King Kendrick

So, as a few of you may know, I’ve been listening to an up-and-coming rapper named Kendrick Lamar. If you haven’t heard of him or listened to his music, I beg of you please check him out–he’s doing things that I’ve never seen done in the Hip Hop genre before (which is what I’m going to talk about in this post). Lamar hails from a pretty rough area in Compton, California and considers himself a person who has triumphed over the poverty in his neighborhood and the gang life that seems to pull in and kill many of the inhabitants of his community. His music is living proof that he has championed a life devoted to optimism and worship. However, what I’ve been meaning to tell you this whole time is that Kendrick has somehow made Hip Hop more poetic than it’s ever been. We’ve been talking about form can mirror context in poetry. For example, if one writes about Niagara Falls they may utilize form to create an image of cascading water. What Kendrick Lamar does is no different. In his two songs “Sing About Me/I’m Dying of Thirst” and “u,” Lamar uses background noises to mirror his lyrics. I’d explain more about it here, but I don’t want to give any spoilers. It’s definitely a much more profound experience when listened to without any specific introduction. So check these two songs out; I’ll post the lyrics here as well. Tell me what you think, and I hope all of you fall in love with his music as I have.

P.S. “u” may be a little difficult to like unless it is experienced with the entire album

One Reply to “King Kendrick”

  1. Hey J!

    I actually recently just got into Kendrick and I was talking to someone about his poetic vibe recently. The first song I ever heard of his was “Poe Man’s Dream” off of Section 8 and he tells a great story with that song. Definitely “Sing about Me, I’m Dying of Thirst” is much more poetic (it’s almost like a bit of a saga)—it flows really really smoothly and the rhymes are so genuine, he does a really good job of rhyming naturally. Nothing ever feels forced with his rapping. I find that a handful of rappers on the scene today, especially the more commercial rappers, tend to get lazy with their rhyming and it just comes off as sounding silly but I feel like Kendrick could even give a really powerful spoken word performance.

    I don’t know if you’d be into it but King Krule is probably my favorite “poetic” musician these days. His music is in between rapping/spoken word…it’s kinda odd at first but it’s actually super fresh and interesting. Check out this song (collab with Mount Kimbie) and also I posted the lyrics!

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