many have reduced Lamar’s verse to a diss
track that has compelled countless rappers
to respond via Twitter. But others, myself
included, are intrigued by how awe-
inspiring Lamar seems to be to rap
veterans, his contemporaries and hip-hop
heads. This verse is a mere extension of
him constantly pushing the envelope and
operating outside the box.
From the second that Lamar’s verse begins,
the poetry kicks in. It’s that celestial,
“from two planets away” voice that has
become his signature sound. The vocabulary
is simple but the ideas are complex. Every
line is overpacked, forcing the listener to
take them apart piece by piece in order to
understand the metaphors. ”Miscellaneous
minds are never explaining their minds/
Devilish grin for my alias aliens to
respond/ Peddlin’ sin, thinking’ maybe when
you get old you realize/ I’m not gonna fold
or demise.”
Lamar is an unapologetic lyricist who
masterfully weaves words and images
together in the art of hip-hop story-telling.
His language is often explicit and vulgar,
loaded with N-words and the like, but he is
a griot of this generation. When Lamar
opens his mouth, he brings the reality of
the grimy, gritty streets of America into
the mainstream with him.
When he says “I’m Makaveli’s offspring,
I’m the king of New York / King of the
Coast, one hand, I juggle them both,” he’s
not simply dethroning Jay-Z or Nas. He’s
evoking rap history through the memory of
hip-hop legends Tupac Shakur and
Notorious B.I.G.
Lamar, unlike many of his rap peers,
understands that his competition is not only
his contemporaries but also the greats that
proceed him. He’s “trying to raise the bar
high” in order to call hip-hop back to its
more organic self, reminding other artists
that it was “black hoodie rap” that put
many of the legends on the map and not the
rampant materialism found on radio
stations today. Joining a chorus of people
who blamed New York rappers for Lamar’s
lyrical audacity, rapper Joe Budden asked
via Twitter, “Where’s old NY?”
The verse has already gotten over 8 replies
already from mainstream & the
underground artistes, three replies from
B.O.B, Lupe Fiasco & Joell Ortiz of
Slaughter house.
Some may say that Lamar went too far. He
definitely went to the edge of rap social
etiquette: “I heard the barbershops be in
great debates all the time / Bout who’s the
best MC – Kendrick, Jigga and Nas.” But it
goes without question that he’s taking his
craft to new lyrical heights and he is
pushing his contemporaries to do the same.
At a stage in any rappers career every
rapper is supposed to feel like Kendrick
feels at the moment.. As far as wanting to
murder niggas on the mic and being one of
the best if not the best.
Same way M.I Abaga felt when he
recorded ‘Undisputed’ & ‘Number One’, I
mean that feeling that you’re are immortal,
untouchable! Cockiness has to come in.
A 26 year old rapper from compton
claiming to be the ‘King Of New York’..
Back then a rapper dare not try such, else
he’d have his ass fried and put together
with glue.
At a time when so much of rap music is
about profit generating, Lamar is that
“breath of fresh air” that Lupe Fiasco was
once described as. There’s no artistic risk
he seems unwilling to take. He’s not married
to conformity. He’s not invested in rap
solely for commercial success. If one word
explains why he stands out from the pack,
it’s “fearless.” Kendrick Lamar is reaping
the benefits of courage.
No doubt this would go down as one of the
most controversial Rap/Hip-Hop verses
Article Compiled & Written By: My
humble self & Uchendu Chigbogu (@


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