i wasn’t even gonna speak on the lil homey kendrick at ALL at all. then this dude came completely out of his dickies to a TMZ cameraman about responses to his Instigator Verse. like, “they gotta try harder” or some other 2% milk light-weight business. that’s when i was like…
if we keepin’ it all the WAY funky — like FUNKDAFIED — his verse wasn’t all that G. he was on some HYPERHYPERTURBO mode sh*t but that does not a healthy verse make. i’ve heard eminem fast-rap and scream his way through some of the least-inspired, nonsensical verses of his life while masterfully managing to keep syllables on beat. and not to say young k. dot ain’t capable. i bumped his album and was pleasantly surprised. he clearly has skills, the ability to form a coherent narrative, and some flow versatility. bravo. he dropped one of the more powerful albums in recent memory with the voice of a third-grader. that’s a high hurdle to get over in the rap game. and son did it. no diminishing that.
but the problem of that verse SCORCHING THE RAP GAME or whatever it was supposed to do was that…it just didn’t. he name-checked some legends and then included himself among them. nothing new there though, right? it’s rap. everyone has to say they’re the best or piss the farthest or sh*t the hardest or some such. and that verse reminded of that…like when your lil’ brother came home from that 1st jungle gym scuffle in elementary and his face was all red and he had bloodshot tears in his pupils and scratch marks on his lip talkin’ bout ‘my eyes just wet cuz i’m sooooo mad’ and you felt him ’cause you knew he was HYPE to be in his 1st fight with malik henderson over Whose Cubby This Is or whatever.
except then he did the troll part, where he started naming names of rappers he was “coming for” and what have you. and the list — quite unlike the list of legends before it — was just full of…
rappers i’ve heard and even enjoyed in their various runs but who couldn’t put a classic song together between ‘em. i mean, mac miller? j. cole? meek mill? you could put their “Best Of” Mix on your iPod for a jog and it would be over before you made it ’round the block. talking about reaching down to topple the competition. son came through like rick ross in a jenga tournament. easy targets all…and barely worth their weight in mic booth foam. had me like ‘who’s next to get it, k.dot? diggy simmons? kreayshawn?’
to quote a late legend: “nothin’ but my chi’ren/one shot, they disappearin”
this is always a hard argument to float without raising the hairs on the neck of every michael jordan fan who ever lived but…the Homey Two-Three dominated a weaker era than the one before it or after it. and he did dominate for certain, with his competitive will, knowledge of the game and superbly under-rated running mates on the chicago bulls. (shoot, pippen’s STILL mad jordan won’t shout him out more.) but the era before it had him stuck waiting while bird and magic complimented him on his skill (lambasting his poor teamwork). and the era after it had him playing “crafty” and all those adjectives we use for players with less athleticism who still manage to get by in a fast league.
kendrick is experiencing a similar type of jordan effect in this era of rap music. the one right before him couldn’t stop making legends…the list is too long and too diverse to even go into but let’s just say guys like canibus got to sniff greatness just by being around. not to get too predictive but…the era after this one…promises to be pretty sterling as well in terms of complete lyricists and song-writers. and yea, kendrick is one of them. but just one. and the fact that he almost didn’t name the potential legends in his peer group, ‘cept good ol Walking Target aubrey, showed me that he ain’t rilly want it like that with MCs who might embarrass him.
here’s a list of the present rappers who could give kendrick and his laurel-resting verse a run for the money.