Ever since the sun set on the Golden-Age of Hip-Hop, fans and the industry alike have been looking for a Savior to kick-start a new Rap epoch. However, when an entire culture is on a constant lookout for a Hip-Hop Second Coming; they collectively end up lauding someone who is merely above average. Kendrick Lamar, once known as K-Dot, is an example of this. The mainstream media will have you believe he is some sort of infallible Rap genius, but in truth he is only a tad superior to all the other unexceptional Rappers currently out there.
Ignorant mainstream critics are always quick to jump on bandwagons, and upon hearing the buzz surrounding Kendrick a few years back, began to wildly overrate last year’s album “good kid, m.A.A.d city”. Unbeknownst to them, the buzz surrounding Lamar was solely for his lyrical ability in various freestyles, Mixtapes, and a few tracks in his first LP “Section.80”. “good kid, m.A.A.d city” on the other hand was in truth; a lame disappointment.
Kendrick’s downfall began with him signing to Interscope/Aftermath. Dr. Dre with his hunger for cash, has and always will, sound the death knell for a Rapper’s credibility. With Dre’s help, the ex-black hippy, ex-K-Dot began chipping away at what originally brought him underground praise. No more Jazzy production with real drum sounds, no more lyrics and flow like he showed on “Rigamortus”, and no more real Hip-Hop like “Young And Black”. But rappers need to remember that they cannot keep their original fans at the same time as switching their styles.
“good kid, m.A.A.d city” was a schizophrenic and dumbed-down album full of Hip-Pop & R’N’B. It came off as a hipster suck-up, Billboard reaching, Rap ‘N’ Bullshit concoction. Shyne was right; the production was trash. The entire album was filled with contemporary played-out music consisting of contrived bass, bass, snare drum patterns with low pitch vocals, garnished here and there with R’N’B hooks. “Swimming Pools” was one of the most obvious examples of targeting Pop fans with its über-catchy chorus. “Poetic Justice” had a Chart-Friendly Slow-Jam feel complete with a shitty Janet Jackson sampled hook. And somebody needed to tell Pharrell that Smif-N-Wessun interpolated Roy Ayers’ “We Live In Brooklyn, Baby” to better effect in “Home Sweet Home” some eighteen years ago.
Even though some of Kendrick’s previous tracks like “Blow My High” were obvious Pop, the majority of “Section.80” was not aiming for popular culture to the extent of the “good kid” album. In this respect, “good kid, m.A.A.d city” was definitely the “It Was Written” of the present day. A$AP Rocky called Kendrick Lamar “Our generation’s Nas”. If by that he meant he would sell out by his second Album; then he was correct.
Performing the same lyrical delivery with gimmicky syllable tricks on every track, then occasionally rapping off beat and over enunciating the letter “T”, is no way to for Kendrick to stand the test of time. Rocking rolled-up sleeves and a suit with no socks is nowhere near representing real Hip-Hop, and doing tracks with Drake, 50 Cent, and Adam Levine is some obvious Pop-friendly ‘ish. “good kid, m.A.A.d city” was not a work of genius that the media had us believe; “I pray my dick get as big as the Eiffel Tower, so I can fuck the world for seventy two hours” is hardly the lyrics of a genius.
R Dot I Dot P Dot K-Dot.