Kendrick has only been on the mainstream scene since mid 2012, when the single “Swimming Pools” from his debut album good kid, m.A.A.d city dropped. But, regardless, he is one of the best lyricists in the game, maybe to ever live. Now, remember this is just my opinion so don’t get to hating just yet, let me talk.
Kendrick is a member of TDE (Top Dawg Entertainment), that consists of himself, ScHoolboy Q, Jay Rock and Ab-Soul. At the moment, they’re signed to Interscope Records and look to be one of the most promising small labels in the last few years. By small label I mean sub-labels like MMG, Young Money, GOOD Music, etc.
His debut album astonished me, I didn’t know what quite to expect as his previous projects have been quite different, but nonetheless very impressive – especially the ‘Overly Dedicated’ project – that’s my favourite (other than GKMC). But man, good kid, m.A.A.d city, that’s such a mind-blowing album. Critics were saying it was the best thing that’s happened to Compton in a long while. As soon as the album dropped, everybody knew Kendrick was the man of the moment. Kendrick will be a legend. Being Dr Dre’s protege isn’t bad either, is it? Both Interscope and Aftermath will look after him and make him into the rapper he is promised to be – one of the best. The album itself consists of a story, a story of Kendrick growing up in Compton, being a “good kid” in a “[mad] city”. The storytelling gives reminiscence of lyricists like Nas, being able to depict vivid images by spitting over a beat – it’s incredible. I can’t fathom how artists are able to portray their lives through flows and rhymes like that, it’s astonishing and one of most impressive things in music, period. Another impressive thing from the album is that Kendrick was able to merge skits into the beginning or end of songs (to avoid having individual skits) and make it work and flow – good looking, K Dot. My favourite tracks from the album were: “M.A.A.D city”, “The Art of Peer Pressure”, “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe” (obviously), “Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst” and “Good Kid”.
Aside from his music, Kendrick seems to be one of the most down to earth and humble rappers in the game (excusing his verse on “Control”). I’m making this assumption from many interviews that I’ve watched – at opportunities other rappers would take to come across as cocky and confident, Kendrick calmly and wisely presents his humbleness.
Let’s come to the “Control” verse. First off, Kendrick killed it, so too did Big Sean – not so sure about Jay Electron. Kendrick’s only properly been in the game for a year, maybe not even that and he’s been so successful, so well respected that he can mention the names he does and build competition with them, with ease. He has the facts to back it up, his debut album went platinum, he’s been on features all over the place, he’s been nominated and awarded with various titles. The boy is on fire and it seems as if only a few people could put a spoil to his reign – those being some of the new rappers on the block, J. Cole and Drake and maybe even Wale. When interviewed about the verse, Kendrick is so cool – that’s why he’s one of my favourites, he’s very subtly and quietly cocky. He knows he’s easily one of the best. Lyrically, he’s in the top 3 rappers in the game right now. I’d say the best lyricists (that are extremely relevant) are K Dot, Drake and J. Cole. However, I rate Logic and Wale’s lyricism hugely, but they’re just not as relevant as the other three.
I’ll give you some of my other favourite K Dot songs that I didn’t list earlier:
– “The Recipe”
– “The Jig Is Up (Dump’n)”
– “Cartoons & Cereal”
– “Cut You Off”
– “Ignorance Is Bliss”
– “Michael Jordan”
Let’s wait for some new music so I can back up my admiration for Kendrick a little more (that is, if it even needs backing up).