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Kendrick Lamar - All The Fuss

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Kendrick Lamar - All The Fuss

I consider myself a passionate Hip-Hop listener and fan of the art. I have been listening to Hip-Hop since like 1983 (I’m old school). With so many artist and so many different avenues to consume music from, it’s easy to get lost in the who is hot and who’s not if the top 100 charts isn’t what you’re willing to go by.

In short, I listen to it all from the underground to the mainstream artist. I rock with Drake, I dig some 21 Savage, and I bump J Cole, Kemba (formally YC the Cynic), Mibbs, Kanye West and many others. I embrace the veterans still making music, Jay Z, Nas (one of my favorites), Kxng Crooked just to name a few.

Although I listen to it all, I must say I don’t always really understand what all the hype is about with some rappers. For example, J Cole is dope, but at times dude can be boring and he seems passive  and comes across as submissive and not straight forward with his views. He starts singing and harmonizing in what started off as a hard track, like c'mon?! Stay firm with your direction and stick to it, at least for each song.

 

'When some artist do get political it makes me wonder do they stand by these songs"
Contradictions in the arts is a reality and it depicts us humans perfectly. We are all a paradox with many flaws. Tupac was a perfect example of this, he would claim “keep your head up” and on the next song, he’s stating to have slept with another rappers wife, calling her bitch etc. Regardless, Tupac seemed to have a very firm grip on what was his stance, despite what topics he touched upon with his songs. This is something I liked very much about him. A lot of music on the radio is extremely politically correct. And when some artist do get political it makes me wonder do they stand by these songs or are they just making them as part of a checklist of what they want on their album. This is my gripe with most of the music out, do these artist stand by what they preach?

When it comes to Kendrick Lamar, I remember listening to his earlier work on Section 80 and thought, this dude is nice! I fucks with it, he got with Dr. Dre and I knew he was definitely going to be big. His first major debut good kid, m.A.A.d city, got some spins in my whip, I’ll admit. Was I blown away? Uhmmm, not totally but it worked. Moving on to To Pimp a Butterfly, I must confess I just did not get what all the fuss was about, the album was decent but there was something about it I couldn’t grasp. It wasn’t the content, it’s not that it was too preachy, I just felt it wasn’t rebellious enough (for my taste). It seemed more as if he was touching topics with an upgrade on how to address them, but ultimately, I was left wondering what his position on some of these themes was.

 

" is it going to be more of the verbal acrobatic theatrics, voice changes, rapid fire verses being praised as “lyrical”

When it came to DAMN. I was skeptical, I was thinking is it going to be more of the verbal acrobatic theatrics, voice changes, rapid fire verses being praised as “lyrical” and subjects neatly packaged to cover the rapper checklist? This is what I was expecting.

I must say, this time around I am convinced he is top notch. What convinced me? To me, it sounds like he has totally mastered the art of what sets him apart from others. What is that exactly? In some of his other albums, I was not really feeling the voice changes he was attempting on some of his songs, the singing and all those other aspects that come with many rappers. It was sounding really corny to me. I know some of you may think, it “grew on you” but no! I think this time around he got it right. It’s not over done and it’s done when necessary. I would also say he demonstrates how much of a student of Hip-Hop he truly is. He is influenced by Eminem, Nas, N.W.A and other West Coast MC’s and this is all visible in his music.

I would say Kendrick’s latest opus shows a lot of appreciation and demonstrates why he should sit among the greats. By far, he does prove he is the best his generation has to offer. I won’t get into more details of the album, I don’t want to spoil it. I would just say, give it an attentive listen, and value Hip-Hop at its best.





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